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Neno Dimov, resign!

Neno Dimov, Bulgaria’s Environment Minister, is presiding over the EU’s Environmental Council. The Council brings together the EU’s Environment Ministers as well as representatives of the European Commission and is a key body in terms of European environmental policies, such as climate policies. Bulgaria will chair the Council of the EU till July and Dimov sets the agenda, conducts negotiations, and influences legislation. Most importantly, he is responsible for international environmental issues, especially in the area of climate change, and will have a key role in the implementation of the EU’s climate policies and the Paris agreement.

As Bulgaria’s environment minister last May, Neno Dimov has;

  • Denied the idea of human-induced climate change.
  • Stated global warming is a fraud, to scare people.
  • Denied that melting of ice leads to rising sea levels.
  • Expressed his support for Donald Trump, who cancelled his country‘s adherence to the Paris agreement

Though the above are common symptoms of climate change deniers,  it is his actions, and views on sustainability, and conservation that have angered citizens. He has allowed the adoption of illegal amendments to the management plan of the Bulgarian Pirin National Park, allowing for a unique UNESCO site getting destroyed and sacrificed for so-called development. As from December last year when the changes were adopted mass protests have been taking large proportions, with citizens taking to the streets in more than 30 cities in Bulgaria and abroad. Recently, the Co-President of the Greens/EFA group in the European Parliament Ska Keller addressed this issue in the Parliament, raising concerns about corruption and ongoing violations of the rule of law in Bulgaria. The #SavePirin protests have now become an international environmental movement, with many supporters (among whom Leonardo DiCaprio) calling for the preservation of the unique nature of Pirin. 

Last week, during a public hearing of the European Parliament's Committee on Environment Dimov failed to clarify his stance on his previous statements. This is no big surprise, as he has made a career for himself by portraying himself as the one who wishes to reconcile corporate interests and environmental protection. Speaking with a forked tongue may have got him to where he is now, we strongly oppose his views and climate change denialism, and call upon both the European institutions and public to watch and monitor his actions closely, as our future depends on it.

Climate change is the biggest threat facing young people and future generations. One of the stated priorities of the Bulgarian presidency of the Environment Council is “Maintaining the EU as the leading force behind the implementation of the Paris Agreement will also remain a priority ahead of the UN Climate change conference COP24.” FYEG welcomes this priority. Having a climate skeptic chairing the Environment Council is in stark contradiction with being a leader on climate action. The EU must take concrete steps towards carbon-neutral societies and engage with the rest of the world on this path. We therefore join the mass movement of Bulgarian citizens demanding the immediate resignation of Neno Dimov.