Prospective members of the European Union have agreed to honour the targets to enhance renewable energy, energy efficiency, and reduce greenhouse gas emissions that were recently agreed to by the EU for 2030.
Balkan countries have pledged to meet the targets to reduce GHG emissions by 40% by 1990 levels, increase their share of renewable energy to 27%, and improve energy efficiency by 27% by 2030. Serbia and Macedonia are preparing to implement national policies to the fulfil these targets as they look to enter the European Union.
Arable land is a significant source of GHG emissions in Macedonia and the government there is working on an energy policy to address this issue. The major sources of methane emissions include solid waste disposal, wastewater, and waste disposal. The government is expected to share its proposals to check these emissions at the 2015 climate change negotiations.
The majority of the emissions in Serbia come from the energy sector, which is also dependent, to a great extent, on imports. The country is looking to implement emissions trading to curb emissions. The government is planning to improve emissions monitoring and a reporting system to develop a national emissions inventory that would serve as the foundation for the emissions trading scheme.
The decision of Balkan countries to integrate their national policies in-line with the European Union policies on emissions, renewable energy, and energy efficiency come at the right time. As the world awaits ambitious emission reduction targets, the EU is grappling with its own energy problems vis-a-vis Russia.
Energy independence for all EU countries, even the most developed ones, is a paramount concern due to Russia’s increasing strategic aggression and persistent turmoil in the Middle East. Thus, it is prudent to develop an energy policy with a long-term horizon and centred around renewable energy.
Balkan countries adopting EU energy and emissions policies would also be beneficial to the EU. The EU Emissions Trading Scheme is in tatters, struggling with billions of surplus emission allowances with the compliance entities. More countries entering the fray would perhaps rejuvenate the investment environment for clean energy sector.
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