Romania’s Pathway to Climate Neutrality – Online Networking Event for Discussing Challenges and Opportunities

Decarbonisation will not be achieved merely through political commitments – it also requires rigorous evidence-based planning and dialogue among all actors involved. The event “Romania’s Pathway to Climate Neutrality” organised by EPG and EUKI discussed Romania’s Long-Term Strategy as well as encouraged experience-sharing on challenges and opportunities for Romania’s aim to become climate neutral by 2050 through multiple viewpoints. Its main purpose was to start a public dialogue and to encourage a closer collaboration of the governing bodies with the specialised civil society.

Published: 05 April 2023
group of bored people in video-conference

The event that took place on March 23 was kicked off by a short welcome made by Cristina Raiciu (Deputy Head of the Economic Section in the German Embassy in Bucharest) an was followed by a key-note speech by Berthold Goeke (Deputy Director-General for National and European Climate Policy, German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action).

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Mr. Goeke’s speech highlighted the importance of efforts taken by each member state of the European Union through available instruments, especially the Long-Term Strategies (LTS): “LTS are a national-level compass on the way to climate neutrality. Defining a pathway to climate neutrality requires farsightedness and is not an easy task, but it gives us resilience in medium and long term”, Berthold Goeke. This first part of the event was concluded by a speech on the role of the Romanian legislative body in reaching climate neutrality by 2050, by Oana Ozmen (Secretary of the Committee for Industries and Services of the Romanian Parliament).

Presentations were followed by panel discussions moderated by Mihnea Cătuți (EPG Head of Research). The purpose of the panel was to encourage a high-level exchange between Romanian, German and European Commission authorities and civil society on Romania’s pathway to climate neutrality, in particular in regard to Romania’s pending Long Term Strategy. In the first speech of the panel, Elena Popescu (General Director of the Energy Policy and The European Green Deal, Ministry of Energy of Romania) presented a few updates on Romania’s LTS that is in the making.: “It is important to know that we analysed three scenarios and we chose the most ambitious climate neutrality scenario. This was a tough decision. We evaluated different possibilities and what is best for Romania, what could be the role of Romania in the region but also in Europe as a whole”, Elena Popescu.

The panel continued with an intervention from Audrey Mathieu (Policy Officer at the German Federal Ministry of Economic Affairs and Climate Action) which was focused on sharing some aspects of the German governance framework and planning instruments. A speech by Mara Roman (Deputy Head of the European Commission Representation in Romania and Head of the Political Section) presented the results of the EU mechanisms put in place to tackle both the short-term crisis caused by the war in Ukraine, as well as the Green Deal goals. The last intervention was by Mihai Stoica (Executive Director of 2Celsius), who stated the difficult task of encapsulating the voice of Romania’s civil society in his speech. The panel discussions were followed by an extensive Q&A session, during which both the Romanian EUKI Community as well as other guests engaged with the speakers. Conclusions were drafted by Radu Dudău (EPG President).