Croatia Takes on Global Warming, "Now is the Time" says Croatian President
Zagreb, Croatia, September 2009-Croatia aims to lower its carbon footprint, save more than $1.3 billion and preserve the landscape that brings more than 10 million tourists per year with an ambitious program to cut national energy consumption. The conservation efforts are a part of the Balkan nation's assessment of how climate change will shape its future. In support of those efforts, the United Nations Development Programme and its partners have also published a report, “A Climate for Change” - UNDP Croatia 2008 Human Development Report: Climate change and its impacts on society: http://www.undp.hr/show.jsp?page=103395, on the impact of climate change on human development in Croatia.
"Now is the time, now is the moment, now is the task and now is the challenge we have to, and I repeat —we have to— face,” said President Stjepan Mesić, about the urgency of addressing global warming at a UNDP organized event in June.
Buildings, which consume 41 percent of national energy, are a major focus. Cities and counties have pledged to cut energy consumption in the nation’s 10,000 public buildings as much as possible.
So far, more than half of all cities and counties in Croatia have conducted energy audits in their municipal buildings, including in offices, schools and hospitals. Decisions have been made to retrofit, install new boiler systems [pictured above], and switch to renewable energy sources to curb the carbon footprint.
UNDP, Global Environment Facility, Croatian Fund for Environment Protection and Energy Efficiency, Government of Croatia, and other partners of the project are also reaching out to the public with information and resources for individuals so that they may reduce their own carbon footprints. Forty-four “energy efficiency centers” and a free energy efficiency phone information hotline have been established to advise home owners on how to cut energy costs, and protect the environment.
The effort is bolstered by an expansive media campaign aimed at inspiring residents to go green by switching to more efficient heating systems, home appliances, etc. The cumulative impact of increased education and greener consumer choices can reduce individual greenhouse gases by one ton per person per year, according to UNDP. The green movement also has the potential to create new jobs in retrofitting and other green industries for Croatia’s 4.4 million people.
In December, the United Nations will also host world leaders a global conference
on climate change in Copenhagen, Denmark.
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Below: Hotel before and after retrofitting: