Vitoria-Gasteiz to host the international meeting prior to the Rio+20 UN summit
The Basque Country, which is the acting European co-chair of this States and Regions Alliance - will also unveil its latest advances in eco-innovation and energy strategies
The Basque Government and the Climate Group are hosting a seminar in Vitoria-Gasteiz (as part of the extended meeting of its steering committee), where environmental and energy industry experts from different regions of the world (including South Australia, Quebec, Brittany, North Rhine-Westphalia or KwaZulu Natal) will turn the capital of the Basque Country into the focal point for exchanging new technologies and good practices linked to climate change on 15 and 16 March.
Founded in 2004, the Climate Group is a non-profit organisation consisting of over 50 of the largest corporations around the world and local and regional governments. This international coalition represents 15% of the world GDP. With regard to its visit to the Basque Country, the Europa Palace Meeting will be an important milestone for this States and Regions alliance during the run-up to the Rio+20 summit.
In Vitoria-Gasteiz, the representatives of the Climate Group sub-national governments will also hold the meeting of its steering committee, when they will prepare the common strategies to be submitted to the World Summit of States and Regions (before the UN Rio summit).
The Climate Group delegation and Basque company representatives will have the opportunity to discuss, describe their experiences and put out the feelers for partnerships in areas such as ecodesign, energy efficiency, eco-innovation, energy strategies, the electric vehicle or "smart networks".
On Friday, the delegation will visit some of the ground-breaking energy facilities in the Basque Country. They will therefore visit the Mutriku wave energy facility (opened last year and which is the first of its kind in Europe), the IBIL control centre (the electric vehicle charging network) and the smart grid project headed by Iberdrola and the Basque Energy Board (EVE).
The role of the Lehendakari
In November 2011, Lehendakari Patxi López, the Basque Premier, accepted the co-chair of the Climate Group. As Mark Kenber, the CEO of the alliance, declared at that time: "The Basque Country is leading the fight against climate change". According to Kenber, climate change "is not only a risk, it is also an opportunity for the business and financial sector and also for Governments if they have a strategic vision".
As co-chair, the Basque Government also chairs its steering committee (along with the Quebec Government) and is the founding partner of the EV-20, an international working group (within The Climate Group) that promotes the electric vehicle worldwide.