I would like to share that I appreciate the opportunity to attend this important forum, which is taking place in interesting times - sharp geopolitical opposition, sharp social and economic crisis and galloping inflation. I would especially like to congratulate the organizers, because it is precisely in these times that the debate on the green deal far exceeds the scope of talks on a clean environment, biodiversity conservation and attracting investment in this area. Here the stakes are much higher - for the level of our ambitions and future, as the EU and Member States. It is a question of our sobriety of judgment, where we are at the moment and where we want to go with what policies and tools. And are we aware of all the opportunities and risks along the way.
This was stated by President Rumen Radev in his speech, which opened the international conference Green Transition 2022 organized by Dir.bg and 3E-news: "The Green Deal - Innovation, Investment and Fair Transition".
According to him, there is no European who does not want to live in a clean environment and in conditions of sustainable development.
"But it is very important to define the concepts clearly. The green deal has no alternative and it must happen. But it is a continuous and comprehensive process of deep economic, social and personal transformation. It is a new way of producing and consuming energy, goods and services. This is a new way of spending free time and attitude towards the environment. And last but not least, a change in the way we move. All this is a common complex. This is a great opportunity for deep modernization of our societies.", added the head of state.
According to Radev, we must ensure the sustainability of this process, but we must be aware of the factors that affect it.
"Based on my participation in the EU Councils, where a heated debate on the energy crisis and transition took place last year, I personally formulated several important risks related to the green transition. First of all, this is the risk of high speed, such as aviation, in which speed is life, but there are also those in which speed can be a disaster.
The big goal is to get clean energy quickly. We have heard calls to give up base power - and there are three - nuclear energy, coal and gas. At the same time, we have an incentive to do so without clear technological solutions to the biggest problem - energy storage. In my opinion, the one who manages to achieve a financially, rationally and technologically feasible solution for energy conservation - he will hold the key to the future ", the President was categorical.
According to him, the other risk is excessive ambition.
"If we take the transport package, these ambitions often exceed our capabilities and can lead to adverse effects on the process. There is also a risk of losing the competitiveness of our economy. I will not cut our economic situation, but I will take the basis - and cheap energy - and the top - innovation and science. The base - energy - you monitor prices on the stock exchanges. For the first quarter the average price of electricity is about 250 euros per megawatt-hour. And in the US is 65 euros and in China is about 10 euros per "And we need to find the exact reasons why the price of electricity in Europe is many times higher. If we do not find an answer, it means that in the medium term we will lose our competitiveness," Radev said.
According to him, we cannot be satisfied with the fact that Europe ranks fifth in patents after China, the United States, South Korea and Japan.
"This means that in the long run we will be losers. I strongly hope that the measures taken by Brussels and the ambitious Horizon Europe investment package will give a decisive impetus in this direction," he said.
According to Radev, social risk is also important.
"Because we risk making the poor even poorer. I strongly hope that the new social climate fund will solve the problems to a great extent. When we talk about risks, there is another important risk for me - the loss of confidence in the green transition. "It is extremely dangerous. And we must eliminate all signals that lead to a loss of confidence," he added.
He added that capacity to use green hydrogen should be developed.
"Portugal has a comprehensive approach to green hydrogen - it is developing an industry that will use it. The cycle must be closed. The opportunities are many, but financial resources are limited. But I believe that forums like this will open a debate where we want to we can come and find the right approach. Because this is an opportunity to modernize our societies", concluded Rumen Radev.
The President pointed out that the war in Ukraine highlighted the problem of diversification.
"The transition to a working diversification will not be cheap, but it is necessary. Even if it is not because of the war, to minimize any surprises in the future. The number of liquefied gas terminals is small, but at the same time they are difficult to build and involve bureaucratic hurdles. And Europe's internal energy transport network has not been deployed. I give an example - there is no gas pipeline between Spain and France, "Radev added.
The conference Green Transition 2022: "Green Deal - Innovation, Investment and Fair Transition" is organized by Dir.bg and 3E-news with the media support of BNT, BNR, bTV Media Group, BTA, Bloomberg, Bulgaria on Air, Euronews and OFFNews.bg.