The Western Balkans also need a fund for a fair transition

Photo-illustration: Pixabay

It is of the utmost importance for the Western Balkans to receive a fund for a just transition to a green economy from fossil fuels, according to a new analysis by a Greek non-profit organization.

It is also important that support for coal-producing regions in the Western Balkans be a priority in order to successfully respond to the economic and social impacts of the transition to cleaner energies.

Based on the results of the analysis, the Independent Green Tank Institute recommended to those deciding in the Western Balkans and the European Commission to take into account the speed of transition to clean energy when creating a fair transition fund in order to accurately and fairly assess the urgency of transition for each country. .

It is also pointed out that air pollution due to the use of coal in the region affects not only the six from the Western Balkans, but also the EU members.

“Plan the transition, do not wait for financial resources to be available. Those who start earlier will have additional financial benefits, as well as guaranteed environmental benefits and a significant reduction in climate performance, “said a Green Tank analysis conducted with the support of the CEE Bankwatch network.

The analysis of the independent institute developed several scenarios with the aim of developing a fair method for allocations from a fund similar to the EU’s Fair Transition Fund (JTF), given the scale of the challenges in the Western Balkans and the urgency of solving the problem.

The fair transition fund established by the EU is worth 17.5 billion euros, and the goal is to help the countries and regions of the Union in the transition from fossil fuels to the green economy.

The criteria in the analysis were the dependence of each Western Balkan country on coal and oil, climate ambitions, the environmental impact of coal use and each country’s financial ability to cope with the challenges of switching from fossil fuels to green energy.

Based on these criteria and official data, the Green Tank developed six scenarios for the gradual abandonment of coal in the Western Balkans and pointed out that the climate ambitions according to which coal mining is planned in the short term would contribute to the country receiving more funds.

In five of the six scenarios analyzed, Serbia would receive the most from leaving coal as soon as possible, 45 percent of the potential fund for a fair transition.

BiH could get 35 percent and even exceed the share of Serbia if it announced the abandonment of coal by 2030, and Serbia and Kosovo remained in favor of abandoning coal in 2050 and 2040, respectively.

Photo illustration: Unsplash (Dominik Vanyi)

It is further stated that Kosovo, if it were obliged to leave coal by 2030, would receive 24% of the fund’s funds.

Committing northern Macedonia to abandon coal by 2027 would allow it to withdraw 13 per cent of the fund, or almost twice as much as if the coal dependency were extended until 2050.

Montenegro, it is further stated, could almost triple its share in the fund to 4% if it decides to “retire” the only thermal power plant in 2022 instead of 2035, as it has committed.

When it comes to Albania, that country does not produce energy from coal.

According to the analysis, Serbia produces 68 percent of its electricity from coal, northern Macedonia 60 percent, Montenegro 44 percent, Kosovo 95 percent and BiH 63 percent.

Source: EURACTIV.rs


Source: Energetski portal Srbije by www.energetskiportal.rs.

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