Non-Governmental Organization (NGO) Eco Team believes that Montenegro, as a signatory to the Paris Agreement, must make additional efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and follow the ambitious goals of other European Union (EU) countries that have shown the willingness to take concrete actions for combating accelerated human-caused climate change.
That is why the plans for reconstruction and extension of the existing Pljevlja Thermal Power Plant for at least 20 years requires great caution, as said by this NGO.
"A few days ago, the Prime Minister of Montenegro announced the news of the Government's resignation from the construction of the second block of the thermal power plant in Pljevlja. Although the government's commitment to the environment was initially cited as the reason for such a decision despite the numerous economic benefits that the investment could bring, a day later it was announced that, in fact, the real reason is the international financial institutions' attitude towards such projects, as well as the inability to adhere to strict European directives on industrial emissions," said the statement from Eco Team signed by Diana Milev Cavor.
She believes that the skepticism about the expectation that existing thermal power plants will be able to meet all environmental standards and comply with the permitted emissions is justified, if this could not be achieved by the construction of a new power plant.
"This is just one more of several reasons why there is a fear that the plan for the reconstruction of the thermal power plant will not be implemented as intended," states Milev Čavor.
She believes that Montenegro, following the EU countries, must set a date for the abandonment of coal-produced electricity and set that deadline with the National Climate and Energy Plan, with which Montenegro has already begun.
She recalls that 13 EU countries have done the same so far.
"At the United Nations Climate Action Summit, governments and private sector leaders expressed their readiness to tackle climate change and said the pace of climate action must be accelerated, that more concrete plans and greater ambitions are needed. According to the UN, the world will have to increase its efforts three to five times to keep climate change at a level that science has defined as acceptable, which implies a temperature rise of up to 1.5°C, to avoid the effects of those changes already visible around the world. Science shows that the phasing out of coal, the most polluting fossil fuel, is essential to achieving that goal. Preliminary analyses have provided a global date for phasing out in 2050. New research on what it takes to meet the Paris Agreement of 1.5 ° C shows that governments now need to move that date back a decade, and developed countries have to phase out coal faster than the rest of the world – until 2030," points out Milev Čavor.
She also said that investments in coal, i.e., new thermal power plants, have fallen by 75 percent since 2015, but canceling new projects is no longer sufficient.
"Governments must increase their NDCs (intended national contributions in emission decrease) by 2020, as set out in the Paris Agreement," states Milev Čavor.
Text by Goran Malidzan, on September 25th, 2019, read more at Vijesti