New Report on the State of the Alps highlights potential of green economic sectors
The international conference "Greening the Economy in the Alpine Region" begins today. Experts from the Alpine countries are discussing how the Alps can be developed into a model region for climate action and climate-neutral and sustainable economic practices and living. At the opening of the conference in Rosenheim, Parliamentary State Secretary Schwarzelühr-Sutter said: "The Alpine region is already feeling the effects of climate change today. This is giving rise to a series of problems, but also opens up opportunities for the region, particularly if real progress is made in establishing a green economy. The Alpine countries have enormous potential to actively address this challenge and can become a pioneer region for climate-neutral economic practices."
The Alps are particularly affected by climate change: glaciers are melting, snow lines are rising and biodiversity is declining. The region is therefore dependant on global climate action and has to implement several protective measures at local level. At the same time, the Alpine region is economically strong and innovative. The region is among the best developed in Europe. Therefore, in response to a proposal made by Federal Minister Barbara Hendricks, the 14th Alpine Conference held on 13 October 2016 adopted recommendations on how the Alps can become a model region for climate-friendly and resource-efficient development in Europe.
The Report on the State of the Alps "Greening the Economy in the Alpine Region", drawn up under the direction of the Federal Environment Agency, shows that there are already many innovative examples of sustainable economic practices in the region. The Alpine countries now want to build on this, for example in the area of sustainable tourism, nature-friendly expansion of renewables, marketing local, sustainable products and working together with stakeholders from industry and nature conservation.
The political recommendations made in the sixth Report on the State of the Alps will be translated into concrete measures and initiatives through an ambitious action programme for greening the economy in the Alpine region.
An intensive dialogue will take place among stakeholders from politics, administration, industry, the different regions concerned, municipalities, the scientific community, associations and initiatives, which should generate tangible momentum for the action programme on greening the economy in the Alpine region. Today's conference marks the start of this process supported by the Federal Environment Ministry. The action programme will be presented for adoption at the 15th Alpine Conference under the Austrian Presidency in autumn 2018.