Energy and climate policies overview – current situation and recommendations for the preparation of Montenegro’s NECP
Author: Danilo Barjaktarović, Director, EcoEnergy Consulting
Montenegro has pledged to join the international community’s efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, as a member of the Energy Community and a candidate for EU membership, Montenegro is committed to meeting the national goals in the fields of renewable energy, energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emissions reduction. Determinations of new goals until 2030 are under way and are conducted by the Energy Community Secretariat and Contracting Parties.
Through technical support provided by the regional GIZ project CDCP III, financed by the German Federal Ministry for the Environment, Nature Conservation and Nuclear Safety, Montenegro has started with the preparation for the elaboration of its National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP).
The first concrete result of the project is prepared Actor and Policy Mapping in the form of a Sectoral fact sheet overview for the elaboration of Montenegro’s (NECP), which was conducted by Danilo Barjaktarović, director of EcoEnergy Consulting from Podgorica.
This report summarises the main policies of the relevant climate and energy sectors, international support programmes, most recent sectoral developments since the INDC submission in 2015, the main sectoral barriers and sector-specific potentials to raise ambition as well as recommendations for upcoming consultations on the national level. The major outcomes are evaluation, assessment and gap analysis of the relevant legislative, institutional and financial framework, energy and climate policy and strategy framework in place in Montenegro, including other short and long term policies related to transport, building and construction, industry, waste and agriculture, forestry and land use (AFOLU).
Recommendations across sectors
The following general recommendations across the sectors can be made from the findings of the analysis:
Clearly defined roles and responsibilities for the NECP preparation process and capacity building
During the preparation process for the NECP, roles and responsibilities need to be clearly defined, especially considering that relevant institutions’ human resource capacities for the implementation of the legislation are relatively weak. Responsibility for sectors based on the five dimensions of the Energy Union and the definition of targets by the respective ministries reduces the risk of misalignment of sectoral planning relevant to climate change and overlapping of the processes between different sectors.
Consolidated short and long term energy and climate planning processes
Defining the correlation between the NECP and the Energy Development Strategy and the Strategy on Low-Emission Development in order to avoid overlapping with other relevant energy and climate change processes is crucial. Integration of Energy Development Strategy, the Energy Efficiency Action Plan, National Renewable Action Plan, Climate Action Plan, NDC and other relevant sectors policies into the NECP is recommended as a practical solution. This means that a single output can be produced in the form of the NECP, without additional energy and climate planning documents. Also, the number of reporting documents to UNFCCC, European Commission and the Energy Community Secretariat can be reduced by merging these into a single reporting document every two years.
To address sectoral barriers in transparent manner for enhanced implementation of sectoral action
Most of the climate change actions are being undertaken in the energy sector, such as energy efficiency in buildings and the promotion of renewable energy production. Unfortunately, there are only few emission-reduction initiatives in industry, AFOLU, waste and transport sectors (e-mobility in public transport).
These obstacles should be identified and further discussed during the sectoral consultations between ministries in order to better understand limitations and enhance sectoral actions as well as potential ways of overcoming such obstacles.
The most common obstacles identified
The most common obstacles identified across sectors are:
- Key strategies missing the main climate components – The Energy Development Strategy remains a very conservative instrument which is not yet promoting clean and alternative energy on a sufficient level. The CO2 emission forecast of the Energy Development Strategy is significantly higher than the country’s international commitments to limit greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. Mitigation and adaptation actions are not included. Therefore, the Energy Development Strategy needs to be updated in accordance with its obligation and future national goals.
The situation is similar in all other sectors covered by this report, especially in the transport and industry sectors.
- Insufficient support to technology innovations and lack of financing instruments − There is a need for technological innovation, solutions, knowledge and approaches for reducing the emissions of greenhouse gases on one side, and reducing the vulnerability of natural and socio-economic systems to expected climate changes on the other side. In most sectors, there is a lack of investment in climate relevant technologies and projects due to limited financial incentive mechanisms.
- Legal basis for NECP is still pending – The very next step should be the establishment of a legal basis for the preparation of the NECP with defined responsibilities. This should be done through amendments to the Energy Law. A second option is to transpose it through a Proposal of the Law on Protection Against the Negative Impact of Climate Change while the third option is to adopt a separate Law transposing the Regulation on Governance of Energy Union and Climate Action.
- Inconsistent and unavailable data in some specific sectors − Transparent and accessible data is crucial. Many sectors have pointed out the need for an updated data system, better monitoring methods, as well as standard inventory methodologies. A comprehensive data system would also allow clear identification of knowledge gaps and the need for additional technical support in the field in order to improve the current situation.
At the end, we can conclude that harmonization and integration of environmental and climate change policies with ambitious development and energy policies and strategies is one of the country’s greatest challenges in joining the European Union and concrete actions should be undertaken as soon as possible.