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Out of pace or Out of the Race?

The Race: Climate-Neutrality
by 2050

Our world is facing one of its greatest challenges: the race to zero (emissions) and climate-neutrality. Science tells us almost everything we need to know about the rules of this race. Moreover, most countries have read these and signed-up to enter the race years ago, in Paris, in 2015. The Paris Agreement, a legally binding international treaty on climate change, was adopted by 196 countries at COP 21 in Paris, on 12 December 2015 and entered into force on 4 November 2016. Its main goal is to limit global warming to well below 2, preferably to 1.5 degrees Celsius, compared to pre-industrial levels. To achieve this long-term temperature goal, countries aim to reach global peaking of greenhouse gas emissions as soon as possible to achieve a climate neutral world by mid-century.
A climate neutral world by mid-century.

The Vehicle: Decarbonisation

One word, one “brand” of vehicle, is required for the successful completion of the race: decarbonisation. It stands for nothing less than changing the way we work, play and consume so as to avoid skidding off the global warming track that is manageable. The first leg of the race is to decarbonise our energy, to transition from burning fossil fuels, first of all – coal, to reducing energy use by improving our energy efficiency and powering our economies and societies by renewable energy sources.

The Western Balkans, Team Europe

Ever since joining the Energy Community, the international treaty working to integrate the energy markets of the European Union and its neighbours, the countries of the Western Balkans could be said to have joined Team Europe. Moreover, Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia and Serbia, all aspire to membership in the European Union and have recently re-affirmed their commitment to joining Team Europe in the race to climate neutrality by 20502.

The Race Stages: 2020, 2030

To stay on track, science warns of the required stage times, especially for the next decade, through to the year 2030. If we don’t make the required progress by then, we risk pushing our climate to tipping points, levels of stress from which our 2050 goal becomes impossible to reach.

The indicators: Our decarbonisation speedometer

Firstly, we present comparative data relevant for the establishment of energy profiles of the Western Balkan countries, “contracting parties” to the Energy Community Treaty, such as:
• Energy production and consumption, CO2 emissions, population and general economic data.
• Data on coal power plants: age, capacity, emissions
• Potentials for energy efficiency improvements and for RES
deployment
• Energy poverty profiles of the contracting parties

These datasets are followed by the discussion on the status and prospects for the development of integrated climate and energy policies and incorporates views from the EU progress reports.

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Table of contents

Table of Contents

The Race: Climate-Neutrality by 2050 ...4
The Vehicle: Decarbonisation ...4
The Western Balkans, Team Europe ...4
The Race Stages: 2020, 2030 ...4
The indicators: Our decarbonisation speedometer ...4
Mostly burning fossil fuels, inefficiently. ...5
Stuck in coal, in breach of emission standards ...9
2020: Out of pace ...10
Energy poverty: poor or wasteful? ...12
Racing with(out) roadmaps ...14
Albania ...14
Bosnia and Herzegovina ...15
Kosovo* ...16
North Macedonia ...16
Montenegro ...17
Serbia ...17
Out of pace or out of the race? ...18