A climate protection initiative by the Western Balkans Green Center, an institute of the Hungarian ministry of innovation and technology, has attracted a large number of bids from companies, a ministry official said on Wednesday.
The centre has invited applications for support to environmental projects for the second time this year, and the bids submitted reflected the preparedness and competitiveness of Hungarian companies involved in the green economy, state secretary Péter Kaderják said.
The effects of climate change strongly evident in the Western Balkans, with an increase in average temperatures, fires and fluctuating water supplies presenting serious problems, he said.
Another challenge is that energy production in the region relies mostly on fossil fuels, he added.
Recognising this problem, Hungary is promoting the decarbonisation of the Western Balkans as a priority in the programme of its Visegrad Group presidency next year.
In response to the coronavirus pandemic, the projects’ capacity for job creation is a special consideration, he said.
The winning applicants will support the green development of a region which has strategic importance to Hungary, he added.
The projects, mostly in the field of energy and water management, will be carried out in the six target countries of Albania, Bosnia-Herzegovina, Kosovo, North Macedonia, Montenegro and Serbia, starting in the spring of 2021, he said.