The Leipzig region is a good example of environmentally friendly development driven by modern technologies: the former brown coal fields in Eastern Germany, with more than 1000 supposedly contaminated mining and industrial sites, are being developed into an attractive lake district. This has not only improved the quality of life for people. The experience which German companies and researchers have been able to gain with remediation measures provides the basic know-how which can be made available on an international scale. With its Helmholtz Centre for Environmental Research (UFZ) and other research institutions, Leipzig has become an established international centre for efficient sustainability research and scientific exchanges with Eastern European neighbouring countries.
Meyer-Krahmer emphasized that the BMBF is planning to invest considerable sums in environmental and sustainability research over the coming years. The promotion of high-performing environmental technologies is an integral part of the German Federal Government's High-tech Strategy. "The aim is to improve industry's energy and resource efficiency for the benefit of the environment. At the same time, efforts will be made to open up the world market for the German environmental technology sector and to adapt the technologies and know-how to the local conditions in developing and emerging countries. They are the future markets for waste water and clean air technologies", said Meyer-Krahmer.
Climate protection issues are of utmost importance in this connection. The BMBF will provide 255 million euro for climate change research over the next three years. The focus will be on three pillars: basic climate research; development of innovative measures and technologies for limiting greenhouse gas emissions; and measures and technologies for adapting to the already inevitable impact of climate change.
The German Federal Research Ministry agreed the topics for discussion at the conference in Leipzig with the Fraunhofer-Gesellschaft, the Helmholtz Association of National Research Centres, the Leibniz Association and the Max Planck Society. The agenda includes such topics as early warning systems for natural disasters, technologies for CO2 reduction and the generation of bioenergy, which enable us to protect the environment and preserve people's quality of life. The title of the conference refers to the objectives of the "Lisbon Agenda", which the European heads of state and government adopted in March 2000 in order to make Europe an economic leader in global competition using the latest scientific findings. The Leipzig conference is to set the stage for sustainability research as an industrial driver for Europe.www.fona.de/L2L - conference homepage
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