On July 1st, representatives of public administration, business, analytical centres and non-governmental organizations from the countries in Visegrad group had a chance to engage in a knowledge exchange on best practices for climate action in the transport and buildings sector during the first interactive regional stakeholder workshop held in Warsaw.
The event was organized within the framework of the CEE Climate Policy Frontier project, supported by the European Climate Initiative (EUKI) and implemented by WiseEuropa, Climate Strategies, Expert Forum and Climate Analytics.
The workshop was opened by Aleksander Śniegocki, Project Manager of Energy and Climate at WiseEuropa, who presented the overview of the current state and good practices in climate action in transport and building sectors in CEE region. After that, participants were divided into parallel working groups, in which they discussed the applicability of the good policy practices across the CEE region, and establishment of next steps within four areas: electromobility, energy efficiency in buildings, clean heating sources in buildings and sustainable transport modes.
During the first session of transport working group that was focused on electromobility, Zoltán Vígh, Executive Director of Ányos Jedlik Cluster (Hungary) and Marcin Korolec, CEO of the Electric Vehicles Promotion Foundation (Poland) have provided their perspectives on Hungarian and Polish experiences in developing electromobility plans. In the following part of the workshop, dr Vojtěch Máca from Charles University in Prague (Czech Republic) and Veronika Oravcová from the Slovak Foreign Policy Association (Slovakia) have discussed the sustainable transport modes development on the example of integrated public transport solutions in Slovakia and Czech Republic.
The buildings working group devoted its first interactive session to the issue of supporting energy efficiency in buildings. Jana Bendžalová, Executive manager in the Environment and Building Energy Efficiency (Slovakia) has shared Slovakian experiences in scaling up retrofit programs and ensuring high-efficiency standards in new and retrofitted buildings. During the next session, Lukáš Minařík, Ministerial Counsellor in Department of Energy and Climate Protection from Ministry of the Environment (Czech Republic) has presented insights regarding clean heating sources in buildings, in particular, the use of heat pumps in the Czech Republic, while dr Jan Rączka, CEO of Alternator and former President of the National Fund for Environmental Protection and Water Management (Poland) has described the Polish experience of large-scale subsidy programme supporting installation of solar collectors.
During the summary of the working group discussions, the participants presented the identified transport sector challenges such as a large number of imported old diesel cars, railway infrastructure underfunding or loss of local public transport connections. In response to these challenges, several solutions were proposed, including linking all clean vehicles subsidy schemes with scrap obligations, disincentivising import of most polluting cars with adjusted taxes and levies, enhancing coordination of public transport development and operation between regions, municipalities and national-level entities (harmonisation of schedules, single tickets), as well as supporting the research and development in this area. Regarding buildings sector, problems such as ambiguity in financing schemes or ineffective certification could be eliminated by, among others, the introduction of harmonised standards, conducting ex-post evaluations of retrofit programmes and supporting intersectoral cooperation.
The last part of the event was devoted to the adequacy of current good practices in the light of Paris Agreement compatible emissions reduction pathways. During the presentation, Aleksander Śniegocki introduced the first results of the assessment, prepared by Climate Analytics.
The workshop offered a rare opportunity for the intra-CEE dialogue focused on learning from past climate policy successes and mistakes, establishing a strong foundation for further exchanges both within the project and beyond.
The European Climate Initiative (EUKI) is a project financing instrument by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety (BMU). Its implementation is supported by the Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH. It is the overarching goal of the EUKI to foster climate cooperation within the European Union (EU) in order to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions.