Final event of the Climate Action Week in BiH
The Conference on Climate Action held in the Parliamentary Assembly of BiH
June 10, 2022
The Climate Action Conference was held in the Parliamentary Assembly of Bosnia and Herzegovina, bringing together more than 130 participants, including representatives of all levels of authorities, local communities, the diplomatic corps, and young people, to discuss the next steps on climate action in BiH.
This was also the final event of the Climate Action Week in BiH, which was organized from 5 to 10 June 2022 by the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) in cooperation with the European Union in BiH and other partners, with aim to emphasize that climate change is a challenge that can only be overcome by joint efforts. During this week, numerous activities were held across the country, such as cleaning actions, afforestation, ecology classes with young people, panel discussions.
The Conference was hosted by MPs from the Green Club, which was established with the aim to work on strengthening public dialogue in the field of energy, issues in the field of renewable energy sources, climate change, energy efficiency and environmental protection.
"I am very happy to be part of a group of people, politicians from different levels of government who work together and show that one can be extremely efficient and productive. Preserving the planet is a global priority.”Saša Magazinović, Member of the BiH Parliamentary Assembly and Chairman of the Green Club
As a signatory to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, BiH adopted last year an updated National Determined Contributions (NDC), reaffirming its commitment to meeting the 2015 Paris Climate Agreement, when world leaders agreed to improve climate action. The adoption of the NDC is of great importance, and the most important part of the work lies in the implementation of measures that should contribute to reducing greenhouse emissions and preserving the environment.
Edita Đapo, Minister of Environment and Tourism of the Federation of BiH noted that the environmental sector has been reformed at the Federation level, "With the adoption of the new Environmental Law, we have adopted five EU directives and I think that these reforms are most felt by the economy, especially by small and medium enterprises. The biggest challenge for BiH will be the energy transition, where we will move from the classic model to green energy."
Edin Forto, Prime Minister of Canton Sarajevo, stated: “I think the solution to the problem is to recognize that we have a problem. Current infrastructure investments are savings for future generations and a change in awareness that hydro and wind energy cannot be used as an alternative, but as a primary energy source.”
This is the European Year of Youth and therefore a strong focus was given to the role of young people within the Climate Action Week, in order to educate them about the importance of their specific engagement and give them the opportunity to be active participants and players in future climate actions, which was emphasized in the remarks by Hana Kunić, member of the Youth Organisation AIESEC and Young European Ambassador from BiH.
The EU Green Agenda for the Western Balkans gave concrete recommendations for the region to follow the EU's ambition and make Europe a carbon-neutral continent.
"Climate action should be in the focus of forward-looking policy making. This should both mitigate negative effects and also exploit opportunities of new technologies. BiH has made clear commitments to decarbonise its economy in the Paris Agreement, the Sofia Declaration and the Energy Community Treaty. It is high time to follow up on these commitments and accelerate decarbonisation. The EU, together with our partners, is here to help with programmes supporting decarbonisation, but to get more out of our assistance, more reforms are needed to ensure that BiH becomes a greener and more competitive economy”.Jurgis Vilčinskas, Acting Deputy Head of the EU Delegation to BiH
"Humanity is facing an unprecedented climate crisis that requires ambitious and meaningful action now. The future of our children and future generations depends on us working together across communities and nations. Taking action on climate change can sometimes feel abstract but we are all already affected with more and worse fires, floods and other disasters. The United Nations in BiH is fully committed and working every day to support the people and authorities of BiH take the necessary actions to save all of our futures!"Dr. Ingrid Macdonald, United Nations Resident Coordinator in BiH
During the Conference, it was emphasized that it is important to strengthen the ability of countries to cope with the effects of climate change, through the development of new technologies, better education, and financial planning.
"We have great examples of climate change actions implemented in the last 12 months. Such climate actions should be implemented on a larger scale, everywhere in BiH and much faster. We believe that in the next five years with the existing resources of public budgets, significant results can be achieved."Steliana Nedera, UNDP Resident Representative in BiH
Johanna Strömquist, Ambassador of Sweden to BiH said that Sweden has a green tradition and aims to be the first country to abandon fossil fuels as well as that they are one of the main bilateral donors in the field of climate change in BiH.
Last year, Italy and the United Kingdom co-chaired COP26. Milan hosted the Pre-Cop Summit and Youth4Climate event, which brought together young people from all over the world, including BiH. In addition, the Italian Embassy in BiH supports the Green Network, a network of young activists dedicated to promoting environmental protection and sustainable development. Marco Di Ruzza, Ambassador of Italy to BiH, said that Italy is fully committed to supporting its local partners in paving the way for a sustainable, smart, healthy and carbon neutral future.
Egypt is hosting this year’s COP27 in Sharme El-Sheikh in November 2022. Yasser Abdelrahman Ali Sorour, Egyptian Ambassador to BiH, said that his country, as hosts of the COP27 conference, wants to hear the views of all actors and identify areas where is necessary to move forward, because all can and must play a role to contribute to the fight against climate change.