On 27 June, the third Sustainability Forum took place under the auspices of the Energy Community in Vienna.
The Forum brought together Ministers and Deputy Ministers responsible for energy, environment and climate change of the Energy Community Contracting Parties, including Georgia, the Republic of Moldova and Ukraine. It was also attended by such representatives of EU Member States, high-level officials of the European Commission, as well as representatives of academia, civil society and non-governmental organisations, to discuss the best ways for the Energy Community to embrace a decarbonised energy future.
The Forum expressed concern regarding the delay in the establishment of a new 2030 Energy Community legislative framework to increase substantially the share of energy from renewable sources, especially wind and solar, improve energy efficiency and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, all in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
The participants underlined that with ever more stringent emission rules, the profitability of coal-fired power plants is being increasingly questioned. They called for the adoption of strategies on phasing out subsidies to electricity generation from coal.
The participants acknowledged that the contribution of small hydropower plants to energy production in the Energy Community is extremely limited, while their impacts on the environment are disproportionately high. Therefore, the development of greenfield projects should be scrutinised, while full and proper implementation of Energy Community legislation on environmental assessments (at project, river basin and regional level) is a prerequisite to any project.
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