Posted on : 3/31/2020
On World Energy Efficiency Day on March 5, 2020, Mr Zoran Radojičić, PhD, Mayor of Belgrade, Ms Francine Pickup, UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia and Mr Miodrag Gluščević, Program Director for Urban Development, Environment and Municipal Services in SCTM, signed in the Old Palace the Charter of Cities and Municipalities on Energy Efficiency.
The City of Belgrade is the 137th local self-government unit that signed the Energy Efficiency Charter. With this act, Belgrade has expressed its willingness to actively commit to increasing the energy efficiency of public buildings and utilities in its jurisdiction, thereby contributing to reducing energy and water costs borne by the city, and to combating climate change and protecting the environment.
Addressing the media, Mayor Radojičić has emphasised that in recent years everyone has become aware of the importance of energy efficiency and the use of renewable energy in minimising climate change and reducing environmental problems.
"The laws of nature are very simple, very clear, and unfortunately, in the end, they can be cruel and that is one of the reasons that all of us, together and globally, have become aware of this problem and the importance of the contribution we all need to make to solving this energy efficiency problem," Radojičić said.
The Mayor has stressed that all newly constructed and reconstructed public buildings in Belgrade meet energy efficiency standards. One example of best practice is the reconstructed "green garage" at Obilićev venac, which has received recognition in the area as one of its best projects. He has also recalled signing a number of agreements last year to promote energy efficiency in Belgrade, and added that an agreement was reached to reduce carbon dioxide emissions by ten percent.
"The aim is to continue in this direction in the coming years and the signing of this charter is a very significant step. We commit ourselves to raising awareness of the citizens of Belgrade about this problem, to taking care of energy efficiency, but also to using renewable energy sources that will less pollute the environment", the Mayor said.
As he stated, it is also important that Belgrade today joins a group of 136 local self-government units and that the Serbian capital will contribute to this area. He said he was looking forward to the future cooperation with UNDP and the SCTM, stating that they would share experiences and move closer to the common goal of reducing the negative environmental impact of the use of energy in various fields.
UNDP Resident Representative in Serbia, Francine Pickup said this day was particularly important: "to see where we stand and what we have prepared for the future."
"Energy sector is one of the most important to the Serbian economy, contributing to more than 10% of the Gross Domestic Product (GDP). At the same time, this sector is responsible for 80% of Greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions of the country. Although Serbia has achieved significant progress in terms of aligning its energy sector-related national legislation with EU acquis, the implementation is still behind schedule“, she explained, adding that "Serbia still uses three to four times more energy than the European Union countries to create one unit of GDP.“
In the end the UNDP Resident Representative stressed that in line with the National Energy Efficiency (EE) Action Plan and EU Directive on energy efficiency, Serbia has committed to reaching the 9 percent energy savings in the last decade. In comparison, in the same period, the EE target at the EU level was 20% savings, while the new target for the EU for the next ten years is even higher, a further 32,5%.
Representative of the Standing Conference of Towns and Municipalities, Miodrag Gluščević said that energy efficiency was of the utmost importance for the city of Belgrade, and above all for its citizens.
"It is important that Belgrade joins this initiative. The city has shown its adherence to the principles of energy efficiency and confirmed that it will address this issue in an even more active way", Gluščević emphasised.
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