Bulgarian President Roumen Radev said on November 29 that he would oppose any revision of emission targets when he speaks next week at the UN climate change conference in Katowice, Poland, known as COP 24.
Radev, who will be in Poland on December 3-4, said in a statement that Bulgaria supported the Paris Agreement on mitigating greenhouse gas emissions and believed that action to fight climate change was necessary, but opposed any revision of the targets.
“These measures should remain within the framework already agreed, without a further increase in targets and taking into account the state and development prospects of national energy systems,” Radev said.
“Bulgaria cannot allow loss of competitiveness in the energy sector and will work towards maintaining the social rights of the people working in the sector,” he said.
The statement came just hours after several hundred miners and thermal power plant employees marched in central Sofia to ask for “guarantees” that Bulgaria would not support any measures that would lead to cuts in coal mining and coal-powered electricity generation.
Energy Minister Temenouzhka Petkova met with protest representatives, saying that Bulgaria’s Cabinet has already approved a position opposed to more ambitious greenhouse gas emission targets at the COP 24 conference.
Bulgaria’s energy sector relied heavily on coal-powered plants, which accounted for 46 per cent of all electricity generated in the country, rising to 60 per cent during winter months, and “no one would dare raise a hand” against those power plants.
“The cabinet stands firmly behind our miners, you know our position in Katowice – the government does not support the new requirements. We hope that the president, who will lead the Bulgarian delegation in Katowice, will defend the cabinet’s position,” Petkova told the protest representatives.
Radev said he would meet with representatives of the miners on November 30.
(Petkova talking to protest representatives, photo: Bulgarian Energy Ministry.)