European Green Deal

What is the European Green Deal and what are the consequences and opportunities for Bosnia and Herzegovina and the Western Balkans?

The European Green Deal is the EU's response to climate change. It is a new European development strategy aimed at transforming the EU into a just and prosperous society with a modern, efficient and competitive economy with zero net greenhouse gas emissions by 2050 through investment in environmental research and innovation. The EU aims to transform its society and economy to make them sustainable, to protect and preserve natural resources, to protect the health and well-being of citizens from environmental risks and to make a socially just transition so that no individual or region can be set up. Namely, the Green Dealputs people first and pays special attention to the regions, industry and workers who will face the biggest challenges.

Decarbonising the energy sector in general with clean, affordable and secure energy is paramount to achieving the 2030 and 2050 climate targets. More than 75% of EU greenhouse gas emissions are the result of energy production and use processes and therefore energy efficiency will become a priority. The electricity sector will have to weaken mostly on renewables, with a gradual cessation of coal use and a reduction in carbon dioxide. To achieve climate-neutral, circular economies and sustainable industries, it is intended to transform the entire industrial sector in the next 25 years.

Sustainable agriculture "From the field to the table" and the sustainability of mobility also occupy a very important place in the European Green Deal. In short, from now on, all public policies in the EU will have to be viewed through the prism of sustainability. Bosnia and Herzegovina, like other Western Balkan countries, is not a member of the EU, but that does not mean that these measures do not apply to them. Namely, the EU is currently considering how to adapt the Green Deal to the Western Balkans, where environmental policy is in the hands of corrupt ruling elites, which are not regulated by pollutants, do not encourage clean energy and transport, but continue their dependence on coal and other fossil fuels.

One of the measures currently being considered in the EU in response to an uncertain environmental policy in the Western Balkans is the introduction of a carbon tax, which could be a major blow to electricity prices and the weather export competitiveness of power companies in the region. Such a move might hit the possibility of exporting electricity from Bosnia and Herzegovina the hardest. The intention to respect the Paris Agreement will be an essential element for all future trade agreements and relations. The aim of this dossier is to provide insight into the political work of the Heinrich Böll Foundation in the field of green transformations in BiH, Albania and Northern Macedonia. Through a selection of texts and analyzes, we will try to present some of the most important elements of the European Green Deal, and in this context the challenges that these countries will have to face in the future.

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The Wester Balkan Countries all aspire to membership in the European Union and have recently re-affirmed their commitment to joining European Union in the race to climate neutrality by 2050 by signing up to the EU's Green Agenda for the Western Balkans. However, countries rely mostly on coal and oil for their primary energy supply. Renewables also take part in the energy mix primarily through traditional use of biomass in inefficient domestic devices followed by large hydro. Modern sources of renewable energy are at an early stage of development. Energy and carbon intensity of the region is comparatively high both to the EU and the World average values.

The factsheets and brochure give lot of information on the status of energy transition in the WB countries.


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RESEARCH PAPER: North Macedonia - Energy Transition and Democracy

The purpose of this study, divided in two main parts, is to first present an overview of the current energy policies and the progress of North Macedonia towards achieving the aims in the frame of its energy strategy; and secondly, to map out the local initiatives that have the potential of creating their own local energy communities. To map out the potential for creating sustainable energy communities, the study will in its first part provide an overview of the factors affecting the energy sector, the potential for renewable energy production and related policies.
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POLICY BRIEF: North Macedonia Energy transition and Democracy

In its latest energy strategy, adopted at the beginning of 2020, North Macedonia projects complete coal and lignite phase out latest by 2040. The country has been praised as the first country from the Western Balkans to set such ambitious goals. In spite of its determination to move towards a green future in line with its EU accession process, the country continues struggling with air pollution, waste management issues, and inefficient energy market liberalization. The aim of the policy brief is to address these issues through an analysis of recent developments in energy transition of the country. In addition, the brief offers solutions through democratization of the process of energy transition and reviews and maps out the potential for citizen energy.
Out of pace or out of the race?

Out of pace or out of the race?

Our world is facing one of its greatest challenges: the race to zero (emissions) and climate-neutrality. Science tells us almost everything we need to know about the rules of this race. Moreover, most countries have read these and signed-up to enter the race years ago, in Paris, in 2015. The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, was adopted by 196 countries at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its main goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.
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Mostly burning fossil fuels, inefficiently

Contracting parties of the Energy Community from the Western Balkans rely mostly on coal and oil for their primary energy supply. Renewables also take part in the energy mix primarily through traditional use of biomass in inefficient domestic devices followed by large hydro. Modern sources of renewable energy are at an early stage of development. Energy and carbon intensity of the region is comparatively high both to the EU and the World average values.
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Stuck in coal, in breach of emission standards

Western Balkans is the home to the most polluting thermal power plants in Europe. Despite the fact that Contracting Parties committed themselves to significantly reduce dust, SO2 and NOx emissions in line with the provisions of the Large Combustion Plants Directive by 31 December 2017, emissions are still huge and larger than prescribed limits. Some of the plants exceeded prescribed limits for SO2 emissions by as much as 15 times.
2020: Out of Pace

2020: Out of Pace

The Western Balkan contracting parties to the Energy Community Treaty are below RES indicative trajectories and are highly likely to fall short of meeting the 2020 RES targets. The methodology for monitoring of the EE saving is less robust and it is more difficult to predict the target attainment. Targets for CO2 reduction by 2030 are not ambitious enough considering its main purpose -combatting the climate change. The largest contracting party has the least ambitious target.
Energy poverty: poor or wasteful?

Energy poverty: poor or wasteful?

If the region wants to pursue energy transition the issue of energy affordability needs to be carefully addressed. Energy poverty is widespread in the region. The fact that biomass generated energy is the most important source of heatingfor the households, but also of the extreme levels of the air pollution (PM) in the Western Balkans is essential to address in the policy design processes. Network energy share is the share of electricity, natural gas and district heating in household consumption.