The ‘hottest’ environmental topics discussed on the hottest summer day2014-07-31
A press conference to discuss the ‘hottest’ environmental topics was organised today in the Ministry of Environment. It was attended by Minister Kęstutis Trečiokas, Vice-Minister Daiva Matonienė and Director of Housing Energy Saving Agency Valius Serbenta.
According to the Minister, the forest fire danger increased almost in the entire country and is already threatening; therefore, not only competent authorities but also the entire population must act responsibly when being outside. “It is extremely dry in forests, and almost all forests in Lithuania are currently classified under Fire Danger Class IV. I have recently visited the Curonian Spit. People live there almost like on a powder-keg. Therefore, I encourage everybody to abstain from going into forests. Even the smallest sliver may ignite a huge fire,” said the Minister. All measures are taken to prevent forest fires. Fire rescue services subordinated to the Ministry of Interior and forest enterprises are working at constant watch regime.
Summer is the vacation season; however, it is the extremely busy time for environment protection specialists. Even though the extent of poaching is reduced, there are quite a few poachers. Littering is another problem. Unfortunately, quote a few holiday-makers leave their ‘mark’ behind. According to the Minister, a lot of containers have been erected for garbage, yet the behavioural culture of people is the main problem. “I we can bring bottles full of beverages and baskets full of food then we must be able to through empty bottles and packaging waste into containers,” said Kęstutis Trečiokas. The Minister thinks that the growing consumption in Lithuania is becoming a scourge for the environment. He said he would do his best in order to give more attention and funding to waste management in the country.
The Minister also intends to give much attention to renovation. Currently, the “temperature” is on the rise, as it is the high season for builders engaged in the renovation of multi-apartment buildings. Currently, contracting works have commenced in respect of 604 multi-apartment buildings, tendering procedures for contracting works for construction are performed regarding the renovation of 277 multi-apartment buildings, tendering procedures for the renovation of 172 multi-apartment buildings will soon be started. Renovation investment projects have already been coordinated in respect of more than 900 buildings.
Vice-Minister Daiva Matonienė said during the press conference that the so-called reno-days, i.e. consultations for residents held near buildings currently undergoing renovation, were very successful. Such events were held in half of all municipalities in the country, i.e. in those municipalities where scaffolds were built for the renovation of at least one multi-apartment building. Residents of neighbouring houses gathered near such scaffolds and received answers to their questions straight from the administrators of renovation of buildings undergoing renovation, representatives of contractors, technical supervisors of construction, specialists of renovation controlling authorities, such as the Housing Energy Saving Agency and the State Territorial Planning and Construction Inspectorate. Reno-days will be continued. Such ‘live’ information is extremely powerful, it helps residents make a decision and assess the benefits of renovation.
The Vice-Minister noted economic and social benefits of renovation for the people and for the entire State. In 2014, some 300 multi-apartment buildings will be renovated. Some 13.5 thousand families will receive assistance for the renovation. Following the renovation, one multi-apartment building will save more than 50% of thermal energy costs. All 300 renovated buildings will save approximately 86.7 GWh of thermal energy costs, which is LTL 26 million. As a result of the reduced thermal energy consumption in these 300 buildings the State will save approximately LTL 1.3 million, as it will have to pay lower subsidies to the deprived persons (it is estimated that such persons make up about 5% in a renovated multi-apartment building). The renovation of these 300 multi-apartment buildings will reduce the emission of carbon dioxide by 20.2 thousand tons.
Public Information Division
31 July 2014