14 October 2016 Second meeting of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum

14 October 2016 Second meeting of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum

Friday, 14 October 2016

Second Meeting of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum

At its second meeting the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum discussed the importance of green energy for Serbia’s sustainable development.

Welcoming the guests, Forum Chairperson Dr Aleksandra Tomic emphasised the importance of being instructed by representatives of the European and German parliament on efficient institutional mechanisms for attaining sustainable development, which Serbia intends to follow. She added that the establishment of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum is a significant step toward the introduction of a similar mechanism in the Serbian Parliament.

Tomic reminded the participants that Serbia had adopted the National Sustainable Development Strategy in 2008 and the National Environmental Approximation Strategy for the Republic of Serbia in 2011.

“Despite the fact that the economic situation in Serbia is far from simple, with the support of the Government and the Parliament, Serbia has to revise these strategies and adjust their goals to the 17 new development goals from the 2030 Agenda”, said the Forum Chairperson.

Tomic then proceeded to inform the attending that the 11th legislature’s Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum comprises 15 MPs and 10 members from the ranks of state institutions, universities, the business community, civil society organisations and the media. She added that the Forum organises events where the key stakeholders in the energy sector can meet, exchange information and discuss energy-related issues. “In view of the fact that the MPs pass legislation, they need to have an open dialogue with all the key actors so as to be able to make decisions based on solid information reflecting different viewpoints”, said Tomic. She informed the participants on the Forum’s activities during the previous legislature, adding that the Republic of Serbia Energy Development Strategy by 2025 with projections until 2030 was went through five panel discussions.

She stressed that in the last four years the National Assembly had developed cooperation with the Energy Community Secretariat which resulted in the establishment of the Energy Community Parliamentary Plenum where parliament members of all the Energy Community member states meet twice a year.

“There can be no economic development without a solid energy policy. Adequately determined objectives lead to poverty reduction and affect employment and the health of a nation”, said Aleksandra Tomic.

German Ambassador H.E. Axel Dittmann highlighted the importance of raising public awareness and responsibility regarding sustainable energy development and added that Germany, in cooperation with GIZ and KfW, is ready to support Serbia’s development of sustainable energy use and climate protection. He said that the German experience shows that sustainability and green development do not jeopardize the industry. He said that global warming has been an especially important issue in the past decade and that the EU’s common climate goals for 2030 include, among other things, the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. He emphasised the importance of the Paris climate conference last year when the historic document on limiting global warming was adopted. He said that even before the Paris conference Serbia had announced it would reduce greenhouse emissions by 3% which is a big challenge for Serbia and a chance to reduce its dependence on energy imports, as well as its budget costs. He said that the environment has been the focus of Germany’s cooperation with Serbia, as well as waste water, strengthening energy efficiency, hydropower and reminded that last year the first wind farm was opened in Serbia.

Zoran Predic, State Secretary at the Ministry of Mining and Energy, said that in the past years the Ministry had worked very hard on normative regulations for sustainable development and the adoption of the Republic of Serbia Energy Development Strategy for the next 10 years has been a big step forward. The price of energy has been going up and the resources are limited, so new solutions need to be sought out. “Besides its obligations to the international community and the European Union standards, Serbia’s first duty lies with its citizens who have the right to live in an environmentally beautiful and healthy Serbia”, said Predic.

In the continuation, the members of the Forum and the guests exchanged suggestions on the topic at hand.

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