European Commission: Montenegro should step up enforcement of laws in environmental protection, climate change
Montenegro has made some progress in harmonizing its legislation with the EU in the field of energy, especially regarding renewables, the European Commission said in its latest report on the country’s progress in aligning with the EU acquis, while calling on the authorities to switch from feed-in tariffs to market-based support schemes for renewable energy.
Legislation passed to further align with EU’s renewables directive
In the reporting period, some secondary legislation was adopted to further align with the EU Renewable Energy Directive, mainly on the mandatory share of biofuel in the transportation sector and sustainability criteria for biofuels and bio-liquids, the commission said.
Also in 2018, regulations were adopted on issuing, transferring and withdrawing guarantees of origin of electricity produced from renewable energy sources and high-efficiency cogeneration, as well as on an incentive fee to foster energy production.
The commission also noted that Montenegro, which aims to achieve a target of 33% of energy from renewable sources in gross final energy consumption by 2020, had a result of 40% in 2017 largely due to a revision of biomass data.
Setting up energy efficiency fund still pending
When it comes to energy efficiency, the report notes that Montenegro did not adopt amendments to the Law on efficient use of energy to ensure further alignment with the EU Energy Efficiency Directive, and neither did it establish an energy efficiency fund.
The commission also warned that the planned change in status of the Directorate for Energy Efficiency to a department within the Directorate for Energy might reduce the capacity for effective energy efficiency action.
Country urged to create or join day-ahead market, couple with neighbors
The country is also urged to create or join a functioning day-ahead market and couple with neighboring markets, including Italy.
The commission has labeled Montenegro’s level of preparation for EU membership in the area of energy overall is as “good.”
Report calls for speeding up transposition of EU acquis on environment, climate
Montenegro has made limited progress in aligning its legislation in the field of environmental protection and climate change, but it needs to do significantly more on implementation and enforcement, the European Commission said.
In particular, the country should speed up the implementation of the relevant national strategy, which was adopted June 2018, especially in the waste management, water, and nature protection sectors, the report says, noting that the strategy’s implementation is being delayed by the lack of administrative capacity and financial resources.
Montenegro should also take urgent measures to preserve and improve the ecological value of protected areas and potential Natura 2000 sites such as Ulcinj Salina, Lake Skadar, the Tara river and other river courses, as well as develop its National Energy and Climate Plan in line with the Energy Community recommendations, according to the report.
More work needed to align with EU 2030 climate and energy policy framework, as law to incorporate emission trading system is still pending
Montenegro’s level of alignment on climate change remains limited, and considerable efforts are still needed to harmonize with the EU acquis. Montenegro has a Climate Change Strategy in place, but has to do more to ensure consistency with the EU 2030 climate and energy policy framework, according to the report.
The adoption of a climate change law to incorporate elements of the EU emissions trading system (ETS), among others, is still pending, the commission noted.