Montenegro has joined the Powering Past Coal Alliance (PPCA), which promotes coal phaseout and the transition to clean energy, and announced it would stop using coal by 2035 at the latest.
Prime Minister Zdravko Krivokapić has recently said that Montenegro will set a coal phaseout date in its national energy and climate plan (NECP), whose drafting is under way.
Welcoming the country’s decision to join the PPCA, Montenegrin non-governmental organization Green Home has said it demonstrates the commitment to setting a coal phaseout date and initiating the energy transition process.
Green Home recalled that the move comes at a time when the Energy Community Secretariat is conducting an infringement procedure against Montenegro for continuing to operate coal-fired thermal power plant (TPP) Pljevlja after it has exhausted the 20,000 operating hours allowed under the opt-out mechanism.
At the same time, governments across the Western Balkans are struggling to carry out environmental overhauls of thermal power plants, which would undoubtedly lead to continued dependence on coal, Green Home noted.
North Macedonia has a more ambitious target than Montenegro
Montenegro joined the PPCA at its summit in London, when the alliance was also joined by North Macedonia and Spain, with somewhat more ambitious goals. North Macedonia has announced plans to shut down its two thermal power plants by 2027 at the latest, while Spain has opted for carbon neutrality by 2030.
North Macedonia is the first country in the Western Balkans to make a decision on abandoning coal, with Prime Minister Zoran Zaev recently announcing that the closure of its thermal power plants is planned by 2028.
Croatia and Albania are also among the PPCA’s new members and partners
The PPCA has said on its website that its new members and partners also include Croatia, which has committed to working together with the alliance to set a coal phaseout date in the near future, and Albania, which has one of the highest shares of renewables in the region.
Green Home recalled that 16 European countries have set coal phaseout deadlines so far, indicating their commitment to Paris Agreement and climate neutrality goals.