The Večernji list newspaper and the Israeli Embassy in Croatia organized a conference in Zagreb entitled "Croatia as We Need It - Green Development Against the Climate Crisis" and brought together various experts - scientists, technology experts, public policy makers, environmental activists and businessmen. The conference was also attended by Croatian President Zoran Milanović, numerous ministers and the Mayor of Zagreb. The intention is to raise public awareness of the dangers of the climate crisis and the need to overcome it through discussions and expert lectures. Solutions from Israel and Croatia were also presented, as a basis for future cooperation.
“Croatia is a country that lives from services, tourism, beauty and cleanliness. We are visited by people who have different interests than 50 years ago and more criteria and you cannot welcome them with an open trash can,” said President Zoran Milanović.
He added that green transformation must become a way of life and consciousness.
“It is important that it does not overwhelm us and that it does not become an ideology. Ideologies have a place in politics and you have to have some human compass and that has to guide you. This is not an ideology, but practical solutions to problems we have created ourselves. The world today is incomparably cleaner, more beautiful and healthier than in my childhood,” he said.
He pointed out that the European Commission has realized that we will not all be driving electric cars so quickly and that internal combustion cars will be among us for years to come.
“If you understand that, then you have recognized the problem, defined it well and you can work on it. If you get carried away that we will have electric cars tomorrow, that we will be able to charge them - we will not. I have never lived in a house and not had access to electricity,” said President Milanović and pointed out that charging a car is a whole series of problems that we must accept to exist.
He also said that the United States, the world's largest economy and the biggest polluter besides China, did not accept that ideology.
“Clear long-term measures and awareness that it won’t happen overnight are needed. If we understand that we will do something for the generation to come. Gas will not disappear overnight. Croatia has some sources, there are fewer and fewer of them and we have to rely on imports. We are safe, but Germany is not. It has based its energy policy on close relations with Russia for 20 years. That cannot be changed immediately. That is why all the big statements - we are giving up Russian energy - are impossible at the moment. The one who creates an illusion that it is possible is a political illusionist, an extremely dangerous kind of person,” said the president.
Milanović also referred to atomic energy. He said that 30 kilometers from Zagreb there is a nuclear power plant that was put into operation in the late 1970s, and that the Slovenians are grouping to build another block.
“Does this concern Croatia - yes. Does it make us nervous - not with me because I see that there is nothing else. Finland, which is an ecological country, is building nuclear power plants, and Austria, which is an ecological country, is terrified of them. Germany goes from geological earthquake to earthquake. Such a long-term policy cannot be pursued. Germany will have to decide whether it will be Russian gas or build nuclear power plants, so Russia will not need them strategically. But it is interesting that they have not seen a security problem in Russia for the last 20 years, because if they did, they would never be tied to Russia and would have accepted the lesser of two risks, and that is nuclear energy,” said the president, concluding that the world changed dramatically in a few weeks.
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