The President in Katowice: The Social Aspect and the Preservation of Thousands of Working Places are of Utmost Importance for Achieving the National Goals of Fighting Climate Change
The Head of State reaffirmed Bulgaria’s commitment to the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement on Climate Change on the basis of the already reached agreements
“Bulgaria continues to work with all partners in the field of Climate change for the full implementation of the Paris Agreement. In pursue of our national goals we are guided by the principle of consistent and full implementation of the agreed legislation. However, further revision or increase of ambition for greenhouse gas emissions reduction, does not correspond to our national interests. This is what President Rumen Radev said, who presented Bulgaria’s stance at the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), which is held in the Polish city of Katowice. The Head of State is taking part in the global forum at the invitation of UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres and the President of Poland Andrzej Duda.
“We consider the social aspect as a factor of utmost importance for the preservation of thousands of working places,” Rumen Radev said and recalled that Bulgaria and the European Union are already meeting their obligations under the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. “We are on track to overachieve our joint 20% emission reduction target for 2020 compared to 1990. In 2016 Bulgaria's greenhouse gas emissions decreased by 49 % compared to the base 1988 and by 4.4 % compared to the previous 2015 year,” the Head of State said.
Bulgaria is fully determined to support the adoption of the Paris Rulebook at COP24 that is “clear, sufficiently detailed, effective and applicable to all.” The President’s position is that a successful outcome will send a positive signal on the solidity of the Paris Agreement and its goals, and he called for ensuring that the international forum delivers on its mandate by finalizing the guidelines for the implementation of the global agreement.
The Bulgarian Head of State was adamant that broad engagement regarding the climate problems would create more opportunities for low emission and climate resilient development, which should consider, however, the condition and future perspectives for development and preserving the competitiveness of the national energy systems.
Before the participants in the summit President Radev recalled that, in order to deal with the consequences of climate change, Bulgaria has developed a National Adaptation Strategy and an Action Plan. Adaptation to climate change is a matter of all sectors in society, involving all authorities at local and regional level, but also involving private sector, civil society organizations, and citizens themselves, Rumen Radev further said.
Taking a journalist’s question after the summit regarding our country’s ability to cope with the ambitious agenda of the European Commission for Europe to go carbon neutral by 2050, the Head of State said that he will safeguard Bulgaria’s national interests at the forum. In the President’s words, Bulgaria should be much more active and take advantage of the European programmes and innovation funds to restructure coal mining so as to develop, apply 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. Europe can help us a lot 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,” Rumen Radev added. The Head of State recalled his proposal to Russia’s President Vladimir Putin, made in May 2018 during his visit to Russia, for natural gas to Bulgaria and the EU to be delivered through the so-called Bulgarian Stream. Thus Bulgaria can practically be an independent energy-distribution hub, the President emphasized.
The Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is the supreme body of the Convention and is held annually at the end of each calendar year. State and government leaders of EU member states, representatives of international organizations and countries from the whole world take part in the conference. Among the goals of the Katowice forum is adopting guidelines for the implementation of the Paris Global Agreement on Climate Change from 2015.
President Rumen Radev is accompanied by his wife Desislava Radeva during his visit.