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Conference Programme

  1. 22 November
7:30 - 8:30
8:30 - 9:00

Welcome and introductory remarks

Alexander Duleba / CEEC Director, Slovak Foreign Policy Association
- Other speakers to be confirmed.
9:00 - 10:30

Panel I. Recovery Plan: An opportunity to speed up green investments in V4 countries

The European Commission introduced the Recovery and Resilience Facility that should help to repair the immediate economic and social damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. Its main aim is to make the economies and societies of member states more sustainable, resilient and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities of the green and digital transitions. To benefit from the support of the Facility EU member states prepared recovery and resilience plans that set out a coherent package of reforms and public investment projects. Can Visegrad countries utilize the opportunity of this Facility towards green investments? What are the main green projects of these countries? What are the main challenges in the implementation of the plans?

Lívia Vašáková / Director General of the Recovery Plan Department, Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic

Eduard Heger / Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic

László Palkovics / Minister for Innovation and Technology of Hungary
Tadeusz Kościński / Minister of Finance, Development Funds and Regional Policy of Poland
- Other speakers to be confirmed.
10:30 - 10:50
10:50 - 12:20

Panel II. Cities as important actors in tackling climate change

In June 2020 the mayors of capital cities of V4 have urged the European Union to set a more ambitious emissions reduction target for 2030, calling the escalating climate crisis a greater challenge than the coronavirus pandemic. Cities are a significant source of greenhouse gas emissions, but also have a vast, untapped potential for their reduction. This potential lies in renovation of old and inefficient housing stock, deployment of renewable energy sources, and various policy measures to motivate people to use climate friendly modes of transport. How do the V4 capital cities tackle climate change? What measures the mayors introduce for emissions decrease, reducing overheating and other negative impacts of the climate crisis?

Artur Bobovnický / Director of the Innovation and International Cooperation Section, Slovak Innovation and Energy Agency

Matúš Vallo / Mayor, Capital City of Slovak Republic – Bratislava
- Other speakers to be confirmed.
12:20 - 13:20
12:30 - 13:10

Lunch session. The role of natural gas in the V4 Region under the Fit for 55 package

Importance of natural gas infrastructure has been the common denominator of V4 security of supply related energy policy discussion and agenda setting for a long time. The heated geopolitical tension around the flows of the Ukrainian route and the potential abuse of market power by the largest supplier of imported gas to the EU seems to be over. This session looks into the state of play of the gas flows in the new era - after the expiry of the Russian-Ukrainian long term transit contact in 2019. Besides the changes of gas flows and their impact on the V4 we see a growing certainty for a tremendous and fundamental change in the role of gas in the energy system, this time not because of any geopolitical reason but because of the climate change and the decarbonization agenda.

- / to be confirmed

Matthias Deutsch / Programme Lead Hydrogen, Agora Energiewende
Szabolcs I. Ferencz / Chairman of the Board and CEO, FGSZ
Péter Kotek / Senior Research Associate, Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research
Milan Sedláček / Head of EU affairs and Strategy, eustream, a.s.
13:20 - 14:20

Panel III. Presentation of the World Energy Outlook

This panel will be held in cooperation with the Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic and the International Energy Agency.

It is a long-running tradition for the International Energy Agency flagship WEO Report to be presented at the CEEC conference. The special focus of this year’s report is on developments in the energy sector.

Ingrid Brocková / State Secretary, Ministry of Foreign and European Affairs of the Slovak Republic

Fatih Birol / Executive Director, International Energy Agency

Matúš Mišík /Research fellow, Slovak Foreign Policy Association
14:20 - 14:40
14:40 - 15:55

Panel IV. Greening storage: hydrogen, biogas, and baterries

This panel will be held in cooperation with the Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic.

Decarbonisation of energy sector brings the question of effective energy storage. While in the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, the availability of capable batteries is a major issue, there are also other options for energy storage, such as hydrogen. Does CEE region have enough R&D and business potential to be an active part of these changes? Are the governments doing enough to support these changes? Are nuclear power plants ready to produce hydrogen and contribute to the growing fuel cell industry?

Eva Majková /Director at Centre for Advanced Material Application, Slovak Academy of Sciences

Karol Galek / State Secretary, Ministry of Economy of the Slovak Republic

Martin Bartošovič / General Director, Nafta, a.s.
Philippe Boucly / President, France Hydrogène
Ivan Gránsky / Member of the Board of Directors, Slovenský plynárenský priemysel, a.s.
- Other speakers to be confirmed.
15:55 - 16:15
16:15 - 17:30

Panel V. Rail transit as a backbone of sustainable transport

This panel will be held in cooperation with the Ministry of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic.

Rail is one of the most efficient and lowest emitting modes of transport. According to the International Energy Agency urban and high-speed rail hold major promise to unlock substantial benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and congestion, but also improve air quality, which is a major concern in Poland and Slovakia. Rail sector has a potential to be a backbone of sustainable transport and development of rail can be seen as part of the climate change mitigation. The aim of this panel is to discuss opportunities and challenges of rail systems in the Central European countries from a climate perspective.

Andrej Doležal / Minister of Transport and Construction of the Slovak Republic

- Speakers to be confirmed.
17:30 - 17:50
17:50 - 19:05

Panel VI. Green challenges for industry

This panel will be held in cooperation with the Ministry of Environment of the Slovak Republic.

Achieving a carbon-neutral economy by 2050 requires a deep transformation of every economic sector including industry, which today is responsible for about 20% of total EU greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this panel is to discuss which pathway should industry take to achieve carbon neutrality. Transition pathways in industry offer several options including process efficiency improvement, fuel switching, material recycling and reuse, and material efficiency and substitution. Which technologies should be deployed to enable low-carbon production?

Karel Hirman / Member of the Board, Slovak Foreign Policy Association

Klaus Födinger / General Director, CRH Slovensko a.s.
Ladislav Miko / Head of Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia
Milan Veselý / Chief Executive Officer, Slovalco, a.s.
- Other speakers to be confirmed.
19:05 - 19:15

Concluding remarks

Veronika Oravcová / CEEC Executive Director, Slovak Foreign Policy Association
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