At Rio+20 Nordic politicians met with their German and Russian counterparts to discuss energy policy. The conclusion was that closer cooperation is needed around the Baltic Sea to ensure a sustainable energy development.
A Rio+20 side event explored the opportunities for increased cooperation on energy resources around the Baltic. The side event, Northern Lights on Sustainable Development, was organized by the German Presidency of the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS).
Focus was, however, above all on the issue of sustainability.
- The way forward for the future we want needs to involve strong regional cooperation on sustainable development. The many organisations present in the Baltic Sea Region dealing with sustainable development are delivering concrete results and acting as a bridge between national actions and global commitments, said Mia Crawford from the Council of Baltic Sea States (CBSS).
She added that CBSS hopes that moving forward from Rio stronger synergies will be fostered and closer cooperation on tools for green economy and sustainable development goals will be achieved.
- The State of the Baltic Sea is an extremely acute issue, not just in terms of the environment, but also the life quality for those who live around the Baltic Sea, said Swedish Environment Minister Lena Ek.
- We need to act, if we act later it will be extremely expensive. So it is important to continue with financial support for the Baltic Sea strategy. And that also includes a better linking of science with policy, ecosystem based management is key and solid science is needed, she added.
In that vein, the seminar focused also on the findings of the BALREPA academy on energy planning, where the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) Kaliningrad office has played a central role.
A large part of the work in developing a basis for common strategies has focused on network building and capacity building, as well as adaptation to local demands. This is developed amongst other places through a so called Planning Academy.
- BALREPA Baltic Region Rotating Energy Planning Academy was started in Kaliningrad May 2011 by the NCM Information Office and BASREC. The session is rotating around the Baltic Sea, in each county using the same concept but in each case adapted to specific local demands, Director Arne Grove says from the NCM Kaliningrad office.
The Academy helps build local networks and capacity for sustainable energy planning for PhD students as well as energy planners from regional and municipal authorities in the Baltic Sea Region
- Shared responsibility brings us together and we can act as a bridge between national actions and global commitments. There is room for fostering better synergies an coherence as we move forward from Rio+20, concluded Mia Crawford from the CBSS.
BASREC , the Baltic Sea Regional Energy Cooperation, is a part of the Intergovernmental Networks of the Council of the Baltic Sea States (CBSS)
Project Activities of BASREC include:
BALREPA is a capacity- and network-building project activity developed and implemented jointly by BASREC and the Nordic Council of Ministers (NCM) in Kaliningrad
The objectives of BALREPA are to share experience in energy planning, inspire regional cooperation as well as promoting renewables and energy efficiency.
Main findings of BALREPA so far conclude that there are:
The aim is to develop a common Baltic Sea Region energy strategy and policy to reduce CO2 emissions.