Wednesday, 6 July 2022

Conference: Croatia Can Be a Leader in Green Energy Production

ZAGREB, 6 July 2022 - Owing to its geographic position and abundance of water, sun and wind, Croatia can become a leader in green energy production and an energy hub in this part of Europe, the conference "REPowerEU - Regional Partnership for Fast Energy Transition" heard in Zagreb on Wednesday.

Speaking at the conference, organised by the European Investment Bank (EIB), Economy and Sustainable Development Minister Davor Filipović said that with the help of money from the REPowerEU plan, Croatia would double the capacity of its LNG terminal on Krk island, expand Plinacro's gas network and additionally boost the JANAF oil pipeline's capacity.

Boosting the capacity of the LNG terminal and the gas pipeline leading to Slovenia and Hungary will make it possible to supply those countries with energy products, the minister said, adding that JANAF's capacity could be doubled.

He said that the EC's REPowerEU plan was aimed at ending Europe's dependence on Russian fossil fuels by 2030.

The EC's plans also include joint gas procurement, the filling of gas storage facilities at European level, implementation of renewables projects and improvement of infrastructure connectivity across Europe, he said.

The REPowerEU plan means much for Croatia as well as its neighbourhood, Filipović said, noting that one should increase investments in gas pipelines and that a medium-term goal was for Croatia to supply gas and some other energy products also to Bosnia and Herzegovina.

More than €2.2 bn for greener Croatia

Regional Development and EU Funds Minister Nataša Tramišak said that more than 30% of funding from the European Regional Development Fund had been made available for an energy-wise greener Croatia in the period until 2027.

The amount in question is more than €2.2 billion, and if other sources of financing are added to it, the amount rises to more than €2.5 billion, she said.

The head of the EIB Office in Zagreb, Anton Kovačev, said that growing energy prices were strongly affecting the European economy and that the EIB Group had a major role in ensuring a strong and healthy economic recovery of European countries, with emphasis on green projects.

It is good that Croatia has enough water, wind and sun energy, and they should be used, he said.

The head of the European Commission Representation in Croatia, Ognian Zlatev, said that energy was the most talked-about topic today.

The world we live in is dangerous, with Russia having weaponised energy, Zlatev said.

All European countries, including Croatia, should save energy, he said, noting that one should invest in energy efficient buildings, electric cars, etc.

EIB vice-president Tereza Czerwinska said that the Ukraine-Russia war had swept over the European landscape, causing all possible kinds of crisis - from personal to energy.

Europe is making effort to reduce dependence on Russian energy and seeking ways to find an alternative, she said.

More should be invested in energy efficiency, and it will also be crucial to invest in high-risk projects and innovations regarding new technologies, Czerwinska stressed.

It was also noted at the conference that Croatia and Slovenia are an excellent example of regional cooperation, largely owing to the fact that they developed as part of the same system, that the biggest national companies have been treating both countries for a long time as a single market, and that that integration will additionally increase after Croatia's imminent euro area accession.

For more news about Croatia, click here.

Sunday, 27 March 2022

Sustainable Development Goals Increasingly Included in Company Reports

ZAGREB, 27 March 2022 - A national study on non-financial reporting for 2019 and 2020, which covered nearly 100 companies, has revealed the progress of companies in including sustainable development goals in their goals.

According to the study, 46% of companies said their business was connected with sustainable development goals, compared to 18% with similar claims in 2017 and 2018.

It also showed that the number of companies required to submit non-financial reports had increased from 67 in 2017, to 76 in 2020, with the number of voluntarily published non-financial reports increasing by 23%.

In 2019/2020, there was also a considerable increase in descriptions of companies' business models, with 67% of the analysed reports including elements of ESG (Environmental, Social and Governance) in their business model, up from 33% in 2017/2018.

Additionally, 34% of enterprises recognised and analysed their exposure to basic environmental, social and governance risks that might adversely affect their business, while 47% included ESG in dialogue conducted with key stakeholders.

It is expected that companies will be increasingly focusing on environmental, social and governance goals and defining material topics for the purposes of non-financial reporting.

For more, make sure to check out our business section.

Thursday, 7 October 2021

Arhibau Fair About Culture of Building, Sustainable Development Starts in Zagreb

ZAGREB, 7 Oct 2021 - The Arhibau fair, dedicated to the culture of building and sustainable development and showing the best Croatia has to offer in construction and architecture, was opened on Thursday.

The topic of the fair, open until the 9th, is "Future after the crisis based on the New European Bauhaus initiative".

The event was opened by Prime Minister Andrej Plenković, who said it was a place where one could see the things kick-starting development processes in this decade, which he said would be a  crucial decade for Croatia's development.

