How to transform energy and climate plans into actionable and bankable projects in Croatia and the region? What can we do to strengthen the link between energy and climate science, policy and practice in Southeast Europe?
On June 18th the “Long term climate and energy planning in Southeast Europe” CARISMA workshop was organised in Zagreb.
Long term National Climate and Energy Plans (NECP) are at the forefront of governance mechanisms aimed at ensuring that signatories of the Paris Agreement reach their climate targets. Every EU Member State must submit an NECP to the EU Commission by 2020 and Czech Republic, Poland, UK, France and Germany have developed one already.
Southeast European countries have various experiences in long term energy and climate planning, and are generally facing several challenges such as dependence on coal power in their electricity mix, stop and go renewable energy policies such as the example of Bulgaria and Romania, high costs of capital for wind and solar PV and social acceptance challenges of renewable energy in general. The Western Balkan and Energy Community member states are moreover in several phases of the negotiation process to enter the European Union. As this requires adopting the EU energy and climate acquis these countries also have to develop climate strategies that address mitigation and adaptation measures.
Croatia is currently in the last phases of making its climate change mitigation and low carbon development strategies. Still the question remains if these ambitious plans will really transform into actionable projects, and if the government will use them for energy and climate policies until 2030. The Low Carbon Development Strategy is five years in the making and it’s critical that the government adopts it. This would help define its new Energy Strategy and keep its Paris Agreement promises. More importantly having clarity on the government’s energy and climate strategies would provide a clear signal of stability for investments into renewables.
This workshop brought together the leading experts in energy and climate policy from Europe with some of the most successful investors and practitioners from the region. This includes Oliver Sartor from the Paris based think tank IDDRI, Andreas Tuerk from Joanneum Research and University of Graz and Sonja Risteska from the Berlin based Agora Energiewende, a renowned think tank for the energy transition. On the other hand leading investors and consultants from the region discussed how high level plans can be placed into practice. This included Bojan Rescec from RP Global, an investor with 78 MW of wind capacity in Croatia, Edo Jerkic from Renewable Energy Sources of Croatia, Nihad Harbas from the Sarajevo based advisory nLogic and Belgrade based Dimitar Dimitrovski from the International Finance Corporation.