Commissioner Hedegaard will underline in her speech that consumers and consumer organisations play a crucial role in fighting climate change. Governments can set a framework with their policies; they set targets, define standards, and give incentives to make companies going green. But in the end, the consumers have the power of the purse and decide whether they buy green products or not. Commissioner Hedegaard thinks that the support by consumer organisations will be key for implementing our climate policies in the next decades.
During her visit, Commissioner Hedegaard will meet with Chief Executive Donald Tsang and Secretary for Environment Edward Yau of the Hong Kong SAR government to discuss various issues related to climate change.
Commissioner Hedegaard will also attend a forum on 'Climate Action in Europe and Hong Kong – a continuing conversation' organised by Civic Exchange. At the forum, she will talk about her ambition to see Europe to be the most climate friendly region in the world in five years’ time, how it will be achieved and the challenges she faces. She will be joined by Secretary Yau, who is currently overseeing a consultation process to “chart the way forward for Hong Kong as a low carbon city”. Participants at the forum will also discuss the challenges and opportunities for accelerating climate policy and action in cities and metropolitan regions with particular reference to the EU, Hong Kong and the Pearl River Delta.
Curriculum vitae of Connie Hedegaard
Born in 1960, Connie Hedegaard had already been working with climate issues for several years by the time she began her appointment as the EU's first ever Commissioner for Climate Action in February 2010.
In August 2004 she was appointed as Danish Minister for the Environment. In 2007 she was in charge of setting up the Danish Ministry of Climate and Energy, where one of the main tasks was to prepare the UN Climate Conference in Copenhagen in December 2009.
Connie Hedegaard began her political career while a student at the University of Copenhagen. There she studied literature and history while at the same time pursuing a political career that encompassed both Danish and international politics. In 1984, at the age of 23, she was elected to the Danish Parliament as a member for the Conservative People's Party, thereby becoming the youngest Danish MP ever at that time, and in 1985 she became Chair of the Atlantic Association of Young Political Leaders. In 1989, Connie Hedegaard became first spokesperson for the Conservative People's Party, but chose to leave politics for journalism in 1990.
Besides her political career, Connie Hedegaard has had a long career in journalism. In 1990, she began working as a journalist on the Danish national newspaper Berlingske Tidende. In 1998 she became head of the news bulletin service Radioavisen at the Danish Broadcasting Corporation, after which she hosted the current affairs programme Deadline on the television channel DR2. Between 1998 and 2004 she also wrote for the Danish national daily newspaper Politiken.
Apart from working as a politician and journalist, Connie Hedegaard has sat on a number of committees and boards, including chairing the Centre for Cultural Cooperation with Developing Countries (CKU) and as a member of the board of the Danish Parliament's Democracy Foundation. Lastly, she has received various prizes for her involvement in and contributions to social debate, due in great part to her wide-ranging activities as a lecturer and author. Her publications include Da klimaet blev hot, [When the climate got hot]published in Denmark in 2008, as well as contributions to several anthologies and topical books.
Connie Hedegaard lives in Brussels and in Hellerup, Denmark with her husband, Jacob, and their two sons.