The National Assembly House hosted the sixth meeting of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum today with the topic of energy efficiency in Serbian schools and kindergartens.
Parliamentary Forum Chairperson Dr Aleksandra Tomic said that sustainable development and energy efficiency are not possible without digitalization and new technologies and that Serbia is advancing very fast in the field of software industry and would be an important partner to Germany in that respect. Speaking of energy, Serbia is already part of the European Union via the Energy Community, said Tomic, mentioning the Serbian parliamentary delegation’s active participation in the work of the Energy Community Plenum. In the last five years Serbia has done a lot as regards energy efficiency especially in terms of securing budget funds for its improvement, said Aleksandra Tomic.
The Ambassador of the Federal Republic of Germany H.E. Thomas Schieb said that the German experience proves that energy transition works. It began in the 1980s and in the first half of 2018 renewable resources made up for 40% of production, the exploitation of coal would be eliminated by the end of the year and by 2020 the work of all the remaining nuclear power plants will be halted, said Ambassador Schieb. He added that energy transition offers economic growth potential, as well as opportunities for new technologies. Energy transition is also the central element of the Germany-Serbia development cooperation, said Schieb.
The Director of the Konrad Adenauer Foundation Norbert Beckmann-Dierkes talked about the significant role the media, local self-governments, partner organizations and experts play in pursuing the policy of energy efficiency and the use of sustainable energy sources.
The Director of the Heinrich Böl Foundation Simon Ilse said that energy policy is the focus of the society as a whole not just the green political parties and the transformation of the energy sector is closely connected with other sectors. It is important to include as many relevant factors as possible in the process of transition from fossil to alternative fuels and from centralized to decentralized energy supply, said Ilse.
The participants of the meeting discussed the project introducing energy efficiency into schools and kindergartens and its results. Speaking of the project, Director of the Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence Sonja Licht emphasized the importance of building a different infrastructure, one based on renewable energy sources and the importance of raising awareness among the chief users of schools and kindergartens – children. The children need to understand and be the bearers of change in both awareness and energy policies, Licht said. GIZ representative Svjetlana Djokic, associate professor of the Faculty of Architecture in Belgrade Dr Dusan Ignjatovic, representative of the RES foundation Aleksandar Macura and the representative of the municipality of Ljubovija Aleksandar Peric also spoke on the topic.
The meeting also touched on what needs to be done next and how to eliminate the obstacles to energy efficiency, topics presented by the representative of the Heinrich Böll Foundation Damjan Rehm Bogunovic, representative of CMS.Law.Tax Djordje Popovic, representative of Who Builds the City platform Ana Dzokic and on the behalf of the RES foundation Jasminka Young.
Concluding the sixth meeting of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum, Dr Aleksandra Tomic said that the Parliamentary Forum will discuss the options how to raise public awareness on energy efficiency, possibly by drafting a strategy containing certain activities to that end. She added that the Parliamentary Forum will also focus on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the Sustainable Development Goals 2020 Agenda.
The sixth meeting of the Serbian Parliamentary Energy Policy Forum was held in cooperation with the German International Cooperation Organization (GIZ), Belgrade Fund for Political Excellence and the Konrad Adenauer and Heinrich Böl foundations.