23-24 September 2021 - Virtual Conference
Lough Boora, Co. Offaly
Welcome to ENCORE 2021!
24 September 2021
Regional Collaboration for a Green and Sustainable Transition
Hosted by the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly, the 14th Environmental Conference of the Regions of Europe, ENCORE 2021 took place online today, September 24th. The bi-annual conference of the ENCORE Network, ENCORE 2021, hosted ‘virtually’ from Tullamore in the Irish Midlands, was attended by political representatives from across Europe and wide-ranging stakeholders.
The conference culminated in the signing of the ‘Tullamore Declaration’ by member regions - a statement of common intent which will guide regions to effectively exert their collective influence on the formulation of environmental policy within the European Union.
Moderated by Dr Tara Shine, ENCORE 2021 opened with an address by Cllr Deirdre Heney, Cathaoirleach (Chairperson) of the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly and co-president of the ENCORE network. This was followed by keynote addresses from EU Commissioner, Mairead McGuinness and Senator Pippa Hackett, Minister of State for Land Use and Biodiversity. In their addresses, Commissioner McGuinness and Minister Hackett clearly demonstrated how the themes of ENCORE 2021 – ecosystem services, circular economy and climate action – are central to a green and just transition to a low carbon and sustainable future.
Next to address the conference were YouthCORE delegates, youth representatives from across the ENCORE regions, who met yesterday, September 23rd, to create a YouthCORE statement - their vision for the future that they want. This YouthCORE statement will accompany the Tullamore Declaration to ensure that the voice of youth is heard. Elected representatives and senior government officials from across Europe then addressed the conference to endorse the Tullamore Declaration and proclaim their ‘Seeds of Change’ - environmentally positive actions and commitments that their region will be implementing in line with the Tullamore Declaration.
ENCORE 2021 closed with a lively musical performance from a musician from the Irish Midlands, Ireland’s Just Transition region, the formal welcome of two new regions to the ENCORE Network and the handover of the presidency of ENCORE from the Eastern and Midland Regional Assembly to Mr Jan van der Meer, Provincial Executive of Gelderland for Energy and Climate, Environment and Health and Public Transport.
Date released: September 24th, 2021
ENCORE 2021 Conference
The ENCORE 2021 Conference will took place Virtually this year. We had hoped to host the conference in the historic Irish town of Tullamore, Co. Offaly. Tullamore is located in the heart of Ireland’s Midlands, a region at the centre of Ireland’s Just Transition programme, which seeks to move our economy and society into a low carbon future.
The Just Transition concept is central to the 2021 conference, and framed the discussions on three specific themes; Climate Action, Circular Economy and Ecosystem Services. Indeed, achieving a Just Transition will require action on all of these fronts, and more. The three themes also represent a continuation of the ENCORE network’s efforts in these areas, following on from the work of the ENCORE 2018 Conference in Herning, Denmark.
ENCORE 2021 also continued the YouthCORE tradition, and held a youth conference leading up to the main event. YouthCORE ensures the voices of young people are heard and the YouthCORE outputs form a crucial input for the ENCORE Conference and the ministers’ discussions.