Marija Šćulac Domac.jpg
Photograph: mzoip.hr

Assistant Environmental and Nature Protection Minister Marija Sculac Domac said on Friday that Croatia was one of the first European Union member states to be wrapping up a Low Carbon Development Strategy until 2030, with an outlook until 2050.

The strategy should make it possible to build economic development on green jobs and comply with the Paris Agreement. Sculac Domac announced its adoption at the beginning of the year as a fundamental document to alleviate climate change and an umbrella economic, development and environmental strategy.

Speaking at a press conference today, she said the consequences of climate change were visible in Croatia too. "The Paris Agreement is aimed at alleviating those consequences as well as launching new investments based on green technologies. The EU has committed to reducing CO2 emissions by 40 percent by 2030 in relation to 1990, and to achieve that goal it's necessary to develop a low carbon economy."

The framework for drawing up the strategy was made by the UNDP's Croatian office and the Environment and Nature Protection Ministry in 2013, involving business people, experts and scientists. The strategy will mostly impact energy, industry, transport, agriculture and waste management.

According to the strategy, focus on energy efficiency and renewables could create 80,000 jobs and help to comply with climate change commitments. The ministry says Croatia has launched numerous energy efficiency and renewables projects to create green jobs and contracts, reduce CO2 emissions and protect the environment.

The ministry says the buildings sector has the biggest potential for saving energy and increasing energy efficiency. In the EU, energy used in buildings accounts for 40% of all energy used and for 36% of CO2 emissions.

In Croatia, the majority of buildings were built before 1990 and have either poor or no thermal insulation, which prompted the government to launch a comprehensive programme for the energy renovation of buildings. From 2012 to 2015, the energy renovation of 14,440 family houses was launched, worth more than HRK 1 billion, and of 372 buildings, worth more than HRK 380 million.

The Environment and Nature Protection Ministry and the Environment and Energy Efficiency Fund have also launched seven measures for cleaner transportation, including subsidies on the purchase of electric and hybrid vehicles.

The ministry says agriculture plays an important role in a low carbon economy through the use of renewables for production. "The agriculture sector is important because it can contribute to an increased use of renewable energy sources by producing biofuels and biomass."

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