On 16 May, the European Commission and the Serbian Ministry of Environmental Protection organized an EU–Serbia Talanoa conference to discuss the implementation of the national climate plans put forward by the EU and Serbia as part of their contribution towards the objectives of the Paris Agreement on climate change.
This high-level conference provided participants with an opportunity to discuss the implementation of the EU’s 2030 climate and energy policy framework and specifically the national climate plans put forward by the EU and Serbia – their nationally determined contributions (NDC) towards the objectives of the Paris Agreement. The conference supported the involvement of a broad range of public and private actors in the fight against climate change.
The conference participants were welcomed by Mr Goran Trivan, Minister of Environmental Protection, who pointed out that Serbia’s biggest problem in terms of cutting emissions is its reliance on coal, he said, noting that the country will have to monitor the development of clean coal technologies. “Money represents a serious shortcoming in attaining the goal of a healthy environment and sustainable development, but we must think globally and use Europe’s and the world’s experiences, and act locally, as European funds and investments can be tapped through project and technical documentation produced by local governments, enterprises, and institutions,” Trivan added.
Speakers at the Talanoa conference included Ms Elina Bardram, Head of Unit at the Directorate-General for Climate Action of the European Commission, and Ana Vuković of the Regional Cooperation Council, who presented the findings of a study on climate change impacts and on regional/national climate change projections.
At the conference, Dirk Buschle, deputy director of the Energy Community’s Secretariat, said that coal is “toxic” both in terms of health and regulations, such as the EU’s large combustion plants directive, and he also called for a switch to an auctions system to better exploit renewable energy sources.
The conference was also an opportunity for REC representatives, Mr Mihail Dimovski, executive director of the REC, Mr Ivan Davidov, Head of Programme Implementation and Ms Ruza Radovic to discuss current challenges and opportunities in the field of climate change with decision makers in the region of Western Balkans, as well as in Europe and relevant international institutions.
The conference was organized by the European Commission and the Ministry of Environmental Protection, as part of the EU-funded Regional Implementation of Paris Agreement Project (RIPAP). This project supports beneficiaries (Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, the former Yugoslav Republic of Macedonia, Kosovo*, Montenegro, Serbia and Turkey) in the development of resource-efficient, low-emissions and climate-resilient economies by strengthening capacity-building in understanding and implementing climate mitigation actions, their impacts and co-benefits.
* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.