At a stand in the foyer of the Royal Danish Opera, the sunscreen Bucky'o'Zun is on display. Two smiling young women are pointing and gesturing while presenting the molecule Buckyball, a natural UV-absorbent component, which insulates other molecules and therefore, as in nature, can protect 99.9 pct. against UV rays.
"It started one day at the beach. We talked about there being no products on the market, which protect against UV rays, so you can stay outside without having to worry about getting skin cancer. Then we researched the subject and came across the molecule Buckyball, and now we are engaged in a test production at a university in Japan," says Emilie Kjeldsen and Sara Naseri, who finished high school in the summer of 2010 and have since worked full time on the project.
But the buckyball can also protect other substances than human skin.
"Actually, we are currently working to establish partnerships with universities in Europe and USA, because the product can also be used to coat car paint and plastic products, which would otherwise fade in the sun," says Sara Naseri.
Next to the girls’ presentation popular Danish TV meteorologist Jesper Theilgaard explains the UV-index, so everyone can follow and take their precautions, when the temparature goes up and the sun starts to bake.
Simply sitting under a parasol does not protect you from the sun, he says. The sun's rays are reflected off sand, water, snow, and even grass although on a smaller scale.
Speeding up the green agenda
The Danish Minister for European Affairs and Her Royal Highness Crown Princess enter the foyer. Both speak enthusiastically about the need for a greater focus on climate and environment.
The Presidency has an ambitious green agenda and Mr. Nicolai Wammen points out that the health, environment and climate agenda requires large financial investments and political action.
"It's a necessary agenda, but it is also an agenda where many are skeptical of how we are to finance the required investments, as Europe is currently in the midst of an economic crisis. My message today is that Europe cannot afford to put the brakes on our green ambitions in light of the economic crisis. Instead we should rather accelerate our efforts! We have a responsibility to care for the environment and tackle climate challenges, even in a time of crisis. At the same time the green sector can contribute to growth and job creation. The practical ideas and solutions we see today will contribute to the continued creation of innovative jobs in Europe," Minister Wammen says.
Kickstarting the climate debate with a twist
The exhibition at the Royal Danish Opera, which is organized by the Danish European Movement in collaboration with LEO Pharma and the think tank European Policy Center, gave a number of researchers and exhibitors a chance to display various solutions to the climate, environment and health challenges, that Denmark, Europe and rest of world face today.
"Our mission is twofold: First, restart the climate debate, which is more important than ever, and second to extend the climate debate by including the consequences of a changing climate to human health. We want to analyze the impact of climate and environmental changes in relation to our health," says Erik Boel, chairman of the Danish European Movement, who continues:
"The climate debate is the lifeblood of the European Movement. It is an issue, which is closely aligned the Minister and the Government's ambitions. We need closer cooperation and greater knowledge about climate and environment throughout Europe, and the European Movement would like to give a much needed input to this discussion," says Erik Boel.