Speaker details

TWINS | Conference Ruhr

Karl Falkenberg

Former Director General for Environment of the European Commission, Brussels, Belgium

Cities are hotspots for environmental and social pressures. They are frontline actors as polluters, but more and more consciously addressing the challenges of mitigating climate change and adapting to it. They have become test-houses for new ways of addressing climate change through efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions as well as by developing resilience in the face of ongoing climate change. Their cooperation and exchange of knowledge will be key to turning our societies into a sustainable future.”

Karl Falkenberg has enjoyed a long EU Commission career. He joined in 1977 in the trade negotiating field and has been negotiating both bilateral and multilateral trade agreements for the EU. He served as Adviser to Commission President Jacques Delors in 1990, the year of German unification. From 2009 to 2015, he was Director General for Environment of the EU Commission, in charge of both domestic and international issues.

He actively pushed the European Green Capital concept as a tool for involving cities in sustainable policy making. In 2016, as a Special Adviser to Jean-Claude Juncker, he produced a report on the implementation of the SDGs in Europe, called: Sustainability Now. He retired on 1/7/2017 and works as a lecturer and teacher on trade, environment and sustainability in a European context.