Sustainable Energy Management:
Progress cannot be stopped, but pollution can
The working part of the Second Conference “Sustainable Waste Management in Croatian Cities and Counties” began on 28th April 2009 with the message “Progress cannot be stopped, but pollution can”. The organisers and sponsors greeted the gathered participants. The conference topic is sustainable urban development, and the conference itself gathered about 500 representatives from Croatian cities and counties in Zagreb.
- I cannot emphasise enough the significance and role of energy and energy systems for the development of our cities and counties. Energy should be available to everyone, everywhere and always! However, nature must be preserved and its damaging prevented, because this is the only way to preserve the essence of our existence – said the President of the Republic of Croatia Stjepan Mesić, pointing out that adapting the economy and lifestyle according to the needs of future generations is a responsibility of the country and local government, as well as a responsibility of each individual.
- There are more than 2.5 million cities in the world. In 2008, more than half of the world population lived in cities. The United Nations predict that by 2030 almost 5 billion people, i.e. 60% of the world population, will live in cities, said the representative of UNDP in Croatia Yuri Afanasiev, and continued – the potential for energy savings amounts to 20-40%, which would result in significant GDP savings. Thus the role of cities is indispensable in the introduction of sustainable energy management.
- Based on detailed analyses on city-owned company business and energy budgetary expenditures, we noticed in Zagreb realistic possibilities for energy savings and energy efficiency increase – said the conference host, Mayor of the City of Zagreb Milan Bandić, pointing out that the first 10 buses fuelled by biodiesel are operating on the streets of Zagreb since June 2007. The aim is to fuel half of ZET’s buses with biodiesel in the next seven to eight years, while the other half would be powered by natural gas. The pilot project of street light improvement is also being implemented, significantly decreasing energy costs and light pollution.
The participant were greeted by Vojko Obersnel, president of the Cities’ Association; Vinko Mladineo, director of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund; Nikola Ružinski, State Secretary at the Ministry of Environmental Protection, Physical Planning and Construction; and Tamara Obradović-Mazal, State Secretary at the Ministry of Economy, Labour and Entrepreneurship.
The first, working part of the conference consisted of a discussion about strategic guidelines and sustainable urban development, the second part of the conference comprised energy policy, whereas the third discussed urban planning, architecture and energy.