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Conference Programme

  1. 22 November
8:55 - 9:00


Alexander Duleba / CEEC Director, Slovak Foreign Policy Association
9:00 - 10:30

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

The European Commission launched the Recovery and Resilience Facility to help repair the immediate economic and social damage caused by the Covid-19 pandemic. The main aim is to make member states’ economies and societies more sustainable, resilient, and better prepared for the challenges and opportunities presented by the green and digital transitions. To benefit from the Facility EU member states have created recovery and resilience plans setting out a coherent package of reforms and public investment projects. Can the Visegrad countries utilise the green investment opportunities offered by the Facility? What are the main green projects of these countries? What are the main challenges associated with implementing the plans?

Lívia Vašáková / Director General of the Recovery Plan Department, Government Office of the Slovak Republic

Eduard Heger / Prime Minister of the Slovak Republic

Anna Moskwa / Minister of Climate and Environment of Poland (online)
László Palkovics / Minister for Innovation and Technology of Hungary (online)
Marian Piecha / Deputy Minister, Ministry of Industry and Trade of the Czech Republic (online)
10:45 - 12:00

Panel II. Cities as important actors in tackling climate change

In June 2020 the mayors of the V4 capital cities 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 vast potential to reduce them. This potential lies in the renovation of old and inefficient housing stock, the deployment of renewable energy sources, and various policy measures to motivate people to use climate friendly modes of transport. How are the V4 capital cities tackling climate change? What measures are the mayors putting in place to reduce emissions and overheating as well as 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 (online)
Zdeněk Hřib / Mayor, Capital City of the Czech Republic – Prague (online)
Gergely Karácsony /Mayor, Capital City of Hungary – Budapest (online)
Olaf Osica / Acting Managing Director, Strategy & Analysis Office, City Hall, Capital City of Poland – Warsaw (online)
Stelios Diakoulakis / Deputy Regional Director, Europe Regions and Mayoral Engagement, C40 (online)
12:15 - 13:20

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

The importance of the natural gas infrastructure has long been the common denominator in energy policy discussions and agenda setting relating to V4 security of supply. The heated geopolitical tension around the flows via Ukraine and the potential abuse of market power by the largest supplier of imported gas to the EU seem to have ended. This session looks at the state of play regarding the gas flows in the new era – following the expiry of the Russian-Ukrainian long term transit contract in 2019. Besides the changes in gas flows and their impact on the V4 there is growing certainty that the role of gas in the energy system is about to undergo major fundamental change, not for geopolitical reasons, but because of climate change and the decarbonisation agenda.

Richard Kvasňovský / Executive Director, Slovak Gas and Oil Association

Szabolcs I. Ferencz / Chairman of the Board and CEO, FGSZ
Milan Sedláček / Head of EU affairs and Strategy, eustream, a.s.
Christian Redl / Senior Associate European Energy Cooperation, Agora Energiewende (online)
Péter Kotek / Senior Research Associate, Regional Centre for Energy Policy Research (online)
13:35 - 14:25

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 that the International Energy Agency flagship WEO Report is presented at the CEEC conference. The special report is the world’s first comprehensive study of how we can transition to a net zero energy system by 2050, while ensuring stable and affordable energy supplies, providing universal energy access, and enabling robust economic growth.

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

Tim Gould / Chief Energy Economist, International Energy Agency (online)

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

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

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

The decarbonisation of the energy sector raises questions about effective energy storage. In the transition from fossil fuels to renewables, a major issue is the availability of high capacity batteries, but there are other energy storage options as well, such as hydrogen. Does the CEE region have the R&D and business potential to play an active part in 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, 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 (online)
Ivan Gránsky / Member of the Board of Directors, Slovenský plynárenský priemysel, a.s.
Rudolf Sihlovec / Board Member, InoBat Energy
Robert Jambrich / Head of International relations, EU affairs and Environment, Slovenské elektrárne
16:10 - 17:25

Panel V. Rail transit as the 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 could bring substantial benefits in reducing greenhouse gas emissions and congestion, as well as air quality improvements, which are a major concern in Poland and Slovakia. The rail sector has the potential to become the backbone of sustainable transport, and rail development also has a role to play in climate change mitigation. The aim of this panel is to discuss the opportunities and challenges the railway systems in Central European countries present from a climate perspective.

Ondrej Matej / Director, Institute for Transport and Economy

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

Tatiana Kratochvílová / Head of Commission for Spatial and Strategic Planning, Environment and Construction, Capital City of the Slovak Republic – Bratislava
Róbert Hudák / Director, Department of Strategic Projects, Železničná spoločnosť Slovensko, a.s.
Pavel Paidar / Director of the Construction Preparation Department, Správa železnic ČR
Oldřich Sklenář / Research Fellow, Association for International Affairs
17:40 - 18:55

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 the deep transformation of each and every economic sector including industry, which is responsible for about 20% of all EU greenhouse gas emissions. The aim of this panel is to discuss what pathway industry should take to achieve carbon neutrality. The transition pathways in industry offer several options including process efficiencies, fuel switching, materials recycling and reuse, and materials efficiency and substitution. Which technologies should be deployed to enable low-carbon production?

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

Ján Budaj / Minister of Environment of the Slovak Republic

Ladislav Miko / Head of Representation of the European Commission in Slovakia
Klaus Födinger / Managing director, Danucem Slovensko a.s.
Vladimír Soták / General Director, Železiarne Podbrezová a.s.(online)
Milan Veselý / Chief Executive Officer, Slovalco, a.s.
Michal Pintér / Director of Governmental and EU affairs, U. S. Steel Košice, s.r.o. (online)

Concluding remarks

Veronika Oravcová / CEEC Executive Director, Slovak Foreign Policy Association
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