President Radev: More Ambitious Greenhouse Emission Targets at Odds with Bulgaria's Interests


President Radev: More Ambitious Greenhouse
Emission Targets Is at Odds
with Bulgaria's Interests

Katowice, December 3 (BTA special correspondent Lora Metanova) - Bulgaria continues its work on climate change for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement but setting more ambitious greenhouse emission targets is at odds with the Bulgarian interests, President Rumen Radev said in his remarks at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change here on Monday.

"We see the social aspect as a paramount factor for preserving thousands of jobs," President Radev said. He argued that Bulgaria should develop and implement mechanisms creating predictable rules that motivate the industry's competitiveness.

The Head of State said Bulgaria will soon reach the planned reduction of emissions by 20 per cent in 2020 compared to 1990, and in 2016 emissions decreased by 49 per cent compared to 1988, and by 4.4 per cent compared to 2015.

Radev went on to speak about the need to adapt to climate change as in the past few years people have seen an increase in the intensity and frequency of extreme natural phenomena on a global scale.

He said that Bulgaria has developed a National Adaptation Strategy and an Action Plan to combat climate change effects.

The President said his country is determined to support the adoption of Paris Agreement implementation rules that are clear, sufficiently detailed, effective and applicable to all countries.

Speaking to Bulgarian reporters at the sidelines of the conference, Radev said that Bulgaria has "a consolidated position" and that the country accepts and implements all requirements and mechanisms from the Paris Agreement. "However, Bulgaria categorically rejects increased targets and believes they need to be aligned with its national interests and capabilities," he said, noting that for Bulgaria this means preserving jobs in coal mining, and safeguarding the country's competitiveness and energy independence.

Responding to a question, the President said that Bulgaria needs to be much more active and take advantage of all European programmes and funds for innovations "to restructure coal-mining, develop and implement new and environmentally friendly forms of energy, transport and industry".

"When speaking about environmentally-friendly energy, we should not forget the importance of having secure and predictable energy," Radev said. "Europe can help us much too, if it does not create obstacles as it used to in the past, on the way of the Russian deliveries of gas to Bulgaria and to the EU itself," he said.

Radev recalled his proposal to his Russian counterpart Vladimir Putin for "direct [gas] deliveries to the EU, or the so-called Bulgarian Stream". In Radev's words, "the Bulgarian Stream can guarantee the security of supplies to Europe, whereby Bulgaria can be an independent energy-distribution hub".

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Environment and Water Minister Neno Dimov expressed agreement with Radev's statement at the conference.

Speaking to Bulgarian reporters at the sidelines of the event, Dimov said that more ambitious targets will produce results in the next ten years and that the likely outcome of the effort needs to be assessed before discussing "whether or not to revise the targets, and in what direction".

In Dimov's words, the protection of the Bulgarian energy is important as it is an element of the national security, and "for preserving cheaper power prices for the Bulgarians and the Bulgarian economy".

Approached to comment the high levels of ambient air pollution in Sofia in recent days, Dimov said "he was informed of the situation" and that the maximum permissible levels were exceeded in the past two days. He said checks of pollutants have increased in frequency since the start of the cold season but "this is not enough". RY/TH/ZH/LY/

Source: Katowice