Western Balkan countries commit to introduce carbon pricing by 2025
Date: November 30th 2021
Author: Peter Palčec
The Energy Community contracting parties adopted the Clean Energy for all Europeans package and the decarbonisation roadmap on Tuesday, thereby committing themselves to introduce carbon pricing by 2025.The clean energy package, which was adopted during Tuesday’s Energy Community Ministerial Council meeting in Belgrade, covers legislation in energy efficiency, renewables, governance, electricity market design and security of electricity supply.
Now the Energy Community’s contracting parties will have to adopt this clean energy package in their national legislation. These countries will also be expected to adopt renewables, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas reduction targets for 2030 at the next ministerial council meeting, which will be held in 2022.
In his speech to the council, director of the Energy Community Secretariat Janez Kopac said that the adoption of these policies would bring “new life” to the Energy Community, which would otherwise close down in 2026. However, he added that the planned date of 2025 for the introduction of carbon pricing was “late.”
“The contracting parties could be more active by themselves. Montenegro introduced a CO2 price of 24 EUR per tonne. Others are waiting for the EU to push them with legal action,” he is cited as saying in an Energy Community Secretariat press release.
In May, Kopac said that the emissions gap between the Western Balkans and the EU was increasing, a fact that he reconfirmed during his speech today.
In his opinion, the Energy Community’s contracting parties need more EU support to prevent that gap from becoming too wide, otherwise some Western Balkan countries may never be able to bridge it. He emphasised on several occasions that these countries had to introduce a carbon pricing system as soon as possible or they would lose access to precious funds for energy reforms.
According to Kopac, if countries in the region wait for the EU to introduce the carbon border adjustment mechanism (CBAM), the money raised from paying for CO2 emissions will go directly into the EU budget, and not into theirs.