Climate Neutrality and the Western Balkans in terms of regional cooperation

On 3 June 2021, the Green Policy Center and the Equilibrium Institute organized a large-scale online event titled ’Climate-neutral Hungary 2050’. The even reflected on the adoption of the Act XLIV of 2020 on Climate Protection a year ago, on 3 June 2020 which set the 2050 climate neutrality goal for Hungary. In addition, Hungary's National Clean Development Strategy is expected to be adopted this year, which will serve as a long-term climate strategy until 2050. These documents provide the framework for the Hungarian climate neutrality aspirations, their proper completion and implementation will be one of the major challenges of the coming decades.

Representing the Western Balkans Green Center Nonprofit Llc. (WBGC), Managing Director László Örlős shared his thoughts on the potential of regional cooperation in a panel discussion on achieving climate neutrality. The focus was on practical examples of climate policy efforts, in terms of cooperation among the V4 countries. Additional panel members were Stelios Grafakos, Chief Economist of the Global Green Growth Institute, Aleksander Śniegocki, Energy, Climate and Environment Program Manager from Wise Europa (Poland) and Gabriela Fischerova, Director General of Climate Change from the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic.

Regarding the panel topic, Managing Director Örlős highlighted the WBGC's planned effort to accelerate the convergence of the Western Balkans and fight climate change in the form of a center of excellence building on domestic and international cooperation to support the energy transition in the Western Balkans. The initiative as part of the WBGC, is expected to support the concept of the circular economy and channeling the relevant expertise and innovation into the green economy, energy, and climate policy measures of the Western Balkan countries via knowledge exchange, technology transfer, and development of the business environment. He underlined that the WBGC is eager to form a bridge between the V4 countries and the Western Balkans, through capacity-building activities supporting policy-making and developing rules and regulations and preparing green economy investments

Through discussing international examples, the participants agreed that, in addition to geographical features, the V4 countries are highly interdependent both economically and socially, and the cornerstones of cooperation, stemming from the joint interests, can be clearly identified in the field of climate policy. Therefore, in addition to effective cooperation at the political level, it is necessary to build on the capacity of the business sector and civil society, which play a key role in providing the financial, policy and innovation potential needed for climate neutrality.

Read more about the event here:

Széchényi 2020