The Bulgarian Minister of Environment and Water, Julian Popov, participated for the first time on behalf of Bulgaria in an event of the US Net-Zero Govemment Initiative - Leading Bu Example, the goal of which is to achieve "net zero" in the activities of state institutions. The Bulgarian government decided to join the initiative announced at COP27 in Egypt on November 24, days before the start of the current COP28 in Dubai, BTA recalls.
By joining this initiative, the Bulgarian government is committed to achieving net zero greenhouse gas emissions from government operations no later than 2050 and developing a Roadmap that outlines actions to achieve this commitment. "Operations" means all activities in a given state or municipal department, the eco-minister explained to Dir.bg and 3eNews.
Minister Popov said that, in his opinion, governments are lagging behind businesses in actions to limit harmful emissions. "Fifteen years ago, government and NGOs drove the climate change agenda while business watched from the sidelines. Now we see that business and industry are very ambitious and moving forward, while we, who are expected to lead by example, have to we learn from business", said Yulian Popov in response to the question why the Bulgarian government decided to join the initiative.
In fact, Bulgaria is currently fulfilling similar commitments for decarbonization in line with the requirements of the European Commission. Such are energy efficiency measures and replacement of the fuel base for heating, for example.
Popov even joked beforehand that the first thing the government did after joining the initiative was to dramatically increase its carbon footprint. The reason is that Bulgaria is for the first time at the COP with a national pavilion and nearly 250 people have arrived in Dubai to participate in discussions, presentations and negotiations within the framework of the UN climate conference.
Net-Zero Govemment Initiative - Leading by Example is an initiative of the United States of America in partnership with 18 other governments, announced during the 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP27) in Egypt in November 2022. The initiative is led by the US President's Executive Office and Council on Environmental Quality, in close cooperation with the Office of Special Climate Envoy John Kerry. In addition to the US, currently 25 other countries (including 12 EU member states) are in the elite club of leading governments in this initiative. New countries are expected to announce their accession to this initiative during the annual climate conference in Dubai, UAE in December this year. Apart from Bulgaria, some of the newly joined countries are Spain, Italy, Andorra, Monaco, Nigeria and Chile.