President of the Republic of Lithuania

Lithuania is able to keep balance between economic growth and environmental protection

2012-06-21

Thursday, June 21, Rio de Janeiro - President Dalia Grybauskaitė in her speech at the United Nations Global Conference on Sustainable Development in Brazil underlined that decisions aimed to ensure safe development of the world should be adopted in solidarity and without delay. To achieve our goals in sustainable development, we have to be smart, sensitive and responsible.

"By being smart, responsible and sensitive we can make a huge step forward to a more sustainable future of our planet. And most importantly, we should not forget that even small actions matter. Even more, they sometimes turn into a big change. When work is done together, overstepping national boundaries, then even small countries like Lithuania can make an input in greening our economy while at the same time fostering its growth," the President said.

Lithuania, the President stressed, is able to keep balance between economic growth and environmental protection. After transition to market economy the efficiency of energy use in Lithuania has tripled - several times less energy is used for the same production or service than in the times of command economy, while the pollution level is two-three times lower than in the soviet era. Fleet modernization has reduced the air pollution caused by transport sector even five times. Based on Eurostat's figures, the energy use efficiency in Lithuania is the biggest across EU member states from Central and Eastern Europe.

According to the President, there must be the right balance of economic growth, energy security and efficiency, and the environment. On the one hand, being reliant on a single outside energy supplier, we are using a lot of local biomass as a recourse we need to outweigh this dependence, but on the other hand, we managed to increase the area of our forests by 11 per cent in twenty years. And meantime our economic growth is one of the fastest in the European Union.

The President gave an example of the campaign "Let's do it", which brings together local people to clean up their living surroundings every spring, as a civil initiative turning into a global campaign and changing people's thinking. Started in small Baltic States, now it has turned into a huge international campaign across the world. On the eve of the conference, the campaign took place in Rio de Janeiro where the city's park was being cleaned up.

The UN Conference on Sustainable Development is one of the largest global forums where the heads of state and government, representatives of governmental and non-governmental organizations are looking for the ways to preserve the environment without hindering economic growth in the world. The agenda of the conference includes the debates on the development of green economy and on promoting the efficiency and reforms of the UN institutions in charge of sustainable development. The conference also addresses the themes important for Lithuania - civilized management of utility waste, promotion of renewable energy sources, and the significance of innovations in developing the forms of production aimed at preserving natural resources.

Tomorrow, the President will chair one of the four high level UN dialogues, where the participants will discuss the measures to ensure the sustainable development across the world, and will deliver a speech at the Women World Leaders' event.

Press Service of the President

Last updated 2012.06.21 07:35

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