50 Experts, 150 Ideas for Bulgaria: Green Restart Coalition Presents the Special "Mission Energy Transition" Report in a Discussion with Politicians

The report has been discussed at a Roundtable with the participation of MP candidates and leading climate and energy experts.

От МOVE.BG, публикувана на 29 март 2023

Green Restart Coalition initiated by MOVE.BG has officially presented the special report "Mission Energy Transition" (link here in English), which contains over 150 recommendations given by 50 leading Bulgarian experts, offering solutions for a systemic energy transformation of Bulgaria and overcoming the significant challenges faced by our country in the energy transition. To present the report, the Coalition organized a Roundtable (link here in Bulgarian) with the participation of MP candidates from the main political parties, as well as leading climate and energy experts. The report is yet another initiative of the Green Restart Coalition, in which MOVE.BG has been working together with WWF Bulgaria, "Greenpeace"-Bulgaria, and the Institute for Circular Economy for more than three years in support of Bulgaria's green and innovative development.

Roundtable Discussion

The moderator of the Roundtable "Mission Energy Transition: Solutions from Experts and Politicians" that took place on the eve of the new snap elections was Sasha Bezuhanova, the founder of MOVE.BG and the initiator of the Green Restart Coalition. The discussion involved the MP candidates Venko Sabrutev from “Prodalzhavame promianata”, Zhecho Stankov from GERB-SDS, Stanislav Anastasov from DPS, and Tasko Ermenkov from BSP for Bulgaria, as well as the experts Apostol Diankov, Head of the Climate and Energy Program at WWF Bulgaria, Balin Balinov, Coordinator of the "Energy Solutions" Campaign at "Greenpeace"-Bulgaria, and Georgi Stefanov, a climate and energy expert.

"The energy transition is much more than determining the fate of coal-fired power plants. It involves a systematic program of reforms and initiatives aimed at achieving energy efficiency in our economy, overcoming energy poverty, investing in alternative energy sources with minimal impact on nature, and creating an environment for waste utilization as a resource. Last but not least, it is achievable by motivating citizens to consume smartly and understand the practical benefits of that type of societal behavior. Guided by this understanding, we brought together leading experts from science, business, media, and local government to collectively formulate the visionary report 'Mission Energy Transition'. 

It can serve as a roadmap for reforms by the new parliament and government. That is why, just a few days before the parliamentary elections, we are meeting politicians and experts to discuss the ideas from the report and stimulate the resolution of one of the most significant challenges facing our country - Bulgaria's lag in energy transformation. I believe that only through dialogue, cooperation, and consensus on bold reforms in this field we can broaden the horizons for our country's development according to the standards of the 21st century," said Sasha Bezuhanova, founder of MOVE.BG and initiator of the Green Restart Coalition.

The report

The initiative "Mission Energy Transition" aims to help Bulgaria, which faces serious challenges in all key areas of the energy transformation. The Bulgarian economy is the most energy-intensive one in Europe, 3.5 times higher than the average levels. The country also has the highest number of energy-poor households in the EU (28%). There is a lack of policies supporting the development of one of the key elements of energy transition - renewable energy communities. After losing BGN 200 million (EUR 100 million) for coal regions, Bulgaria is now at risk by the middle of the year of losing another BGN 1.5 billion (EUR 750 million) designated for the economic development of Stara Zagora, Pernik, and Kyustendil. Unsustainable forms of biomass utilization for energy production continue to dominate in Bulgaria, posing serious risks to biodiversity conservation. A national communication strategy is missing, which would explain in a comprehensible way the necessity and benefits of energy transition and present in a simple and summarized manner the planned energy measures for businesses and households.

Therefore, in February, the Green Restart Coalition gathered 50 leading Bulgarian experts in a special event for the generation of ideas in support of Bulgaria's energy transformation. The initiative involved experts from the scientific and civil sectors, representatives from businesses, communication experts, and sociologists, as well as specialists from the government administration and representatives from coal regions. The aim was to bring together diverse perspectives and expertise and to contribute to the energy transition process.

The experts generated ideas in five key and interconnected areas: 

  • Energy Communities
  • Energy Poverty and Energy Efficiency
  • Just Transition of the Coal Regions
  • Communication for a Successful Energy Transition
  • Sustainable Use of Biomass

The Green Restart Coalition summarized the experts' ideas in the "Mission Energy Transition" Report, which is published on the MOVE.BG website here (in English).

The special promotional video for the report is available here (in Bulgarian). 

You can watch the full recording of the Roundtable Discussion "Mission Energy Transition: Solutions from Experts and Politicians" here (in Bulgarian). 

A photo gallery from the event is available here (in Bulgarian).

You can learn more about the Green Restart Coalition here (in English).

*Translation from the Bulgarian language: Ekatherina Dimitrova

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