Green Week Conference 2013: a success for Atopica
04-07 june - The Egg Conference Centre, Brussels
Atopica was present at the biggest annual event on European environment policy.
The Green Week Conference was held in Brussels and the theme for 2013 was “air quality”. Over 40 sessions focused on many facets involved in improving air quality in Europe. Despite progress in recent years, air quality standards are still widely exceeded in the EU's most densely populated areas, especially from pollutants such as particulate matter, ground-level ozone, and nitrogen dioxide.
Atopica was present at the Green Week event with an interactive simulation visualizing how climate change influences air pollution. The Moverim team fielded questions about the consequences of climate, air quality and ambrosia allergy in the future in Europe. They seeded and grew Ambrosia to demonstrate the plant to stakeholders. The Atopica exhibit received many visitors including interested stakeholders in a variety of sectors from government officials working on reducing ambrosia to allergic people waiting anxiously to hear the results of the project. One allergic individual who visited the Atopica exhibit was the European Commissioner for Environment, Janez Potocnik, who discussed Atopica’s goals, his allergies and his interest in approaches for managing invasive species in Europe with the Atopica team (see the pictures in the gallery).
Atopica coordinator Michelle Epstein presented a short overview of the challenges and needs associated with integrating human health, climate change and air quality in the context of ambrosia allergy in Session 7.3 - Perspectives for the future – a research agenda for EU air quality” which was chaired by Andrea Tilche, Head of the Unit “Climate change and natural hazards” within the Environment Directorate of DG Research & Innovation. Dr. Epstein illustrated how Atopica is a model project of an approach to understand how climate change and air quality affect human health based on a hazard and vulnerability framework created by the University of East Anglia team.