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Debate on energy efficiency in Bulgaria with Commissioner Hedegaard

European Commissioner for Climate Action Connie Hedegaard hosted a public debate in Sofia to discuss the economic and environmental benefits of creating an energy-efficient, low-carbon society in Bulgaria.

Alexandr Nevski Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria
Alexandr Nevski Cathedral in Sofia, Bulgaria

Buildings account for around 40 per cent of Europe’s energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. This is therefore one of the sectors with the greatest energy savings potential. Increased energy efficiency is one of the cheapest ways to reduce Europe’s greenhouse gas emissions. By becoming more energy efficient, Bulgaria can significantly reduce its energy consumption – and save money on energy bills. The average Bulgarian home could save up to one third of its energy consumption for heating simply by installing proper insulation. And by installing solar panels households could slash their annual electricity bill by a further 30 per cent.

Commissioner Hedegaard and Bulgarian President Rosen Plevneliev  discussed the importance of energy efficiency for Bulgaria and representatives from business, finance and environmental organisations will highlight examples of how this can be achieved. Commissioner Hedegaard also participated in a public debate with Julian Popov, Minister of Environment and Water, and Bulgarian tennis star Magdalena Maleeva about what should be done to make Bulgaria more energy efficient.

Connie Hedegaard said: “Each one of us can make a difference in the fight against climate change – governments, industries, cities but also individual consumers. Do you know what you can do? Buy local or low-energy products, take the bike or avoid unnecessary waste of energy: this sustainable approach will save us money, time and emissions. What is holding you back from doing the things that are obviously a good idea? I am looking forward to discussing this with you.”

The event will showcase several innovative, climate-friendly solutions from business in Bulgaria and beyond, for example how IKEA is developing energy management within its supply chain, the work of the Bulgarian Green Building Council which focuses on sustainable construction, and the progress made by the Centre for Energy Effect (EnEffect) in accelerating and strengthening the impact of the “nearly zero-energy” building standard on Bulgaria’s green economic development.

“These are just a few of the many examples in Europe of intelligent and innovative solutions and technologies that reduce CO2 pollution and save energy, thus reducing Bulgaria’s dependency on oil, gas and coal imports from abroad. These smart solutions are the backbone of the campaign A world you like, with a climate you like that I am presenting in Bulgaria,” said Connie Hedegaard. “Climate-friendly innovations save money, improve our quality of life and boost skilled employment and economic growth.”

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