Mark your calendar for the next biggest European event on local sustainability; the 8th European Conference on Sustainable Cities & Towns ‘Transformative Action: the potential for Europe’, will be held from 27-29 April 2016 in the Basque Country, hosted by ICLEI – Local Governments for Sustainability, the Basque Government, Bizkaia County Council and Bilbao City Council, with the involvement of Udalsarea 21 - Basque Network of Municipalities for Sustainability.
The 2016 flagship European conference on local sustainable development will take place at a crucial time - following the UN Summit for the Adoption of the Post-2015 Development Agenda and the Climate Conference of the Parties (COP 21) in Paris, which is expected to result in a post-Kyoto framework to address climate change. While being called upon to meet global challenges, local and regional governments also face environmental, financial and societal issues in Europe. The conference will reflect the urgency of the challenges and present a way to address them through transformative action.
The three-day conference programme will offer plenty of opportunities for learning and networking by means of plenaries, breakout sessions, panels, a Mayors Session, and Mobile Workshops in the Basque Country counties of Bizkaia, Gipuzkoa and Araba.
The conference provides a great opportunity to explore a country which has transformed itself, having changed its focus on industry to embrace modern service-based economy. Its newly adopted Environmental Programme for 2020 shows a firm commitment to improving the environment and aligns with current European and international strategies on job creation, enhancing standards of living and building a low-carbon economy.
The main conference event will be hosted in two of the hallmarks of the new Bilbao of the 21st Century: the Euskalduna Palace and the Guggenheim Museum, along with further visits in Donostia-San Sebastián and Vitoria-Gasteiz. Over the course of three days, the conference will gather politicians and practitioners from local and regional governments, representatives of European and international institutions, multilateral organisations, members of the research community, business leaders, and civil society.