Limited attention by politicians, strong positions of NGOs

Before the Copen­hagen con­fer­ence, the gov­ern­ment, civ­il soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions and the media expect­ed that it would be pos­si­ble to make a bind­ing agree­ment.11E.g. Ivan Gre­gov (jour­nal­ist): Two weeks that can change a world, Zamirzine week­ly, 3 Decem­ber 2009. Luka Bebić, the speak­er of the Croa­t­ian par­lia­ment, expressed expec­ta­tions that long-term oblig­a­tions for emis­sion reduc­tions for the peri­od 2020 with a view to 2050 would be finalised at the Copen­hagen con­fer­ence, as well as the imple­men­ta­tion and financ­ing of rules.22L. Bebić: Speech, Ukrain­ian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty of Nat­ur­al and Eco­log­i­cal sci­ences, 30 Novem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.sabor.hr/Default.aspx?art=31415 (last access: 17 May 2010). The media announced the con­fer­ence as chal­leng­ing, and expec­ta­tions were rather large.33E.g., Ban­ka mag­a­zine, Večern­ji list, 7 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.bankamagazine.hr/default.aspx?TabId=104&View=Details&ItemID=5599 (last access: 17 May 2010).

The pres­i­den­tial cam­paign in Croa­t­ia took place dur­ing the Copen­hagen con­fer­ence; how­ev­er, cli­mate issues and ener­gy pol­i­cy were not debat­ed much. Most of the can­di­dates bare­ly (or not at all) men­tioned cli­mate change in their pro­grammes,44E.g., pres­i­den­tial pro­grammes of the can­di­dates of the major polit­i­cal par­ties, such as HDZ (of Andri­ja Hebrang, can­di­date of the HDZ), avail­able at: http://andrijahebrang.info/default.aspx?id=12 (last access: 17 May 2010), even the pro­gramme of Ves­na Pusić, HNS, has not men­tioned cli­mate change. or were unaware of the issues debat­ed in Copen­hagen.55E.g. Milan Bandić, who got into the sec­ond round of elec­tions, RTL, Pres­i­den­tial Forum, Debate, 19 Decem­ber 2009. Ivo Josipović is one of the rare can­di­dates who did talk about cli­mate change in his cam­paign and stressed that he sees a stronger role for civ­il organ­i­sa­tions and asso­ci­a­tions on advo­cat­ing these issues.66Jospović, inter­view with civ­il soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions, cit­ed accord­ing to Omer Rak: Dossier. I like green, 19 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.boell.hr/web/index-263.html (last access: 17 May 2010).

The government’s posi­tion is rather ambigu­ous: The for­mal nego­ti­at­ing posi­tion (and nation­al pledge) is a 5 per­cent tem­po­rary reduc­tion tar­get for 2013–2020. It derives from the EU’s nego­ti­at­ing strat­e­gy, but it is offi­cial­ly stat­ed that fol­low­ing acces­sion to the EU, Croa­t­ia will replace its indi­vid­ual inter­im tar­get and share the EU com­mit­ment for 2020. Croa­t­ia also sup­ports the Euro­pean Union’s posi­tion regard­ing organ­i­sa­tion and method of work in 2010 in order to facil­i­tate nego­ti­a­tions among par­ties.

The NGOs, on the oth­er hand, request­ed that Croa­t­ia accept a 25 per­cent reduc­tion tar­get77Green Action, avail­able at: www.zelena-akcija.hr/ (last access: 17 May 2010). and eval­u­at­ed the results of the Copen­hagen con­fer­ence as a fail­ure. This was also the pre­vail­ing con­clu­sion of the media reports on the Copen­hagen Accord.88E.g., Deutsche Welle: There is a will, but no results, 18 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0„5035356,00.html (last access: 17 May 2010).

