Monday, 27 April 2020

Croatians Less Worried About Climate Change Than Other Nations

ZAGREB, April 27, 2020 - A survey of attitudes and beliefs about climate change, conducted among nearly 30,000 people, has shown that Croatians are less worried about the human impact on the climate than most respondents in 40 countries in the world.

The results of the survey, conducted by the WIN International association for market research in cooperation with Mediana Fides, showed a global consensus on the claim that climate change is happening and is leading to global warming, as more than 85% of respondents in 40 countries agreed with it.

Croatian respondents' answers placed the country among the most optimistic ones, which can significantly slow any efforts and actions to reduce the impact of climate change on our country, Mediana Fides warned.

The survey showed that only 70.4% of Croatians think that climate change is a result of human activity, which places Croatia in 39th spot, the last but one. In Slovenia, the number in question was 86.8%, and in Italy 83%.

As for the question of climate change presenting a serious threat to humankind, only 67% of Croatians think it is true, putting the country in third place from the bottom, ahead of Pakistan (62%) and China (56.8%).

With regard to the claim that it is already too late to reduce the effects of climate change, Slovenians expressed a more positive opinion than Croatians. In Croatia, 57.4% of respondents disagreed with the claim, compared to 63.1% of Slovenians and 35.4% of Italians.

When all the claims are observed together, 30% of Croatian respondents agreed with the claim that global warming is a serious threat, that it is a result of human activity, that climate change leading towards global warming is taking place, and that it is already too late to reduce the effects of climate change.

A large percentage of respondents from all countries included in the survey agree with the claim that global warming is a consequence of human activity (84.4%) and that it poses a great threat to humankind (84.5%).

However, opinions differ on the question of whether or not there is time for change, as 45.9% of respondents stated that it was already too late to reduce the effects of climate change.

Although all regions showed the same level of consciousness, the Asian-Pacific region showed the most pessimistic outlook on the future: 54.9% of respondents think that it is too late to take action to reduce the effects of climate change.

On the opposite end of the scale is the USA with the most optimistic outlook: 54.6% think that there is still time to take action, most probably due to American policies which refuse to take climate change seriously.

Although grave anxiety about climate change predominates in the world in general, there are some differences among countries when it comes to the question of whether or not climate change is a result of human activity.

Agreement with that claim is highest in Thailand (97.1%), followed by Ecuador (94.8%), and India (93.2%), and the lowest in Pakistan (59.8%).

More environment news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Thursday, 5 March 2020

Climate Change Growing Threat and Challenge for Humanity

ZAGREB, March 5, 2020 - Climate change is a growing threat in the 21st century and a challenge for humanity, the Environment Protection and Energy Ministry's State Secretary Mile Horvat said in the Croatian parliament on Thursday while presenting the Strategy on Adaptation to Climate Change for the period until 2040 with a view to 2070.

Croatia is one of the three EU countries that have not adopted such a document yet, Horvat told the MPs.

All the lawmakers welcome such a strategy - the ruling party called it visionary, while the opposition questioned its feasibility, saying that key problems, such as waste management, have not been solved by the ministry.

Horvat said that there was a growing amount of evidence showing that Croatia was being affected by the climate change and that large sums of money were already being allocated for repairing the damage. He also said that eight key sectors most exposed to climate change had been identified and that agriculture was, according to some forecasts, the sector that would suffer the most damage.

Due to climate change, the yield of current crops in Croatia is expected to decline by three to eight percent by 2050, Horvat said.

The State Secretary also gave an estimate of the cost of implementing the strategy.

The annual cost is estimated at HRK 1.3 billion, or €183 million, which may seem a large amount, but only until compared to the annual economic damage caused by extreme climate events. It has so far amounted to €295 million a year, which is almost twice the cost of implementing the measures under the proposed strategy, Horvat said.

More environment news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 4 March 2020

Dubrovnik on Endangered Cities List in New NASA Report

March 4,  2020 - NASA has released a world map of cities that could be endangered by rising sea levels. One point was located near Dubrovnik.

It is summer in Antarctica, and temperatures should be around zero degrees Celsius. However, in February, you could walk around in a spring jacket as the measured temperature was higher than Florida, writes

Such climate change raises the world's sea level, as the glaciers are continuously melting. In Antarctica, a record temperature of 20 degrees Celsius was recorded at the beginning of February. 

“This summer part of the year is record high. What is dangerous is the fact that it then melts snow and ice, and that snow and ice that is on land raises the sea level once it reaches the sea,” said climatologist and oceanographer Mirko Orlic.

In Antarctica, lakes have formed between glaciers that were not there before, NASA reported. But this is just part of it. Thus, NASA has released a world map of cities that could be endangered by rising sea levels. One point was located near Dubrovnik. Croatia could be hit with a harsh reality in the future.

"Everything is likely, but I am not afraid. It comes down to who is alive and who is dead in the hundred years. I am probably dead, and my descendants should think about what will be then," one citizen said.

The respected climatologist and oceanographer says Dubrovnik was taken as an example, but it is not the only endangered city in Croatia.

"We know that Rijeka is flooded already, as well as Split, Dubrovnik, and some lowland areas. The Neretva Delta is endangered, the hinterland of Zadar. Let's say that all Antarctic is dissolved, which will raise the sea level 57 meters. Of course, this can't happen in 100 years, but it can be because of episodes like this, and will be faster than we thought,” Orlic said.

