For us, ecology, sustainable development, democracy and human rights are inseparable. Twenty years ago, environmental protection, energy, sustainable development and climate change were issues that only a handful of scientists and activists or green movements in rich countries faced. Today they have become important political and economic issues and are now unfortunately the biggest problem in the national and world agendas.

The reason for this is undoubtedly insufficient concern with the problem and its reduction to a purely professional and scientific level, far from the public and politics. Energy, climate change and environmental protection are not only questions of science or personal relationship to nature, but questions of consciousness and responsibility, both of individuals and of the community. For these reasons, we try to publicly address this issue, which arises from a wrong relationship with nature, the consequences of climate change and energy sources.

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Green transition and social (in)justice

Perspectives - Green transition and social (in)justice

There is a great difference between a mere survival of the humankind and the preservation of quality of life. That is why the role of justice in the green transition goes far beyond the entitlement to a safe and healthy environment. The coming climate crisis takes place in a world characterized by a whole variety of injustices, which affect all human rights. These injustices will probably be exacerbated by the crisis, on one hand because of deteriorating conditions and on the other due to weakening of social security policies and measures against growing inequalities.

Therefore, our problem is twofold: to develop strategies and policies of a green transition to decarbonised manufacturing, agriculture, and transport; and to do it in a way which not only does not deepen injustices and inequalities but creates conditions for life with dignity for all. In other words, the fundamental change of human relation to nature should be accompanied by a similarly fundamental change in social relationships.

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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.

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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.

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.

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.

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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.