(EUROPE)

Moving to a circular economy model could create millions of jobs across Europe, according to one of the continent’s leading politicians.

And jobs are the focus of the European Union’s (EU) Green Week programme, which kicks off tomorrow. This year’s theme ‘green jobs for a greener future’ will make it the hot topic at events being held around the continent, including at the EU Green Week’s showcase conference in Brussels.

On Wednesday the circular economy will take centre stage. The day’s discussions and debates – on working for a greener future – will look on how businesses can capitalise on the opportunities of the circular economy to expand and create new jobs.

Speaking at an event in Malta this month, EU Commissioner for the Environment, Maritime Affairs and Fisheries, Karmenu Vella said “two million extra jobs” could be created “if we increase resource productivity in the EU by 30 percent”.

He continued: “This year’s theme is green jobs. It might be waste management, it might be water re-use technologies, it might be nature protection, it could be organic farming – the point is, a green job means sustainable employment.

“Green jobs are socially inclusive, and they are transformative. You might be a carpenter, you might be a steel worker – whatever your trade, the economy is in transition, as we move away from the traditional model to a more circular one, your job is changing as a result of it.”

He added that Europe is “rich in human resources, and the circular economy can draw on those and export the technologies they spawn to the rest of the world.”

EU Green Week will promote employment opportunities across the sustainability ecosystem and everyone is encouraged to join the conversation. Getting ‘virtually’ involved is easy with plenty of fun social media campaigns.

Watch live coverage throughout the week and check out if there is an EU Green Week partner event near you.

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