Minister Julian Popov: Bulgaria identifies the circular economy as a long-term priority for its development policy

12 Mar, 2024 | 15:44

Environment and Water Minister Julian Popov participated in a meeting of the environment ministers of the Visegrad Group countries, Bulgaria, Romania, Austria, Germany, and Slovenia, which took place in Brno in the framework of the Czech Presidency of the Visegrad Quartet with a focus on environmental pollution and its impact on humans.

The ministers' discussion outlined pollution challenges most relevant to the Central and Eastern European region and priority actions to address them.

Actions that can be taken to increase the sustainability and safety of the chemical industry were at the centre of the conversation. In the context of the circular economy, the ministers discussed measures that would have the greatest environmental benefits and could play a leading role in improving the future use of secondary raw materials.

Minister Julian Popov highlighted that Bulgaria identifies the circular economy as a long-term priority for its development policy, as it will ensure both economic growth and a cleaner environment. He stated that in the last five years efforts were made to develop economic zones with carbon-neutral industrial parks, which provide synergies between economic development and climate action. The Minister added that circular business models are particularly important, whereby what is waste for one company becomes raw material for another.

Light pollution was also on the agenda as a complex global issue that affects both wildlife behaviour and human health. Minister Popov noted that in Bulgaria we recognize the importance of the issue, especially in the context of the increasing use of LED lighting. Despite the fact that national legislation does not explicitly address light pollution, there are opportunities to implement measures that effectively lead to its reduction, he noted.

During the meeting, information was presented on the results from a conference organised by the Czech Presidency of the Visegrad Group on the topic of impact of environmental pollution on humans. The main topics of the conference included the impact of chemical air pollution, the effects of chemical exposure on child development and health, and complex exposure in the urban environment.