As a stakeholder in the Paris climate agreement, Croatia is committed to global sustainable development goals, first of all in order to contribute to the fight against climate change and its economic and social effects, he said.

"We realize that, in line with our possibilities, we must go towards a more sustainable model of economic development, while efficiently utilizing all our natural resources and seeing to it that not one of our citizens is left out of that process."

Plenković said the EU and Croatia were looking for their opportunity in the green and digital transformation of economies and societies. "Throughout history, Europe has always been one of the leaders of economic development and standards, first of all in arts, architecture, urban development, design."

He said that since 2019 Europe had been aware of the moment and needs to transform for the better so as to maintain a high level of development as well as grow further, but not at the expense of the environment and living space.

"That process is long and comprehensive. The New European Bauhaus is also an important topic, launched this year as an ecological, economic and cultural project that will lead to a common conceiving of more attractive and more sustainable projects," Plenković said, adding that the three fundamental values of the New European Bauhaus were sustainability, esthetics and decision making.

The European Green Deal covers all sectors of the economy, so a large chunk of money from the NextGenerationEU instrument will be set aside for it, he said. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen has announced €85 million for the New European Bauhaus.

"It will be interesting to see how we can include the National Recovery and Resilience Plan into what the New European Bauhaus represents today," Plenković said.

Zagreb Mayor Tomislav Tomašević said the city administration's goal was to develop new tools and mechanisms for the sustainable use of the city's spaces, to upgrade physical plans with European guidelines, and to establish control mechanisms that would prevent what he called fragmented urbanism without public interest. 

The focus will also be on transforming and activating abandoned and unused city properties to create good and sustainable spaces, on decongesting traffic, new mobility, the affirmation of healthy mobility, and on designating new spaces for pedestrians, Tomašević said.

Culture Minister Nina Obuljen Koržinek said the conference on the New European Bauhaus accompanying the fair was right on time, ahead of post-earthquake reconstruction and the implementation of all projects from the National Recovery and Resilience Plan that promote a Europe not dependent on fossil fuels by 2050.

For more, make sure to check out our lifestyle section.

Saturday, 24 April 2021

GLAS Mayoral Candidate Pushes for Sustainable and Green City Development

April 24, 2021 - The GLAS mayoral candidate in the City of Zagreb, Anka Mrak-Taritaš, on Saturday presented the party's program for sustainable and green development of the Croatian capital city.

"The 12-section program is about the change in managing the City of Zagreb,  with the absorption of the European Union's funds which have not been tapped so far, as they are not suitable for crony management," Mrak Taritaš said while unveiling the agenda in Maksimir Park.

Mrak Taritaš, a parliamentary deputy, said that Croatia now had the opportunity to withdraw the EU funds for recovery and resilience, and Zagreb could find its place in that.

The two candidates for deputy mayors on this slate -- Marko Torjanac and Mirando Mrsić -- presented their policy's planks concerning education, culture, social welfare, and healthcare.

Torjanac promised the development of Zagreb as a hub of urban culture and independent scenes.

He proposed repurposing the compounds of the former Gredelj factory into a center offering educational and cultural contents and services.

Mrsić pledged more transparency in the distribution of outlays for social welfare and healthcare in the city.

 A new city hospital should be built in the Novi Zagreb suburbs, he added.

For more about politics in Croatia, follow TCN's dedicated page.

Wednesday, 8 July 2020

NGOs Call for Croatia's Green Recovery, Sustainable Development

ZAGREB, July 8, 2020 - Eighty civil society organisations, energy agencies and institutions on Wednesday called on the newly-elected parliamentary deputies to ensure a strong transition to low-carbon development and job creation, as well as green and sustainable development.

The period ahead will be marked by recovery from one of the biggest health and economic crises in recent history, which will require the cooperation of all social stakeholders, the organisations say.

"It is right now that we have the opportunity to make investments that will strongly encourage the development of our own resources - investments in people, sustainable and renewable domestic energy sources, domestic industry and farming, innovations and in the quality of life in the cities," said Luka Tomac of the Green Action, noting that the EU gave various subsidies for the green economy.

Another activist, Ivana Rogulj, said that development and investment decisions and actions to be launched in the next six months would define Croatia's development over the next ten years, including possible action to reduce carbon emmissions.

The activists also called for harmonising the Low-Carbon Development Strategy with the EU's Green Deal, including the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions by 65% by 2030 or stopping the development of fossil fuel-based industries.

They also called for budget funds to be redirected to encourage energy efficiency, renewables and the fight against energy poverty, as well as for the comprehensive and low-carbon reconstruction of properties damaged in the March 22 earthquake in Zagreb.

Representatives of the civil society groups are expected to start dialogue with the new government in September.

