Climate Change Country Reports 2010 is INFORSE-Europe publication that deals with the climate-change issues in new EU member states (post-communist countries only) and some Balkan countries. These countries all face more or less similar obstacles with respect to their economical and social development. The present report makes available hard-to-find information that mainstream media consistently fail to report about - the attitudes of ordinary citizens and of governments towards climate change problems. The primary media’s silence does not mean that climate change is not an issue in these countries; the truth is just the opposite. According to the EU-wide survey on attitudes of EU citizens towards climate change (Eurobarometer 69.2 N°300, 2008) there is a vast majority (between 63% and 89% of inhabitants) in each of these countries who consider climate change as a "very serious problem". Over 50% of citizens polled consider it to be the most serious problem currently facing the world as a whole. This publication is aimed at presenting, especially for the use of non-governmental organizations, the situation in new EU member states from the perspective of people living and working there.
The new EU members and Balkan countries as well are facing special challenges during these years of transition. Rises in their respective GDPs until 2008 have been considerable. An unwelcome corollary to this helpful economic growth was governmental officials’ frequently unchallenged assertions of "the need" to increase future greenhouse-gas emissions. The NGO community does not share this view. Past emission trends show decoupling of emissions and GDP. With each country’s huge potential for energy savings and renewables as well as for related job creation, and given the ecological imperative of curbing global warming, we maintain that it would be unwise for EC to turn back progress and relax current regulations.
In fact, during this period of strong economic development, each country has a unique opportunity to remold a destructive, expensive, inefficient fossil-fuel-based economy into a healthy, efficient, sustainable one based on renewables, often nearly independent at local levels. Despite the fact that the new EU members are enjoying huge EU structural and cohesion funds right now, changing business-as-usual patterns unfortunately is not on the agenda yet. The situation in Balkan countries which all (except for Kosovo which is not a UN member yet) signed and ratified both the UN Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, is a bit complicated in comparison to the new EU member states. Nevertheless even here the climate change is becoming hot issue because the region as a whole, being part of the Mediterranean, is among the most vulnerable regions to climate change, in Europe.