After an active involvement in drawing up the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, in order to show the EU’s commitment towards both the economic, social and environmental aspects of sustainability, the Sustainable Development Goals are reflected in almost all sectors of EU policy-making, including but not limited to: pursuit of responsible fiscal policies, healthcare and pension systems reforms, low carbon mobility, circular economy package, trade for all strategy.
But what’s coming next in terms of implementing the 2030 Agenda? We are delighted to be joined by Ulf Björnholm, Head of UNEP Brussels, sharing his thoughts on the EU’s way forward, identifying Europe’s major sustainability challenges and their impact on policy making.
Head of UN Environment Brussels | UNEP Brussels Liaison Office
Ulf Björnholm, a national of Sweden, is an expert in European and international policy on sustainable development and environmental policy. As Head of the United Nations Environment Programme’s Brussels Office, he is responsible for promoting and facilitating partnership-building between UN Environment and the EU institutions as well as key EU stakeholders in Brussels. This includes taking the lead on facilitating the policy dialogue between UN Environment and the European Commission under a joint Memorandum of Understanding, supervising and coordinating UN Environment’s outreach initiatives in Brussels, assisting and advising the UN Environment leadership on EU Policy, and representing UN Environment in meetings and public events. Mr Björnholm is also member of the Heads of Agencies Team of the United Nations Offices in Brussels, and he chairs the UN Brussels Policy Group on Sustainable Development. He also oversees the Greening of the UN House in Brussels. Prior to joining UN Environment, he served in the European Commission where he contributed to developing a major proposal for a new EU Clean Air Policy, presented in 2013. Linked to this, he participated actively in international UN negotiations relating to air pollution. Mr. Björnholm has also held several positions as a representative and diplomat for the Swedish Government, both in Stockholm and abroad. In his role as a political advisor and negotiator on international environmental affairs for Sweden, he chaired and represented the EU at several UN/EU environmental negotiations during two EU Presidencies – in New York (2001) and in Brussels (2009). For more than seven years, he served as Environment and Climate Counsellor at the Swedish Permanent Representation to the EU in Brussels. Before joining the Swedish Government, he worked for local municipalities and for a youth network under the Swedish UN Association to promote the implementation of Agenda 21 in Sweden. Ulf Björnholm has a Master of Science from the University of Lund. In addition to being fluent in Swedish, Norwegian and English, he also speaks French and Portuguese. He took up his duties as Head of UN Environment’s Brussels Office on 22 April 2014.