From the transition to new, green technologies in production, those who will sell them to us will have the greatest interest, and I’m afraid that this is exactly the meaning of the so-called green transition – to help the industry of Germany and several other large manufacturers in Europe in this way, a foreign consultant told Sputnik investments, Mahmud Bushatlija.
The declaration on the green transformation of the Serbian economy was prepared and recently published by the Chamber of Commerce of Serbia (PKS), which indicates that our economy has several years to adjust, which must begin immediately.
A good idea to make the environment healthier, with as little carbon dioxide and other harmful substances as possible, and the economy more efficient by recycling waste, the question is how it will be realized in Serbia and whether we are capable of investing in the green agenda .
That large investments in new technologies are involved is clear from the information that starting January 1, America will subsidize the green transition of its economy with 370 billion dollars.
Green transition the Serbian way
Director of the Sector for Strategic Analysis, Services and Internationalization of PKS, Mihailo Vesović, says that our companies must adapt their business models , because this will be demanded by their partners in the EU, whether they are exporters or involved in the supply chains of foreign partners.
“The pressure is not only from moral or ecological points of view, but the transition to a green economy is an economic necessity, as total and even energy resources are decreasing,” he told Sputnik. He also notes that it is no longer just a matter of good will of companies, but also our obligation.
Vesović points out that the EU will additionally tax those who do not use green energy sources for production, i.e. sun, water and wind instead of coal and oil, through a carbon tax . Carbon accounting, as he explains, will calculate how much carbon dioxide is created in the production of a certain product and will not allow it to enter the EU market if it is not adapted to the standards that companies operating in the Union are already subject to.
Are we staff?
When asked whether our economy is financially strong enough to invest in green production capacities, Vesović did not deal with figures.
“More and more new green funds and green credit lines will be opened, which will have as a condition compliance with the principles of circular or green economy.” And many credit lines will be conditional on compliance with the principles and that the result is a reduction or carbon neutrality, or at least a reduction in carbon dioxide emissions,” he says.
The most expensive is pollution
Vesović notes that the question is whether we will have to borrow or whether someone will have the capacity to invest in new green technologies from their profits, but he also points to a large number of funds.
“Access to a large number of funds , many of which are designed as grantsaimed at encouraging the economy to start implementing the green agenda, is something that is becoming available to all countries that are not EU members but are candidates, such as Serbia. There are green funds that are directed directly to the Western Balkans,” he stated, adding that many adjustments can be made without money.
Vesović is convinced that the price of investing in the green transition will ultimately be lower than what we as a society will pay if it does not happen.
Bušatlija, however, is very skeptical about the green transition. As he points out, this is indicated by the fact that the first energy crisis in Europe since the start of the green agenda, in a short period of time, canceled everything that had been done on that front. Some even opened already closed coal mines and put coal-fired thermal power plants back into operation.
It is pointless to discuss the agenda
“It is pointless to even discuss any agenda that is not based on a system that is based on laws. Europe has a problem with that green agenda, which is nowhere regulated by laws. Now, without any problems, that green agenda is being completely forgotten in Europe,” he said for Sputnik.
Commenting on the information that our companies will have to adapt their business models, because this will be required by their partners in the EU, he believes that we should have our long-term plans to develop our economy and that we should diversify our clientele precisely to avoid such blackmail.
“We should dedicate ourselves to first of all reducing the share of the exchange with the European Union to 30 percent , no more than that.” Six months ago, our trade with the EU accounted for 60 percent of the total with the world. Now it’s about 80 percent, and we didn’t buy more goods than last year, but we imported far less, but we paid more for it,” states Bušatlija.
He believes that we should make products that we will place on other markets.
So that the EU would not blackmail us
We should do exactly what the EU respects us when it comes to our import of Russian energy products, complaining that we are completely dependent on them and that we are therefore risking energy security. We need to do that with the trade exchange with the EU so that we don’t depend too much on them and that they can’t blackmail us, Bušatlija believes.
“I am sure that we should not so uncritically agree to any conversations in which someone orders us to do something, or blackmails us and I don’t know what they are blackmailing us with in general, because there are no legal decisions in Europe about this,” he says, adding that a special question of who will invest in that green production, considering our and the EU’s possibilities. And that, he reminds, is an extremely expensive undertaking.
Whose industry are we going to develop?
“What is the essence of it?” Can we participate in that green business with our industrial materials, products, what can we offer in any segment of that project as industry and economy. Or we will develop the German industry, because we have to buy any plant, whether solar or wind, from that green package. We don’t have that,” he says.
That’s why he believes that for the green transition, as much as from the outside, there is also pressure from the inside by the import lobby.
He is also skeptical about the funds from the EU funds considering the large costs of the EU budget because no one expected such expenses brought about by the Ukrainian-Russian conflict. Then, he reminds, they created a problem for themselves with energy sources by giving up cheaper Russian ones, so they cannot control prices, that is, inflation.
“Expecting that they will be able to have some funds for the stimulationof anything, even their IPA funds, is a big mistake.” By spring, Europe will face a big problem, and that is the bigger budget spending by the central government in Brussels than anyone could have ever guessed,” Bushatlija is convinced, Sputnik writes.