By signing the Sofia Declaration on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans, countries in the region have committed to a number of actions like introducing carbon pricing instruments and market-based renewables support schemes, as well as phasing out coal subsidies.
The contracting parties also endorsed the EU’s draft Climate Law, once adopted in the EU, the Secretariat of the Energy Community noted.
The region committed to the target of making the continent carbon-neutral by 2050
The region has committed to work towards the target of making the continent carbon-neutral by 2050 together with the European Union through mainstreaming a strict climate policy and reforming energy and transport sectors, the Sofia Declaration reads.
The Green Agenda is envisaged by the European Green Deal
Top officials from the governments of the countries of Western Balkans endorsed the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans at the Sofia summit, held on November 10.
The agenda, envisaged by the European Green Deal – a plan to make the EU climate neutral by 2050 – is a blueprint for possible measures to be adopted jointly by the EU and each of the Western Balkan partners.
The Regional Cooperation Council will be asked to coordinate the preparation of an action plan
The secretariat intensively participated in the drafting of the Sofia Declaration. It welcomed the text as adopted at the EU and Western Balkans summit.
According to the Sofia Declaration, the countries in the region have agreed to invite the Regional Cooperation Council to coordinate the preparation of an action plan with roadmaps for implementation.
The contracting parties have committed to implement actions in five pillars, which include climate, energy, mobility, circular economy, depollution, sustainable agriculture and food production, and biodiversity.
The list of actions
“We commit to work towards the 2050 target of a carbon-neutral continent together with the EU through mainstreaming a strict climate policy and reforming energy and transport sectors, and in particular through the following actions,” the declaration reads.
Some of the actions include:
- Align with the EU Climate Law once it is adopted with a vision of achieving climate neutrality by 2050;
- Set forward-looking 2030 energy and climate targets in line with the Energy Community framework and EU acquis, as well as develop and implement integrated Energy and Climate Plans with clear measures designed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the Western Balkans economies by integrating climate action into all relevant sectoral policies;
- Continue alignment with the EU Emissions Trading Scheme, as well as work towards introducing other carbon pricing instruments to promote decarbonization in the region;
- Review and revise, where necessary, all relevant legislation to support progressive decarbonization of the energy sector and secure full enforcement, notably through the Energy Community;
- Cooperate in the preparation of an assessment of the socio-economic impact of decarbonization at individual economy and regional level with a view to a just transition;
- Prioritise energy efficiency and improve it in all sectors;
- Increase the share of renewable energy sources and provide the necessary investment conditions, in line with the EU and Energy Community acquis and target;
- Strive to decrease and gradually phase-out of coal subsidies, strictly respecting state aid rules;
- Actively participate in the Coal Region in Transition initiative for the Western Balkans.