The European Climate Forum and the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei are pleased to announce the International Conference on “Financial Crisis and Climate Policy”, to be held on April 4th, 2009, at the Ca’ Foscari University, Venice, Italy. The conference has been organised in collaboration with the European Centre for Living Technology.

"Europe must lead the world into a new, or maybe one should say, post-industrial revolution, the development of a low-carbon economy". This is the perspective offered by EU Commission President José Manuel Barroso when the EU declared its ambitious goals for cutting greenhouse gas emissions, increasing renewable energy use, and improving energy efficiency. In summer 2007, this step enabled the G-8 summit of Heiligendamm to declare the aim to halve global CO2 emissions by 2050, and at the end of the year, it kept the momentum in the global climate policy process at the United Nations Climate Change Conference in Bali.

A year later, however, the biggest financial crisis since 1929 hit the world. That crisis made painfully clear how unsustainable the financial boom of the past decades had been. But the perspective of sustainable development has been largely absent in the haphazard way different European nations have tried to counter a global financial crisis that will shape the 21st century.

The possibility of this crisis had not been anticipated by the sophisticated computer models run by major central banks and leading institutions of economic research. And the scientists working on the risks of climate change and the options for climate policy had not taken such a possibility in consideration either.

It looks like both scientists and policy-makers have some homework to do. The science-policy debate organized by the European Climate Forum and the Fondazione Eni Enrico Mattei aims to identify the tasks that need to be tackled and the means needed to do so.

Four distinguished panelists will look at the problem from four different perspectives: climate
research, economic research, business, and the study of complex systems. With that background, researchers and stakeholders from a variety of fields are invited to engage in an open discussion. Main findings of the debate will be fed into the EU conference “Sustainable Development: A Challenge for European Research” that will take place on May 26-28 in Brussels.