Seminar on Green Economy and climate change – challenges and opportunities from the Visegrad Group perspective

Seminar on Green Economy and climate change – challenges and opportunities from the Visegrad Group perspective

Date: 26 May 2022 at 10.00 am
Venue: The European Union House, Aspazijas Bulv. 28, Riga, Fireplace Hall
Language: English

Focusing on the green economic transition and its impact on climate change, this seminar, organized by the Hungarian Presidency of the Visegrad Group in cooperation with the respective Embassies of the Visegrad Group countries in Riga, the Latvian Institute of International Affairs, and the European Commission Representation in Latvia, aims at sharing, presenting and adapting of views, ideas and good practices in a good spirit of regional cooperation between the V4 countries, with an outlook on potential cooperation with Latvia.

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In these turbulent times characterized by the swiftly changing security environment of Europe in the face of Russia’s invasion of Ukraine and amid post-pandemic economic and social reopening and recovery, one of the main tasks of the Visegrad Group is to recharge our cooperation to contribute to the security and stability of our region and Europe.

When thinking about increased competitiveness as one of the major tools in achieving this goal, we have to take into consideration, among other areas, the possibilities of a green economic transition.

The green economy is fast becoming the driving force for the Visegrad Group which wants to tackle both the environmental and current economic crisis at once. Going green is not only important in the fight against environmental destruction, but it also makes our countries stronger, healthier, safer, more independent, innovative, competitive, and respected worldwide. The Visegrad Group places great emphasis on discussing climate and energy-related issues on the EU agenda, among others on the European Green Deal and the review of the 2030 EU climate policy framework, and quite recently on the European Commission’s plan to make Europe independent from Russian fossil fuels before 2030, to help ensure a balanced and fair set of rules supporting just transition for every member state. The Fit for 55 legislative package will be crucial in this regard.

In this context attention shall be also raised to the unique geographical, economic and social circumstances and the historical heritage, especially concerning the underlying differences in natural resources, energy supply networks and current energy mixes that shape policy-making in every Member State, including the Visegrad Group countries. Significant challenges remain in view of the heavy dependence on fossil fuels, low energy efficiency and responsibilities in environmental decision-making and governance. The mainstreaming circular economy practices and eco-innovation in the economy and society of the Visegrad Group countries is also crucial. Greening the economy requires investment in energy efficiency, climate change resilience and waste management as well. 

Program

10.00-10.05, Introductory words by Mr. Ferenc Bányai, Ambassador of Hungary to the Republic of     Latvia

10.05-10.10, Prof. Dr. Andris Sprūds, Chairman of the Board of the Latvian Institute of International Affairs

10.10-10.15, Presentation by Mr. Máté Litkei, Director of the Hungarian Climate Policy Institute

10.15-10.20, Presentation by Mr. Jozef Škultéty, Head of the Climate Change Policy Department at the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic

10.20-10.25, Presentation by Mr. Richard Juřík, Senior analyst, Ministry of Environment of the Czech Republic

10.25-10.30, Presentation by Mr. Audrius Daugnora, Deputy General Director for Operations ORLEN (in Lithuania), Republic of Poland

10.30-10.35, Presentation by Ms. Alda Ozola, Chair of the Board of the Public Utilities Commission, Latvia

10.35-11.40, Round table discussion, followed by Q&A    

Moderator, Mr. Reinis Āboltiņš, Energy market surveillance expert, Public Utilities Commission, Latvia            

11.40-12.30, Small reception

Published 09 May 2022