European Western Balkans

EU stands ready to help Montenegro to achieve its climate targets

Aivo Orav; Photo: EU Delegation to Montenegro
Aivo Orav; Photo: EU Delegation to Montenegro

PODGORICA – The European Union aims to lead by example in the area of climate and environmental policy, and it stands ready to help its partners, including Montenegro, to achieve their climate targets, said the EU Ambassador to Montenegro, Aivo Orav at the Climate Diplomacy Week panel discussion titled “Montenegro and the Paris Agreement” that was held Monday at the EU Info Centre, EU Delegation to Montenegro stated.

Ambassador Orav pointed out that the EU welcomes the fact that Montenegro plans to ratify the Paris Agreement by the end of this month, adding, however, that now Montenegro should use the momentum and the experience gained to support the implementation of the Paris Agreement through concrete actions to meet its climate targets. As Orav stated, Montenegro in particular needs to harmonise with EU climate and energy acquis in a more coordinated manner, complete the establishment of a fully functional national monitoring reporting and verification system in line with EU regulations and develop a clear vision and strategy for long-term paradigm shift towards a low-carbon and climate resilient economy and society.

“It is vital that the set targets are now translated into concrete, implementable policies and measures that encompass all sectors of the economy”, said Orav.

UN Resident Coordinator, Fiona McCluney, said that a recent socio-economic study on climate change impacts on Montenegro and the ratification of the Paris Agreement showed that investments in Montenegro required to achieve the goal of 30 percent decrease in greenhouse emissions by 2030 would amount to €1.75 billion, most of which would be expected to come from private investors, and less that 10 percent from state budget. She added that the investments relate mainly to industry – Aluminium plant (KAP) in particularly, renewable energy production – small hydropower and wind power plants, and energy efficiency that could lead to creation of some 750 new green jobs.

“The actions we take now will determine what our world would look like in 25 or 50 years’ time.Creating a new and better future is possible. By ratifying Paris Agreement along with other countries Montenegro embarks on a long term environmental mission to mobilise people, businesses and government to build a healthy sustainable environment and reduce climate’s impacts”, said McCluney.

Climate impacts are already felt in Montenegro, according to the head of Institute of Hydrometeorology and Seismology of Montenegro, Luka Mitrović. He said that consequences of global worming in Montenegro are felt through general temperature rise, decrease in snow levels, longer duration of tropical heat waves, fewer spring rains, which causes environmental misbalance, economic and material damage, especially in agriculture and tourism.

Other panel participants included Srđan Mugoša, director general for climate change at the Ministry of Sustainable Development and Tourism, Ivana Mijatović from DG Climate Action, and Jelena Marojević Galić, director of NGO Green Home.

The panel discussion included screening of European Union’s video “Paris Agreement: the world unites to fight climate change”.

The Paris Agreement is the first universal and legally binding agreement on climate change, adopted in Paris in December 2015. It has entered into force on 4th November 2016. So far, 149 out of 195 countries have already ratified it. Agreement is aimed at transforming the world’s fossil fuel driven economy within decades and encouraging greater investments in renewable energy with the goal of redirecting the world economy towards the model of no or low greenhouse gases. The EU has committed to reduce emissions by 20 percent by 2020 and 40 percent by 2030.

Although one of the countries with low greenhouse gasses’ emissions, Montenegro pledged to reduce its emissions even further by 30% until 2030. This reduction will be achieved through energy efficiency, development of industrial technologies, increasing the share of renewable energy sources and modernisation of the energy sector. The necessary framework – Climate Strategy and Action Plan – is there, but needs swift implementation. In line with that, Montenegro is developing the legislative framework on climate and energy with the assistance from IPA funds and TAIEX. This will also provide an opportunity to have access to climate finance, further unlocking the potential for ambitious GHG emissions reduction.

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