Ida Auken, Danish Minister for the Environment urges private actors to help clean the Baltic Sea

in BDF Events, News


“In the continuing work for a cleaner Baltic Sea it is not enough that local, regional and national authorities act. Therefore I urge private players to take part by developing solutions and suggestions witch in the long run can lead to a cleaner Baltic Sea,” says Ida Auken, Danish Minister for the Environment as a call for a fruitful dialogue on the waterconfrence 26 November arranged by BDF supported by Danish Business Authority, City of Copenhagen and Grundfos.

“As it stands today, the Baltic Sea is not in an environmental condition, the surrounding countries can be satisfied with. That is why the Danish Chairmanship of HELCOM is giving the highest priority to securing effective fulfilment of the Baltic Sea Action Plan, which aims to ensure a healthy and environmentally prosperous Baltic Sea.”

In the coming years, national governments as well as regional and local authorities around the Baltic Sea will have to invest huge amounts in cleaning the Baltic Sea and in developing and implementing innovative solutions to help achieve this objective. The Governments have committed themselves politically to solving the environmental problems at numerous Summits. The adoption of the Helsinki Commission’s (HELCOM) Baltic Sea Action Plan and the EU Strategy for the Baltic Sea Region has provided the necessary frameworks. To “Save the Sea” has become a main objective of the EU Strategy.

At the moment, the EU Member States are in the final phases of negotiating the EU budget for 2013-2020. There is growing pressure on EU countries within the region to align and adjust future sources of funding, including the cohesion policy, to the needs and objectives of the EU Strategy.

Is the private cleantech sector ready to exploit the coming business and investment opportunities, and can it supply the needed innovative technologies and solutions? Potentially, the Baltic Sea Region can become a world leading demonstration site for water technologies and a centre of excellence for the region’s cleantech industry. But are the public-private partnerships in place for these new investments? Does the private sector recognise its share of the responsibility? And is the public sector ready to facilitate innovations in water technologies and provide world-class framework conditions for the sector?

The Danish Government has defined the water sector, green and blue growth as priority areas for economic growth and jobs. Furthermore, Denmark has taken over the Presidency of HELCOM and will invite Baltic Sea Region’s Environment Ministers for a meeting in autumn 2013 in Denmark.

For Baltic Development Forum this is an important opportunity. Therefore we will initiate a process leading up to the Ministerial meeting, and we invite all key stakeholders – and not least private business – for open stakeholder consultations, including establishing a regional platform for continuous dialogue between all stakeholders, including public and private partners. We intend to identify new cooperation forms and projects that can also inspire policy action of the EU and its Member States, the EU strategy for the Baltic Sea Region and other international fora such as the Nordic Council of Ministers and the Council of the Baltic Sea States.

Baltic Development Forum, supported by the Danish Business Authority and City of Copenhagen, will open this dialogue at our conference 26 November 2012 in order to define the agenda for the process ahead.

Register for the Conference