84.2 million HRK for urban greening aimed at climate change adaptation


“As a prelude to this autumn, we’re witnessing extreme weather conditions unequivocally showing that climate change is real. By investing in the relevant infrastructure, the Ministry of Economy and Sustainable Development and the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund want to strengthen the resilience of our towns and municipalities against the current and future changes, and damage that climate change can bring about. Therefore, we have earmarked 84.2 million HRK for the units of local and regional self-government through the Fund’s Public call for financing climate change adaptation projects ,” said the minister of economy and sustainable development, Davor Filipović.

The funding will be available for the works, equipment, and services aimed at implementing different climate change adaptation measures, which have already been defined in national and local strategic and planning documents. Specifically, the goal is to develop the green infrastructure, which also includes investment in the habitat conservation and regeneration, as well as forming of new green areas such as boulevards, urban forests and tree-lined walkways, and safe sites in the case of extreme weather conditions (such as heatwave shelters). In addition, co-financing is provided for the greening of the public transport shelters and public parking lots, parks, and other commons areas. The projects can include the development of the urban hiking or cycling infrastructure, especially in tourist towns, and the construction of public drinking fountains. Resources will also be available for the projects aimed at informing the public about climate change and education projects in schools and kindergartens.

“All these activities will contribute to reducing the susceptibility of our natural systems and the society to the negative impact of climate change, and developing of the green and climate neutral Croatia,” said Mario Šiljeg, the state secretary at the ministry and president of the Management Board of the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund.
In his speech at the United Nations Conference on Climate Change in Glasgow last year, the President of the Government, Andrej Plenković, announced that Croatia was planning to compensate the impact of tourists on CO2 emissions by planting more than 1 million additional trees annually by 2030.  
Interested units of local and regional self-government can submit their applications to the Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency Fund, including one re more projects with the maximum amount of co-financing of up to 3 million HRK, or up to 80% of eligible costs. As an exception, towns with more than 35,000 inhabitants and counties can submit up to 2 applications. The financing will be granted until the allocated budget is used up, and the notice on the closing of the call will be published on the Fund’s website.    

As this is an European initiative, the beneficiaries who are granted the funds for planting an allée of trees, groves and urban forests will have the option to map the planted tree and register it in the international platform Map My Tree.  

It has to be noted that the implementation of this type of project has numerous positive outcomes. The planned tree planting in urban areas can significantly reduce the summer heat, and trees are an excellent filtration mechanism for the typical urban polluters and particulate matter. Moreover, one tree can absorb up to 150 kg of CO2 per year, regulate the water cycle, and provide food and shelter for the local wildlife, which has a positive impact on biodiversity. Apart from the many positive impacts on mental and physical health, the planted trees can also reduce the need for air conditioning in buildings by up to 30%.