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A view from the ground in Bulgaria

The debate about climate change has been increasing recently as reports about what is at stake in Copenhagen have been released.  

Most Bulgarians regard environmental policy from a more local perspective, focused on their own countryside and environment rather than in the terms of a global priority.  

But partly due to Bulgarian membership of EU, there is increasing understanding that taking action against climate change requires investment now – in renewables, sustainable energy and energy efficiency.  The EU’s rules on recycling and waste management, designed to minimise our impact on the environment, have also highlighted the need for action now.    

Bulgaria’s political priorities have so far been aimed at minimising this cost, by reducing the burden of on Bulgarian businesses and public finances in order to maintain their economic competitiveness.  

However, there is real potential in Bulgaria to be a green energy centre, with hydro, biomass, wind, geothermal and solar energy all realistic and affordable prospects here.  How successful Bulgaria will be in realising this potential remains to be seen.

Joan Ruddock discusses the role of the EU in climate change negotiations

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