Borislav Sandov: Our main goal is to host COP29 in 2024, because our whole society will talk about the climate

Bulgaria is one of the countries with the largest reduction in emissions, but at the same time with an increase in gross domestic product, which shows that cleaner environmental policies lead to new opportunities

Climate / Bulgaria
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Raya Lecheva

Our main goal is to host the COP26 World Climate Summit in 2024, when it will be the turn of a European country to meet the world's political, business and social elite, said Deputy Prime Minister for Climate Policy and Minister of Environment and Water Borislav Sandov at the event for journalists "We write about the climate". This will be the biggest event in Bulgaria, such a level of political world leaders at the same time Bulgaria has not met, he added. This is a guarantee that we will speak actively on the topic, which will be on the agenda for our entire society and for each of us, said the minister.

Bulgaria is very suitable as a candidate, because it is the country with the largest or 48% reduction in emissions compared to 1988-1990, we closed economic proceedings, which were economically unprofitable. In fact, we have increased our gross domestic product, reducing emissions does not necessarily mean impoverishment, on the contrary, when we eliminate inefficient production, we will become richer, said Sandov.

We have good forest management, wetland restoration, it is high time to use natural methods to adapt to climate change. The important role of the adaptation was also pointed out by Georgi Stefanov, head of the office of the Deputy Prime Minister for Climate Policy. Emissions are declining, but so is the population. The bad news is that the concentrations of carbon dioxide and methane are increasing. The data show that the intensity of precipitation is increasing, but has decreased by 50%. It has not rained so much in the Petrohan area for decades. Such emergencies will happen more often, but the state in the last renovation of Petrohan years ago did not provide for such a change in infrastructure, construction of gutters and other facilities, logging is also a problem, namely deforestation creates an opportunity for greater disaster and collapse of muddy masses and trees on the seemingly harmless gorge and riverbed, explained Georgi Stefanov, who is located in the area of ​​Petrohan.

He said that the municipalities want BGN 800 million a year for compensation after disasters, Bulgaria has managed to provide half of these funds so far, the problem is that they have already grown to over BGN 1 billion, and the state cannot provide 1/4 . Therefore, it is time for more serious adaptation measures, which will be less than the necessary funds for compensation, Stefanov added.

Although humanity is doing many things, the result is lacking. The global temperature in our country has increased and reaches and in some places exceeds 1.5 degrees increase with an average of 1.1 degrees globally. Climate refugees will increase by half a million people from Africa alone, Sandov said. Borislav Sandov continued with the ideas and measures that the Ministry of Ecology is working on. One of them is related to the fight against drought. Irrigation occurs through open channels that lose water through vapors. Before it reaches the 20-30% level it evaporates, if we plant trees along the canals we will restore these lost water resources. The Ministry of Ecology is allocating BGN 60 million under the "Environment" program for nurseries and planting material to sow 100 million trees. It is expected to indicate exactly where this will happen and in what way.

The best 18-25 year olds understand the problem very clearly, but they are also the latest generation that can reverse the trend and reduce climate policies, Sandov said. Professional skills, innovations are one of the biggest challenges in dealing with adaptation and mitigation of the effects of climate change, said a little later Georgi Stefanov.

The biggest air pollutants, the cause of emissions, are heating, transport, agriculture, industry. Biodiversity loss and the penetration of plastics everywhere, even microplastics, into the human body are also among the greatest threats to humanity.

The state also sees a growing change in the financing of green projects, due to the imposition of ESG policies for the global financial industry. The banking sector is directing an increasing share of investments in green projects. This is a great achievement, because it means in practice that there will be no money for projects and initiatives if they are not green, added Stefanov.

The project “Game On / Don't let climate change end the game!” of the Bulgarian Biodiversity Foundation, AEJ and Klimateka will stimulate journalistic development and participation in a research mission for journalists in a Central American country, in order to document the impact of climate change in the most affected countries. All activities are implemented.

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