Europe will cer­tain­ly not solve the cli­mate prob­lem on its own, but it can help to deliv­er abate­ment tech­nolo­gies and to prove that fight­ing cli­mate change can be rec­on­ciled with eco­nom­ic growth – pro­vid­ed a long-term frame­work is estab­lished that is in line with oth­er goals such as secu­ri­ty of sup­ply and afford­able ener­gy. This was con­clud­ed at the 18th Forum of the Croa­t­ian Ener­gy Soci­ety.99HED: Zagreb, 2009, avail­able at: http://www.hed.hr/pdf/18_HED_%20Zbornik%20sazetaka.pdf (last access: 17 May 2010). The Forum was focused on analy­sis and views on ener­gy sec­tor devel­op­ment. The views expressed there had sig­nif­i­cant impact on pol­i­cy mak­ers and politi­cians: in his speech at the Ukrain­ian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty of Nat­ur­al and Eco­log­i­cal Sci­ences,1010Luka Bebić: Speech, Ukrain­ian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty of Nat­ur­al and Eco­log­i­cal sci­ences, 30 Novem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.sabor.hr/Default.aspx?art=31415 (last access: 17 May 2010). Luka Bebić, speak­er of the Croa­t­ian par­lia­ment, was evi­dent­ly inspired by the con­fer­ence con­clu­sions. It is con­sid­ered that the Euro­pean ener­gy sec­tor can deliv­er valu­able input to the dis­cus­sion about the com­ing cli­mate goals and how to achieve them by address­ing the impor­tance of new cli­mate-friend­ly tech­nolo­gies. The cli­mate change goals should be reflect­ed in invest­ment deci­sions.1111Ste­fan Urlich: World Ener­gy Coun­cil, at 18 Forum: Ener­gy Day in Croa­t­ia, Zagreb, Decem­ber 2009.

The Copen­hagen con­fer­ence revealed the weak­ness­es of the UN sys­tem. As the nego­ti­a­tions in Copen­hagen showed, major progress was achieved out­side the UN process. In this con­text, the media report­ed that the UN had lost its influ­ence in the field of cli­mate change and opened dis­cus­sions on exam­in­ing alter­na­tive forums, such as the G20.1212HINA, Croa­t­ian News Agency, 20 Decem­ber 2009.

Pos­si­bil­i­ties of reach­ing an effi­cient way to com­bat cli­mate change was the key top­ic of the round­table “What after Copen­hagen?” organ­ised by Vecern­ji list. It revealed a wide spec­trum of ideas, rang­ing from the need for a glob­al cen­tralised gov­ern­ing struc­ture and strength­en­ing of glob­al mar­ket rules for the ener­gy sec­tor through the World Trade Orga­ni­za­tion (WTO), to nation­al or region­al solu­tions, includ­ing a seri­ous turn to renew­able ener­gy sources. It was con­clud­ed that the best option con­sists of com­bin­ing local mea­sures with a glob­al agree­ment.1313Round­table “What after Copen­hagen”, organ­ised by Večern­ji list, Zagreb, 23 April 2010.

Croatia’s offi­cial posi­tions lack a long-term strate­gic view on the issue and they main­ly com­ply with the EU require­ments based on the prin­ci­ple of con­di­tion­al­i­ty.1414V. Hor­vat, at con­fer­ence “What Cli­mate has to do with it”, Zagreb, 22 April 2010. In its sub­mis­sion to the Unit­ed Nations Frame­work Con­ven­tion on Cli­mate Change (UNFCCC), Croa­t­ia stat­ed that upon its acces­sion to the Euro­pean Union, its tar­get shall be replaced by an arrange­ment in line with and part of the Euro­pean Union mit­i­ga­tion effort.1515Min­istry for envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion: phys­i­cal plan­ning and con­struc­tion, press release, 10 Decem­ber 2009, quot­ed accord­ing to Alert, inde­pen­dent envi­ron­men­tal mag­a­zine, avail­able at: http://www.alertonline.org/magazine/full.php?subaction=showfull&id=1260648323&archive=&start_from=&ucat=2& (last access: 17 May 2010); Croatia’s quan­ti­fied tar­get sub­mit­ted to the UNFCCC, avail­able at: http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/application/pdf/croatiacphaccord_app1.pdf (last access: 17 May 2010). The eco­nom­ic costs of achiev­ing a 30 per­cent cut in emis­sions by 2020 (equiv­a­lent to 16.9 mil­lion tons of CO2 in 2020) from the base­line of 36 mil­lion tons per year are esti­mat­ed to be 115–536 mil­lion Euros (e.g., 0.31–1.43 per­cent of Gross Domes­tic Prod­uct).1616Seth Lan­dau: Cli­mate for Change, 2008, p. 199. The esti­mate shows that major reduc­tions are pos­si­ble with rel­a­tive­ly mod­er­ate eco­nom­ic costs. How­ev­er, polit­i­cal, insti­tu­tion­al, tech­ni­cal and oth­er con­sid­er­a­tions have to be resolved to reach these reduc­tion lev­els. Croatia’s offi­cial tar­get, 33.2 mil­lion tons, indi­cates the dif­fi­cul­ties in invest­ing in domes­tic mea­sures. Thus, it is not like­ly that Croa­t­ia would pro­vide rel­e­vant input to financ­ing mit­i­ga­tion and adap­ta­tion.

