UNDP and Ministries of Environment; Foreign Affairs meeting

August 24, 2009 at 9:56 am | Posted in Legislative Outreach | Leave a comment
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Representative of the Ministry of Environment's climate change team briefs the attendees on the activities to date

I just returned from a consultative meeting organized by United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Romania, the Ministry of  Environment and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs.  The meeting’s subject was entitled “Romania in the Context of Negotiations for the New Global Climate Change Agreement, Copenhagen, December 2009 – United Nations Climate Change Framework Convention COP 15”.        Attendees included dignitaries of the above-mentioned organizations as well as the Ministry of Agriculture, various academic institutions, NGOs and private sector representatives.   We as stakeholders were asked to provide concrete recommendations as Romania prepares its position for national and international policy for the post-Kyoto period beyond 2012.

On behalf of the Romania Green Building Council, I made the following points:

1) That  studies being performed to calculate the economic impact of greater CO2 / greenhouse gas reduction commitments should also include the reduced economic risk from greater energy efficiency and energy security.    In addition, recognition of the significant contribution of buildings, new and existing, to greenhouse gas emissions  must be elevated in the continuing climate change discussions in Copenhagen and beyond.

2) Financing mechanisms that reward green building, green tech, and renewable energy solutions and are paid back by future energy savings are a low cost way for encouraging innovation and helping Romania to prosper from adopting a low carbon economy.

3) Density bonuses, property tax exemptions and expedited permitting (among other incentives) for green buildings can provide better quality investments, sustained economic growth, and, of course, better buildings.    A greater amount of green property investments offset the cost of tax reductions to municipalities and promote high-quality jobs.

4) Greater willingness to review and allow environmentally-superior construction materials is necessary to increase the energy efficiency of buildings and reduce their environmental impact.    Reaching climate change commitments can be achieved by more innovative thinking and new policies instead of requiring greater spending.

5) Companies should be supported in their transition away from fossil fuel.  We must let the market economy function but provide support in specific cases where the environmental costs are not captured by the normal market mechanisms.

Eliza Teodorescu presents recomendations from the Climate Action Network Romania

Eliza Teodorescu presents recomendations from the Climate Action Network Romania

The Legislative Outreach Task Group of the Romania Green Building Council is preparing, in cooperation with WWF Romania a position paper to be delivered to the Government of Romania which will include the above points along with more details on policies and tools to ensure Romania’s climate change response brings sustainable economic growth.

We look forward to your comments.

– Steve

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