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Pathways for a people-centered energy transition – hybrid side event EfE Ministerial Conference

October 6 @ 18:15 - 20:00 UTC+3

Join us for our Hybrid Side Event during the 9th Environment for Europe Ministerial Conference!

Please register here for both in person and online participation: REGISTRATION LINK

About the event

The 9th EfE Ministerial Conference focuses on sustainable infrastructure. The urgently needed energy transition comes with large-scale infrastructure developments. With the European Green Deal in the EU and policy and financial frameworks in other parts of the UNECE region striving for carbon neutrality, massive investments are underway. With Russia’s aggression in Ukraine and soaring energy prices, the quest for energy independence has risen to the top of political priorities across the region. While countries in the UNECE region need to rapidly shift to 100% renewable energy sources to be able to answer ecological and geopolitical pressures as fast as possible, we must safeguard nature and biodiversity, respect environmental rights and protect environmental defenders.

The draft Ministerial Declaration makes strong reference to the Aarhus Convention, the world’s first multilateral environmental agreement to recognise environment rights. The purpose of this side event is to raise awareness of the threats to environmental rights posed by a disorderly energy transition. The side event will discuss how Aarhus Convention rights have been ignored and it will showcase examples where they have been championed. It will present recommendations for a rights-based energy transition throughout the countries in the UNECE region and make a important contribution to the overall conference theme by showing how meaningful public participation is part and parcel of sustainable infrastructure developments.


18:15 – 18:20 Welcome and opening

  • Patrizia Heidegger, Dpt Secretary General, European Environmental Bureau

18:20 – 18:30 Setting the scene: Aarhus rights and infrastructure development in the energy transition

  • Jonas Ebbesson, Director of the Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre, former Chair of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (remote)

18:30 – 19:10 Case studies from the region

  • Lithium mining in Minas do Barroso, Portugal (presented by Catarina Scarrott, Portugal)
  • Hydro project North Macedonia (presented by Natasha Dokovska, North Macedonia)
  • EastMed pipeline (presented by Natasa Ioannou, FoE Cyprus)
  • Green reconstruction and energy infrastructure in Ukraine (presented by Andriy Andrusevych, Resource & Analysis Center “Society and Environment”, Ukraine)
  • Best practices example: wind farms and photovoltaic in Burgenland, Austria (presented by Summer Kern, Justice&Environment, NGO Observer to the Bureau of the Aarhus Convention)

19:10 – 20:00 Government responses and moderated debate

  • Elfriede-Anna More, Director of International Climate, Environment and Energy Affairs, Austrian Ministry of Climate Action, Environment, Energy, Mobility, Innovation and Technology
  • European Commission
  • Jonas Ebbesson, Director of the Stockholm Environmental Law and Policy Centre, former Chair of the Aarhus Convention Compliance Committee (remote)

20:00 Refreshments


European ECO Forum (Aarhus Convention working group)

Women Engage for a Common Future (WECF)

European Network for Environmental Citizenship (ENEC)

Justice & Environment

Central European University, Democracy Institute

Environmental Ambassadors for Sustainable Development

Journalists for Human Rights

Federation of Environmental Organisations in Cyprus (FEOC)

Cyprus Center for Environmental Research and Education

Terra Cypria – The Cyprus Conservation Foundation

Friends of the Earth Cyprus


Cyprus Institute Nicosia

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