16 sep
- 17 sep

Before the COVID-19 crisis, the world had been moving towards increasing environmental awareness. Multinationals were voicing commitments to new, more environmentally conscious forms of corporate governance. Young people were mobilising global climate movements. The European Commission had unveiled plans for a European Green Deal as an answer to the climate emergency.

COVID-19 has changed the world in countless ways. The recovery will bring diverse opportunities to accelerate the transition to a greener and more sustainable future. The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change has warned that averting the worst-case climate scenario will depend entirely on the actions taken (or not taken) during this decade. The stakes could not be higher. How do we move forward?

To focus on what comes next, the European Investment Bank, together with Project Syndicate and other partners, organised a two-day virtual conference on the path to a green recovery. A variety of speakers held a series of in-depth discussions, with an emphasis on biodiversity, energy, public investments, and financial and corporate governance.


  Watch the recording of Day 1

Moderators: Ben Chu and Lizzy Burden

Session One – Green Dealing
While the original New Deal was famously experimental in nature – with the Roosevelt administration trying everything, keeping what worked, and abandoning what didn’t – today’s proposed Green Deals have already been fully mapped out.

9:00AM – Opening Remarks: Werner Hoyer, President of the EIB 

9:05AM – Panel Discussion and Q&A with international media

10:10AM – Break

Session Two – The Return(s) of Nature
While the COVID-19 crisis has highlighted one of the major threats posed by nature, achieving widespread buy-in for biodiversity efforts demands that policymakers also recognise the far-reaching benefits natural systems offer.

10:30AM – Opening Remarks: Juan Manuel Santos, former President of Colombia (2010-18), Nobel Peace laureate

10:35AM – Panel Discussion and Q&A with international media

  • Christiana Figueres, former Executive Secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, co-founder of Global Optimism Ltd
  • Anne Larigauderie, Executive Secretary of the Intergovernmental Science-Policy Platform on Biodiversity and Ecosystem Services
  • Jennifer Morris, CEO of the Nature Conservancy
  • Johan Rockström, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact

  Watch the recording of Day 2

Moderator: Jo Coburn

Session One – Can Green Business Be Good Business?
Although few major corporations would dare to withhold public support for the broader climate agenda, there is still an open question as to how much Big Business’s words are translating into actions.

9:00AM – Opening Remarks: Gordon Brown, former Prime Minister of the UK
9:05AM – Panel Discussion and Q&A with international media

10:10AM – Break

Session Two – Closing the Circuit
With the costs of solar, wind, and battery storage having plummeted over the past decade, the biggest hurdle to decarbonisation is no longer technological but political.

10:30AM – Opening Remarks: Kevin Rudd, former Prime Minister of Australia
10:35AM – Panel Discussion and Q&A with international media

11:40AM – In Conversation: Abiy Ahmed, Prime Minister of Ethiopia, and Bertrand Badré, CEO of Blue Like an Orange Capital

President Hoyer's opening statement