Wednesday, 24 April 2019

Vukovar Mobility Centre Promoting Sustainable Travel

ZAGREB, April 24, 2019 - A 128,434-euro regional mobility centre was opened in the eastern town of Vukovar on Tuesday, as part of the Transdanube.Pearls project, which promotes sustainable travel along the Danube.

As much as 85% of the total value of the centre comes from the European Regional Development Fund.

The Transdanube.Pearls project covers 15 partners from nine countries, the leading partner being the Environment Agency Austria. Its implementation started on 1 January 2017 and ends on 30 June 2019.

According to information on the website of the Transdanube.Pearls project, the central element of the project is the establishment of a network of about a dozen destinations committed to sustainable mobility for tourists and inhabitants along the Danube.

Mayor Ivan Penava said that the funding obtained under the project had been used to promote the work of the Vukovar Tourism Board, of which the regional mobility centre is part, as well as the town’s accommodation facilities.

The regional mobility centre will provide information on possibilities of sustainable travel in the area of Vukovar – by train, bus, bicycle or e-boat.

As a town on the Danube, Vukovar was interesting to partners because it has a boat that runs on solar power and invests significant funds in cycling infrastructure and has been recording an increase in the number of visiting cyclists.

More Vukovar news can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 16 April 2019

Conference on Investing in Sustainability Held in Zagreb

ZAGREB, April 16, 2019 - Doing business in line with the goals of sustainable development is the only right path towards long-term market sustainability and successful operations, Environmental Protection and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said at the conference "Investing in sustainability", organised by Deloitte, the Croatian Employers Association (HUP) and the Croatian Global Compact Network in Zagreb on Tuesday.

Ćorić said that initiatives aimed at raising awareness of the importance of business sustainability should be welcomed.

He said that the government had introduced a number of measures to encourage sustainable business operations, including 300 million kuna worth of investments in renewable energy sources in the production sector in 2017 and a 170 million kuna tender, advertised this year, designed to increase energy efficiency in tourism.

HUP director Davor Majetić said that companies investing in sustainability were more competitive, more attractive on the financial market and to possible employees, and more interesting to buyers.

A partner at Deloitte, Verdana Jelušić, said that by investing in the sustainable development, economies increased their resilience to external shocks, notably in times of crisis.

The Zagreb conference on investing in sustainability is expected to include the presentation of the Green Frog awards to domestic and central European companies for the best non-financial report, to be awarded for the first time in Croatia for the entire territory of central Europe.

More news on sustainable development can be found in the Lifestyle section.

Tuesday, 26 March 2019

Sustainable Development Conference Held

ZAGREB, March 26, 2019 - Sustainable development is present-day society's obligation for what is coming and it must not become yet another platitude and formal meeting of imposed goals, it was said on Monday at a conference on sustainable development, organised by the Croatian Chamber of Commerce (HGK).

The conference was organised as Croatia is expected to present its first voluntary national overview on the realisation of 17 sustainable global development goals at a UN political forum to be held in July.

Environment Protection and Energy Minister Tomislav Ćorić said the topics covered by those goals and the UN Agenda 2030, such as the right to clean water, sanitation, and climate change, were related to the activities and policies of his ministry.

He said sustainable development must not be a trend but the obligation of present-day society and everyone for what was coming.

"Supporting the sustainable does not mean proposing exclusionary solutions but taking society through a transformation towards stability, greater resilience and new solutions," Ćorić said, adding that thinking about sustainability meant creating synergy between different sectors.

He said his ministry supported sustainability in draft low-carbon and energy strategies as well as in a nationally integrated energy-climate plan. Attempts are being made to integrate every conclusion and plan into global documents, such as the Paris Agreement, while keeping in mind the EU's energy and climate objectives, he added.

HGK president Luka Burilović said sustainable development must not become yet another platitude and formal meeting of imposed goals, given that it would impact the national economy and environment as well as children.

Speaking of the national overview that Croatia will present to the UN, he said it covered the economic, social and environmental dimensions. "We will present our progress in education and healthcare, on the labour market and in terms of economic growth in general."

Burilović recalled that on the UN's 2018 sustainable development list, Croatia ranked 21st among 156 countries, rising 15 places.

In order to advance partnership and synergy, the HGK has decided to bring together all interested parties through the HGK_COR accelerator so they can contribute to the realisation of sustainable development goals.

The state secretary at the Regional Development and EU Funds Ministry, Spomenka Đurić, said the government set up the Sustainable Development National Council in January 2018 due to the complexity of the Agenda 2030 goals and its impact on economic and social change.

