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Address of the President of the Republic of Serbia at the United Nations climate change conference COP26 held in Glasgow

"Your Excellences,

distinguished delegates,

dear Sarah,

At the very beginning, I feel obliged to thank Prime Minister Boris Johnson and Her Majesty’s Government for exceptional hospitality.

I feel privileged to represent the Republic of Serbia at this important place and at the highest-level world forum, in working on the most important topic of today – promoting climate awareness.

We all agree that we must make investment into climate and environment.

We all, likewise agree, that future generations must be educated in order not to repeat the mistakes we made, by hurting the only Planet that makes life possible.

I am very honoured that the Republic of Serbia is co-chairing this year’s Conference as a Non-EU representative of the Eastern Europe Group.

In concrete terms, we see the special contribution of our expert team in finalising negotiations on the implementation of Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, which refers to the establishment of the global market and non-market mechanisms for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, as well as to remaining provisions referring to advanced transparency framework and common timeframes for Nationally Determined Contributions, which are the key provisions of the Agreement that have not yet been covered by the decision that is to be adopted by the Conference, i.e. all member states.

We, therefore, believe that this is an exceptional opportunity for Serbia to give its full contribution to the finalization of negotiations, which, we hope, will secure full implementation of the Paris Agreement.

As a result of strong economic development, modelled for Serbia by 2050, the impact of the implementation of climate measures to employment will be optimal, through new jobs creation and creation of new industries which have not existed so far.

One billion euros was raised at the first green bonds auction in Serbia, which clearly confirms the trust of international investors in our green agenda, but also to the economic and political stability of our country.

Incomes from green bonds issuance will be used for financing renewables, energy efficiency, sustainable water management, prevention of pollution and circular economy development and biodiversity preservation.

And as you can see, dear friends, my people made a terrific speech for me, but I am going to add a few more words and a few more questions for those that are coming from big powers and that haven’t answered yet several questions:

Number one is: how are we going to finance all these activities?

We’ve heard the story of trillions of dollars that are at our disposal. My question would be: what would be the interest rate, what would be the terms for taking these amounts of money, and actually how are we going to tackle that issue?

Number two: how are we going to treat the nuclear power plants? Are we going to shut them all or are we going to build them more?

Then, how are we going to build more renewables if we already started endorsing populist movements against wind parks, new hydropower plants, and are we going to put in jeopardy the level of our public debt to GDP ratio if we raise huge amounts of money?

How are we going to treat natural gas, and how are we going to secure decent prices of natural gas and electricity power as well?

And, I came here using an electric car from Edinburgh to Glasgow. But, how are we going to do mining and refining of lithium, nickel, cobalt and many other very important minerals?

In the end, we all know what is our final aim, what is our final target. But, it’s not a fairytale – we’ll have to work a lot, we’ll have to be 100 per cent dedicated, and we’ll have to be more honest with each other.

The health of people living in Serbia depends directly on the implementation of this Agenda, just like the health and life of each living being on Earth depends on arrangements that will be reached here and on national implementation of the respective arrangements.

Perhaps it is the right time to listen and hear the cry of Mother Earth because if we lose this race against time, our children will inherit an irreparably polluted Planet.

Thank you very much for listening to me."


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