Western Balkan Countries Supported Harmonization of EU Climate Plans

By , 13 Dec 2018, 15:11 PM Lifestyle
Energy and climate plans Energy and climate plans CdM

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December 13, 2019 - Ministers of the Western Balkan countries and members of the Energy Community, during a meeting of the Council of Ministers of the Energy Community in Skopje, adopted a document on the goals for 2030 concerning the harmonization of climate and energy plans. Member States have supported the alignment of their ambitions with those of the European Union, i.e., to follow the aspirations of the European Union regarding energy and climate plans when determining its own goals for 2030 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, increase energy efficiency and share energy from renewable sources.

Although it's striving for EU membership, the governments of the six Western Balkan countries have lagged behind the plans and ambitions of the Union in adopting and implementing its regulations. While the EU is preparing for the imminent decarbonization, most governments in the region are still planning to develop and build new coal-fired power plants, despite the enormous potential for energy savings.

However, not everything is so gloomy. The European financial institutions abandoned coal, and the World Bank did the same, so two months ago it denied funding for the construction of a new thermal power plant in Kosovo. This decision does not come from environmental initiatives but economic ones - their policy is to finance the most cost-effective projects, and renewable energy sources are merely now cheaper than coal.

What is essential now for the governments of the region is setting ambitious goals and acting by them. These actions will show us whether our governments are aware of the enormous opportunities to develop through the inevitable energy transition or will this effort be interpreted only as an EU request.

Civil society organizations across the region have long been warning the public not only of the lack of climatic ambitions of their governments and old plans for energy systems but also of a series of violations of domestic and international laws and directives in the development of the energy systems.

World scientists have suggested that the effects of climate change are far faster and more devastating than anticipated. To keep global temperature growth at 1.5 degrees, UNEP (United Nations Environment Program) released a report calling on all countries to increase their ambitions five times. Thanks to the Energy Community, the Western Balkans has come up with concrete changes to reduce the impact on climate change with more awareness to the urgency of the necessary action.

Text by CdM, on December 12th, 2018, read more at CdM

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