She said the Cohesion Policy, as the EU's main investment policy, also focused on sustainable development and improving the quality of living for all citizens, including investment in the scientific, broadband, business, energy, transport, environmental, social and education infrastructures.

To that end, nearly 86% of the funds available to Croatia from the Operational Programme Competitiveness and Cohesion has been advertised through February, 65% has been contracted in the amount of 4.4 billion euro, of which 15% has been paid to beneficiaries, she added.

More news about sustainable development can be found in the Business section.

Sunday, 13 January 2019

Lastovo Development Project Goes Ahead Thanks to French SMILO Program

Good news for the southern Dalmatian island of Lastovo as no less than a French organisation is set to help the islanders with their management of their resources and further their sustainable development.

As Morski writes on the 12th of January, 2019, SMILO (The small islands organisation) is a French association that has launched an international program to help islands less than 150 km2 in size who want to improve their management of resources, according to Vjeran Filippi, President of local action group LAG 5, which belongs to the Dubrovnik-Neretva County and consists of five parts: Korčula, Mljet and Lastovo, the Pelješac peninsula and Dubrovnik primorje.

LAG 5 includes twelve local self-government units: Blato, Dubrovnik primorje, Janjina, Korčula, Lastovo, Lumbarda, Mljet, Orebić, Smokvica, Ston, Trpanj and Vela Luka. Island councils have also been formed for the sole purpose of implementing the program on Lastovo and other islands.

In cooperation with the nature park of the archipelago of Lastovo, and as part of the aforementioned LAG 5 work plan for Lastovo, the island council was formed, and a basic analysis of the needs for sustainable development of the island of Lastovo, as well as strategic project proposals in the field of economic development was elaborated for the implementation of the SMILO Program, added Vjeran Filippi. The project included the local county and the board for the islands as operational support in proper communication with various national bodies.

Katarina Slejko, LAG 5's manager, added that for the island of Lastovo, the SMILO program will facilitate the realisation of projects that local stakeholders regard as crucial phases of the transition to sustainable economic development based on eco tourism, with the promotion of olive oil production and a local market, as well as a supporting project for storing the product.

The islands which choose to establish their cooperation with France's SMILO association can count on a set of experts to help launch their respective sustainable development projects, as well as receive a special label (the SMILO label) that will enable them to communicate with other islands involved in the program and increase their chances of getting their hands on numerous development funds, said Maja Rešić.

Make sure to stay up to date with our dedicated lifestyle page for more information. If it's just Dubrovnik and the extreme south of Dalmatia you're interested in, give Total Dubrovnik a follow.


Click here for the original article by Niko Peric for Korcula online

Monday, 19 November 2018

UN Sustainable Development Agenda, Croatia Takes 21st Place

Croatia appears on many a list, and while it's typically placed at number one or close to it on ''must visit'' locations around the world, when it comes to much more serious matters to do with the economic and political climate, Croatia doesn't tend to fare too well, and with good reason. For a change, Croatia has managed to do quite well according to a recently published list by the United Nations (UN), which regards its Sustainable Development Agenda.

As Ljubica Gataric/VL/Poslovni Dnevnik writes on the 19th of November, 2018, according to a new report on the impact of social transfers on poverty within the European Union (EU), social transfers made in 2017 raised one third of the population's income above the currently accepted poverty risk limit.

Despite Croatia's unfavourable ''press'' when it comes to lists outside of travel bloggers and their often very surface level glance at the country, Croatia has taken 21st place the UN's 2030 Sustainable Development Agenda, through which national governments committed themselves to eradicating poverty and hunger, developing education, making proper healthcare accessible for all, gender equality, and eradicating other forms of inequality.

Croatia has taken 21st place out of 155 on the UN's Sustainable Development List for 2018, and in relation to its first release back in 2016, the country has progressed by as many as fifteen places.

Sweden, Denmark, Finland, Germany, and France are doing the best of all, with neighbouring Slovenia taking 8th place, Czech Republic taking 13th place, and behind Croatia lie many EU member states considered to be very developed, which is both encouraging in Croatia's respect, and concering with regard to those countries.

As mentioned, according to the new report on the impact of social transfers on poverty within the EU, social transfers made back in 2017 raised one third of the population's income above that of the considered poverty risk limit.

According to the members, social assistance withdrew 57 percent of Finns and 51 percent of Danes from their respective poverty zones, while social transfers made in Greece and Romania removed 16 percent of the risk groups out of the accepted poverty zone.

When it comes to social transfers made in Croatia, the number of those below the poverty line has been lessened by an entire quarter. Croatia is among the countries for which social transfers account for less than 6.2 percent of GDP, which is 2.7 percent below the European Union average.

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Click here for the original article by Ljubica Gataric/VL on Poslovni Dnevnik

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