    Footnotes

  • 1E.g. Ivan Gre­gov (jour­nal­ist): Two weeks that can change a world, Zamirzine week­ly, 3 Decem­ber 2009.
  • 2L. Bebić: Speech, Ukrain­ian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty of Nat­ur­al and Eco­log­i­cal sci­ences, 30 Novem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.sabor.hr/Default.aspx?art=31415 (last access: 17 May 2010).
  • 3E.g., Ban­ka mag­a­zine, Večern­ji list, 7 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.bankamagazine.hr/default.aspx?TabId=104&View=Details&ItemID=5599 (last access: 17 May 2010).
  • 4E.g., pres­i­den­tial pro­grammes of the can­di­dates of the major polit­i­cal par­ties, such as HDZ (of Andri­ja Hebrang, can­di­date of the HDZ), avail­able at: http://andrijahebrang.info/default.aspx?id=12 (last access: 17 May 2010), even the pro­gramme of Ves­na Pusić, HNS, has not men­tioned cli­mate change.
  • 5E.g. Milan Bandić, who got into the sec­ond round of elec­tions, RTL, Pres­i­den­tial Forum, Debate, 19 Decem­ber 2009.
  • 6Jospović, inter­view with civ­il soci­ety organ­i­sa­tions, cit­ed accord­ing to Omer Rak: Dossier. I like green, 19 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.boell.hr/web/index-263.html (last access: 17 May 2010).
  • 7Green Action, avail­able at: www.zelena-akcija.hr/ (last access: 17 May 2010).
  • 8E.g., Deutsche Welle: There is a will, but no results, 18 Decem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.dw-world.de/dw/article/0„5035356,00.html (last access: 17 May 2010).
  • 9HED: Zagreb, 2009, avail­able at: http://www.hed.hr/pdf/18_HED_%20Zbornik%20sazetaka.pdf (last access: 17 May 2010).
  • 10Luka Bebić: Speech, Ukrain­ian Nation­al Uni­ver­si­ty of Nat­ur­al and Eco­log­i­cal sci­ences, 30 Novem­ber 2009, avail­able at: http://www.sabor.hr/Default.aspx?art=31415 (last access: 17 May 2010).
  • 11Ste­fan Urlich: World Ener­gy Coun­cil, at 18 Forum: Ener­gy Day in Croa­t­ia, Zagreb, Decem­ber 2009.
  • 12HINA, Croa­t­ian News Agency, 20 Decem­ber 2009.
  • 13Round­table “What after Copen­hagen”, organ­ised by Večern­ji list, Zagreb, 23 April 2010.
  • 14V. Hor­vat, at con­fer­ence “What Cli­mate has to do with it”, Zagreb, 22 April 2010.
  • 15Min­istry for envi­ron­men­tal pro­tec­tion: phys­i­cal plan­ning and con­struc­tion, press release, 10 Decem­ber 2009, quot­ed accord­ing to Alert, inde­pen­dent envi­ron­men­tal mag­a­zine, avail­able at: http://www.alertonline.org/magazine/full.php?subaction=showfull&id=1260648323&archive=&start_from=&ucat=2& (last access: 17 May 2010); Croatia’s quan­ti­fied tar­get sub­mit­ted to the UNFCCC, avail­able at: http://unfccc.int/files/meetings/application/pdf/croatiacphaccord_app1.pdf (last access: 17 May 2010).
  • 16Seth Lan­dau: Cli­mate for Change, 2008, p. 199.

The reports focus on a report­ing peri­od from Decem­ber 2009 until May 2010. This sur­vey was con­duct­ed on the basis of a ques­tion­naire that has been elab­o­rat­ed in March and April 2010. Most of the 31 reports were deliv­ered in May 2010.

The EU-27 Watch No. 9 receives sig­nif­i­cant fund­ing from the Otto Wolff-Foun­da­tion, Cologne, in the frame­work of the ‘Dia­log Europa der Otto Wolff-Stiftung’, and finan­cial sup­port from the Euro­pean Com­mis­sion. The Euro­pean Com­mis­sion is not respon­si­ble for any use that may be made of the infor­ma­tion con­tained there­in.