Some cities on our coast have therefore already taken action. Šibenik-Knin County is the only one in Croatia that has already built coastal sea-level risk plans. Thus, they can advise people where to buy real estate and where their money might end up underwater.

If greenhouse gas emissions are reduced, the sea will rise by about half a meter and the consequences can be seen in 50 years. Stradun may not be underwater, but everyone’s favorite seaside spots may cease to exist.

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Tuesday, 14 January 2020

550 Croatian Scientists Sign Climate Action Appeal

ZAGREB, January 14, 2020 - Representatives of 550 Croatian scientists who signed the Appeal for Systematic Climate Action on Tuesday presented it to the government, parliament and Ministry of Environment and Energy.

The scientists claim that the current climate change is an emergency and the most serious and most complex crisis that mankind has ever been exposed to. That is why, with this appeal, they call on the relevant institutions to launch concrete and ambitious measures to deal with the problem.

All the graphs we get indicate that we are close to the dangerous limit of climate change when there won't be any chance of going back, Nikola Biliškov from the Ruđer Bošković Institute told a press conference outside Government House.

Scientists have pointed out very ambitious action on a global level with concrete objectives: to radically reduce carbon dioxide emissions so that this year they reach their maximum and then be reduced by 45% by 2030, while emissions should be entirely eliminated by 2050, Biliškov explained.

The appeal is a call on the legislative and executive authorities to adopt and implement ambitious policies as a precondition for systematically dealing with the climate crisis. Those policies need to be based on scientific research and lead to the development of efficient technical solutions to alleviate and adapt to climate change.

More science news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Saturday, 30 November 2019

Climate Activists Stage Protest Outside Government Offices

ZAGREB, November 30, 2019 - Climate activists rallied outside the government offices in Zagreb on Friday calling on the government to adopt urgent and ambitious measures to limit the effects of climate change.

Representatives of the protesters were received by the prime minister's chief of staff, Zvonimir Frka Petešić, and his associates. The protest coordinator Leonarda Smigmator said that they presented their demands and vision and that Petešić said he would try to ensure that their demands were met.

Addressing the protesters, Smigmator said that the new European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen had announced in her inauguration address that she would focus on an ambitious climate programme so that European could be the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. She said that the progress Croatia was making in this regard was miserable.

Smigmator called on politicians to translate their words not just into strategies and plans but also into concrete projects to save the climate.

The protest was organised in Zagreb and Osijek by the youth initiative FridaysForFuture Croatia. The organisers announced a clean-up campaign on the section of Split's Bačvice Beach intended for disabled people, on Saturday November 30.

More environmental protection news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Wednesday, 27 November 2019

Tonino Picula Highlights Croatia's Vulnerability to Climate Change

November the 27th, 2019 - Global warming threatens the survival of both Croatian and European citizens and cultural heritage, warned Croatian MEP Tonino Picula.

''The most famous protected Croatian sites, such as the Old City of Dubrovnik, Diocletian's Palace and the Cathedral of St. Jacob are at risk of sinking due to global warming,'' Croatian MEP Tonino Picula warned during a plenary session in the European Parliament.

Speaking on the European Union's response to extreme meteorological events and their impact on the protection of Europe's urban areas and cultural heritage, Picula stressed that, according to publicly available data, sinking threatens as many as 37 places across the Mediterranean, including listed Croatian cities, and there are 42 sites at risk of erosion.

''It's high time we declare the climate crisis for what it is and urgently adopt and implement measures to reverse global warming trends,'' he said.

Specifically, according to international climate modelling results, the Mediterranean basin is designated as a climate “hot spot” with particularly pronounced effects of climate change.

According to a report by the European Environment Agency (EEA), Croatia is among the three European Union countries with the highest cumulative share of damage from extreme weather and climate events in relation to gross national product, which is a huge threat to the Croatian economy, which is unfortunately in a high percentage dependent on tourism and agriculture revenues, which account for up to a quarter of GDP. According to the EEA, damage from extreme climatic events which happened to/in Croatia amounted to about 2.25 billion euros from 1980 to 2013, or about 68 million euros annually.

The transition of European islands to renewable energy sources, whose pilot projects are funded by the European Commission's Secretariat for the Islands, which includes ten Croatian islands, is a good example of what to do to slow global warming trends down and reverse them in the long term, Tonino Picula pointed out.

For Europe as a whole, but especially for Croatia, it is of utmost importance to reduce the acute vulnerability of the agriculture, forestry, fisheries, energy and tourism sectors, since their success depends significantly on climatic conditions.

In order to facilitate and compensate for the transition to renewable energies for those most affected by the transition, the European Parliament proposed in its interim report on the Multiannual Financial Framework 2021-2027 that a special fund of 4.8 billion euros be introduced. The aim of the fund would be to address the social, socio-economic and environmental impacts on workers and communities during the transition.

''In addition to cultural heritage, our citizens will be directly endangered, as up to a third of EU residents live along the coast, up to 50 kilometres from the coast. Priceless cultural heritage has resisted the historical challenges of hundreds and thousands of years, let's not allow it to be destroyed by the climate change we ourselves have caused,'' Tonino Picula concluded.

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