CIRSD Presents its Renewable Energy Study
The Center for International Relations and Sustainable Development released a study on renewable energy policy in Serbia and the Western Balkans. The study, entitled “A Roadmap for Deploying Renewable Energy Sources in Serbia and the Regional Perspective,” was presented before an audience of more than 200 prominent experts in the field, university professors, representatives of the diplomatic corps, and private sector entrepreneurs.
In his introductory remarks, CIRSD President Vuk Jeremić said that Serbia owes its present energy obstacles to its geographical position and decades of erroneous policies. "It is a development policy based on thermal plants and coal that brought about low productivity, low competitiveness, and energy inefficiency to our economy, as well as unacceptable consequences to our people’s health,” Jeremić said.
The CIRSD President said that Serbia has abundant renewable energy resources but is failing to put this potential to good use, something which is attributable both to insufficient investments and lack of appropriate know-how.
“We are very well aware that the transition to renewable energy and sustainable development is neither politically nor economically cost-free, and that we would face both material and technical limits. It is, however, clear that the existing model is not sustainable and guarantees no bright future. Therefore, we should carefully yet decisively initiate reforms,” Jeremić concluded.
The study’s authors, Maja Turković and Ana Brnabić, said that the paper offers a different model of development founded on clean energy—one that would be produced from domestic (and regional) resources. This would in turn reduce costs of spent energy per production unit; it would also reduce the external negative effects of energy production and use, as well as dependence on imports.
Professor Vladimir Đurđević of Belgrade University’s Faculty of Physics said that the climate is changing and the global mean temperature continues to rise. This happens to be a direct consequence of the greenhouse effect. Đurđević also said that the study offers a rational response to many challenges of climate change and pollution of the environment.
The head of the EU delegation in Serbia Ambassador Michael Davenport commended the authors of the study and CIRSD for commissioning it, adding that the study represents an important leap in defining Serbia’s future energy policy in line with European and global trends. Ambassador Davenport reiterated that renewable energy resources are not being used well enough in the country, but did, however, mention Serbia’s tremendous progress in this field, which he believes goes in hand with the country’s European integration process.
The French ambassador to Serbia Christine Moro commended the efforts that CIRSD has made to raise awareness about climate change in the Balkans. She emphasized the importance of the forthcoming climate summit in Paris (COP21) and argued that studies such as the one promoted by CIRSD lay a solid foundation for the success of international negotiations processes.
The featured panelists agreed that Serbia needs to more assertively participate in international processes, thereby accepting its share of responsibility in the common effort to combat climate change, foster economic development, and reduce global poverty levels. Only by sharing the burden of international research and labor, Serbia can use the opportunities that lie within the sustainable development paradigm.
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