Croatia should go towards sustainable building and energy efficiency, Construction and Physical Planning Minister Lovro Kuscevic said on Wednesday, inviting banks and other sectors to join in the ministry's new co-financing schemes to that effect.
Kuscevic was speaking at a two-day conference which opened in Zagreb on Wednesday. The event brought together about 400 domestic and foreign participants, including investors, developers, consultants, real estate firms and financial institutions, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, the World Green Building Council and the Croatian Green Building Council, and the World Tourism Organisation.
Opening the conference, Kuscevic said that green and sustainable building was no longer a platitude, but the direction in which everyone should be going, including Croatia. He announced that the ministry would soon unveil a pilot programme for the co-financing of the construction of zero energy homes.
Kuscevic called on investment funds to get involved as much as possible, saying that this was a good opportunity for them. He said that about 40 percent of total energy in Croatia was consumed by buildings and, according to European directives, that should be reduced.
He said that various sustainability and energy efficiency projects were being prepared for the tourism sector. "Tourism in Croatia certainly would not have been so good if there wasn't a well conserved environment, a clean sea, a good geographical position and safety, but it needs new facilities to make it more competitive," the minister said, adding that Croatia was planning various strategic construction and infrastructure projects, including the Peljesac bridge.