Croatian national climate policy – Government is not interested in the public opinion

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On 11th December, the government opened a public consultation on the Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) of the Republic of Croatia for the period 2021-2030 lasting only four working days. This document should be the main axis and guide for the national climate policy and it is a direct product of the Paris Climate Agreement, according to which all signatory states should adopt their national plans.

Zelena akcija/FoE Croatia is urging the Croatian Government to prolong the public consultation on the national energy and climate plan to 30 days. The current deadline of four working days is extremely inappropriate, thus making the whole process non-transparent.

This is a continuation of a non-transparent process since the public consultation on the first draft of the NECP in 2018 lasted only four working days as well, between Christmas and New Year. In this way, the Croatian Government prevents the public, civil society, private sector and various institutions from contributing to this important document.

FoE Croatia has also highlighted that the illegality in the process of adopting this Plan is obvious. Namely, the Environmental Protection Act prescribes a minimum deadline of 30 days for public participation in the procedures in which it is prescribed. This rule also applies to public participation in relation to strategies, plans and programmes related to the environment, which includes the procedures for drafting their amendments. It is indisputable that this is a document that will have a significant impact on the environment and climate due to its measures, and that there is a public interest. Also, according to the Code of Consultation with the Interested Public, it was necessary to organise a broad public debate, and not just a short online consultation.

The Croatian Government has once more underlined their lack of ambition in the climate and energy policies and national goals by showing a lack of ambitions in involving the public in the creation of the most important regulation during the climate crises. FoE Croatia is again urging the government to take climate change as well as policies to combat it seriously and to conduct a transparent procedure that includes a broad public debate.