For the second time, Zelena akcija / FoE Croatia awarded the Golden Stump, a prestigious "award" for contribution to the devastation of the environment, and this time Minister Davor Filipović the "honour" had.
"Only one year of Minister Filipović's mandate has passed, and he has already managed to degrade the environmental and nature protection department, which issubordinated to the economy and fossil fuel energy sector even more than before", said Luka Tomac, president of FoE Croatia.
With the support of the Green Forum network, FoE Croatia’s activists organised a performance in front of the office of the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development today, presenting the Golden Stump to Filipović and pointing out the evident systematic neglect of the environmental sector. For this reason, they believe that a reform of the Ministry is necessary.
"For a long time, we have been witnessing a deficient or no political vision, the environment is secondary to this Government, and unprofessional people are appointed as heads of the Ministry who, instead of protecting, devastate the environment", Tomac emphasised and added: "That is why we believe that the solution lies in the formation of a new ministry which will focus on environmental protection and the climate crisis".
Namely, the Minister shows that he needs to be made aware that in the next five to 10 years, the economy will have to function significantly differently than today. "Filipović generally ignores the climate crisis as a serious threat. One example is the process of amending the National Energy and Climate Plan, which is non-transparent because no public consultation for the general public was held", Tomac commented.
Tomac added that we should not forget that Filipović was a member of the Supervisory Board of INA (national oil and gas company) when one of the biggest scandals with the resale of gas took place, damaging this company for more than 1 billion HRK.
The environmental sins of Minister Filipović are numerous. From supporting projects such as the expansion of the Krk LNG terminal, hydropower plant Kosinj and the new block of the Krško nuclear power plant to stagnation regarding any progress in reducing single-use plastic pollution and continuing the harmful national waste management policy. "Instead of encouraging the prevention, reuse and recycling of waste, Filipović continues to encourage the construction of incinerators and the investment of millions of euros in expensive and harmful regional waste centres", Tomac said.
In addition, the president of FoE Croatia believes that finances from crucial mechanisms such as RePowerEU should, instead of fossil fuels, be directed to installing solar panels on the roofs of houses and buildings, encouraging the establishment of energy communities and projects which increase energy efficiency.
The Minister also earned the Golden Stump for his irresponsibility in harshly sanctioning environmental accidents, such as the oil spill near Ježevo in March of this year, as well as the closedness of the Ministry for questions of public interest. "During his mandate, we’ve witnessed a significant increase in avoiding to provide requested information, which the Ministry must provide in accordance with the Law on the Right to Access to Information", Tomac said.
Replacing one minister with another is not the final solution. A completely different approach to the environmental sector is needed, especially because of the growing climate crisis. "The reform of the current environmental and nature protection sector, which is completely subordinated to the economy, should be carried out regardless of who is in power. Let's remember that the first Golden Stump was awarded to former Minister Ćorić, which indicates a systemic problem that needs to be resolved as soon as possible", Tomac concluded.
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