Bulgarian President: Fighting climate change is moral obligation and has a sound economic case

Bulgarian President: Fighting climate change is moral obligation and has a sound economic case

Sofia, December 1, 2015/Independent Balkan News Agency

By Clive Leviev-Sawyer of The Sofia Globe

Fighting climate change is not only a moral obligation but also presents a sound economic case across the world, Bulgarian President Rossen Plevneliev has told the COP21 meeting in Paris.

At the summit, from November 30 to December 11, countries’ leaders are expected to finalise the Paris Climate Agreement, a new global treaty to reduce climate-changing emissions.

“We are here today to support an agreement that would keep climate change below two degrees Celsius and will bring to a successful end two decades of intense climate negotiations. This agreement should also catalyze the transformation of the global economy,” Plevneliev told the summit on November 30.

Plevneliev said that in the past few years, the cost of clean energy declined dramatically.

“Our ability to reduce energy use has increased. Now, fighting climate change is not only our moral obligation, it also presents a sound economic case across the world.”

Fighting global warming requires that we change the way we live and work, he said.

“We need to rebuild our economies by leaving behind the resource-intensive production models of the past. All countries should contribute to decreasing greenhouse gas emissions, but they can also benefit from the economic opportunities of a low carbon economy.”

He said that the new model of economic growth cannot be a privilege only for advanced countries. It must also benefit the poorer parts of the world and bring light, health and education for all. More advanced countries should help the less developed with low carbon technologies, investments and trade.

“My country, Bulgaria, is blessed with a wide variety of clean energy resources. We will make the best out of them. By working together with our neighbours in South East Europe we can make a significant contribution to European energy and climate security goals and to our shared global climate mission.”

Plevneliev said that as a proud member of the EU, Bulgaria is a strong supporter of the policy of an open Energy Union which involves countries beyond the EU borders.

“Energy efficiency, accessibility and diversification are crucial for sustainable development.”

The Bulgarian government is implementing its Third National Action Plan on climate change to accelerate the economic and public transformation, and had launched an ambitious national energy efficiency programme.

“We are proud that Bulgaria managed to reach the EU 2020 goals on renewables seven years in advance. We have already increased the share of renewable energy to 20 per cent of our energy mix. We also reduced greenhouse emissions by 20 per cent and increased energy efficiency by 20 per cent. Our ecosystems and biodiversity protection is fundamental for climate mitigation. Bulgaria is the EU champion as we protect a third of our territory under the highest environmental protection standards in the world as part of the pan European Natura 2000 network,” Plevneliev said.

“Our goals are set high and we must deliver,” he told the summit.

“The 2030 EU target, which we share, commits us to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 40 per cent. The new global agreement on climate change should enhance the transparency and accountability systems. Common rules and procedures for regular reporting and review need to be established to enable us to assess whether emissions reduction targets are being achieved.”

He noted that two months ago, the 2030 Sustainable Development Goals – an action plan for people, the planet and prosperity had been adopted.

“We committed ourselves to working tirelessly for its full implementation. This meeting is a big test. We need urgent and coordinated action to ensure the future of all people and our planet.

“Our future is priceless but carbon emissions are not. Today we ought to decide how we will pay this price. Tomorrow is at stake”, Plevneliev said.