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Minister Turk attends Athens Summit on cooperation between the EU and countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region in the field of climate change

The Slovenian Minister for Growth, Dr Žiga Turk attended the Athens Summit on Global Climate Change and Energy Security as a representative of one of the 23 participating countries. The summit was aimed at presenting the views of the country holding the EU Council presidency on important aspects of climate change and securing reliable energy supply.

The Athens Summit also presented the Athens Declaration, which, in the light of combating climate change in association with securing sustainable energy supply and environmentally friendly and sustainable development, considerably contributes to the progress in this field. All participating countries had announced their accession to the declaration, including Slovenia.

The mission of the 2008 Athens Summit was to bring together key representatives of international institutions, national governments, the private sector and financial institutions, as well as academy members and experts in the energy and environmental sector, with the purpose of highlighting and providing a better understanding of the challenges to be faced in achieving sustainable development. A series of discussions touching upon important aspects of securing reliable energy supply, climate change, sustainable economic development and other energy-related challenges of the 21st century was being held. The conference highlighted topics of each separate sector of the energy industry (petroleum, gas, coal, nuclear and alternative energy), with particular emphasis on achieving sustainable development. In this context, a shared commitment to the goals of securing a reliable energy supply and environmental protection is very important.

The quality and quantity of existing synergies and cross-border relations in the Euro-Mediterranean region should also be strengthened to ensure better coordinated policies and exchange of information between supplier and consumer countries, as well as between the private and public sectors. Countries of the Euro-Mediterranean region have the opportunity to participate within the framework of enhanced transfer of knowledge, technologies and programmes related to energy efficiency and the development of renewable energy from EU Member States to their partners. They can also take part in organising educational programmes exchanged between the EU and regional partners and the public and private sector, in raising consumer awareness of the efficient use of energy or promoting different studies on potential investments in renewable energy, in particular in the regions of the Mediterranean, the Persian Gulf, the Black Sea and Central Asia.

The Athens Declaration presented at the Athens Summit is a political commitment towards common action aimed at attaining certain goals, such as the establishment of a new conceptual framework assuming a necessary relationship between reliable energy supply and environmental protection, and the improvement of cross-border cooperation, in particular within the Euro-Mediterranean region; providing better coordination between policies and exchange of knowledge; raising awareness on the importance of enhanced energy efficiency and increased use of renewable energy; and assessing the political and socio-economic consequences of climate change in the region.

In order to achieve these goals, the Athens Declaration envisages measures, such as increasing the scope of and accelerating technology transfer in the field of energy efficiency from EU Member States to countries involved in the new Neighbourhood Policy. Measures defined in the Athens Declaration also include implementation of a set of educational programmes exchanged between the EU and these countries, for the public as well as the private sector, and better coordination of private donors beyond the Euro-Mediterranean region with the existing EU initiatives, with a vision to gradually establish an environmental fund.


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Date: 09.05.2008