The meeting was held at the Bračak Energy Centre in Zabok on the occasion of World Energy Efficiency Day, observed on 5 March to raise awareness of the need to reduce energy consumption and sustainable energy use, the president’s office said in a press release.
In the past 13 years, together with counties, towns and municipalities, Croatia’s regional energy agencies have been implementing sustainable energy use projects. Investment in clean energy exceeds HRK 1 billion.
They successfully participate in many EU projects for the energy-efficient renovation of public infrastructure, developing new business models and financial instruments, which makes them Croatia’s energy transition pioneers, it was said at the meeting.
President Milanović said there was no successful adjustment to climate change without energy efficiency and that the climate crisis was potentially the biggest global crisis of the future.
“The experience in achieving renewable and efficient energy and climate protection in Croatia, which regional energy agencies already have, is a good example to all in Croatia at local as well as national level that we can and must do even better when it comes to energy efficiency. Our children must go to better schools, the buildings we live in should be both safe and energy-efficient, our cities deserve to become smart in terms of energy,” he said after the meeting.
“The economic losses in the EU due to weather and climate extremes already amount to €12 billion annually. Energy efficiency is what can help us to adjust to climate change, not to lose jobs but create them, raising the standard of living of us all,” he added.
Croatia has five regional energy agencies which employ 70 experts while the EU has 350, some of which have been active more than 40 years.
There are four million green jobs in the EU today, including 1.4 million in the production of energy from renewables and over 900,000 in energy efficiency activities, said Julije Domac, the president’s energy and climate advisor.
“That’s what we should focus on. Croatia has the know-how, as evidenced by the fact that Croatian energy agencies regularly coordinate European development projects, provide services to the European Commission and are active across the European Union. Today it’s important that each of us know that energy efficiency means better for them, for Croatia, and then for Earth,” he added.