Main findings of the 2022 Report for Kosovo

In the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans and sustainable connectivity, Kosovo has made some progress in the field of transport and limited progress in the fields of energy, environment and climate change.

In the field of resources and agriculture, Kosovo has made some progress in food security, veterinary policy and phytosanitary policy, but only limited progress in agriculture.

Source: European Commission

Climate change: Heat waves

How does it relate to climate change?
Even a small increase in average temperature caused by climate change can increase the likelihood of extreme heat and heat waves. Heat waves can have serious health consequences, especially for the elderly, young children, the poor and people with pre-existing health problems, such as asthma or heart disease.

The heat wave of August 2003 killed over 14,000 (mostly elderly) in France and 2,000 in England and Wales. In the month of July 1995, only in the city of Chicago, Illinois, USA, which experienced a heat wave, over 700 people died.

Excessive heat can also kill or damage crops and livestock, and can lead to power outages, due to high demand for air conditioning that overloads the electrical grid.

What is currently happening?
Climate change has increased the likelihood of more frequent and more severe heat waves, particularly affecting urban areas, where the urban heat island effect increases susceptibility to heat-related health impacts.

What lies ahead?
Heat waves are expected to become more frequent, longer and more intense in the coming years. The number of extremely hot days is predicted to increase almost all over planet earth.

How certain is the science?
Scientists are very confident that heat waves and other extreme heat events are and will continue to become more frequent and intense due to climate change.

Climate Change: The Unsustainability of Life on Earth in the Future

It is already proven that the current global economic system is leading us towards an unstable future, where the younger generations will find it increasingly difficult to survive. History has shown that civilizations have risen, stood by their core values, and then collapsed because they did not change. We are in that critical period today.

If climate change accelerates, human survival will be significantly jeopardized in the future. People say that the world is solid and this is true, there will be life on earth, but the earth will not be suitable for us.

If our planet is going to be in a warmer state, 5 degrees C warmer than now, with no ice in the Arctic north and the Antarctic south, this will not be good for large mammals like us, with a temperature body temperature of 37 degrees C. Insects can adapt, but not humans.

Climate change: Deforestation caused by human activities

Forests cover 30.7 percent of the Earth’s surface. In addition to ensuring food security and shelter, they are essential to combat climate change, protect biodiversity and the homes of residents who live in vulnerable areas.

By protecting forests, we will also be able to strengthen the management of natural resources and increase the productivity of the land. Currently, 13 million hectares of forest are lost each year, while the ongoing degradation of drylands has led to the deforestation of 3.6 billion hectares globally.

Although up to 15% of the land is currently under protection, biodiversity is still at risk. Deforestation caused by human activities and climate change pose major challenges to sustainable development and have affected the lives of millions of people in the fight against poverty.

Efforts are being made to manage forests and combat deforestation. International agreements are currently being implemented that promote the equitable use of resources. Investments are also being secured.

Climate Change: The Integrity of the Biosphere

“Biodiversity loss” is now called “biosphere integrity”, recognizing the interdependence of species and focusing on the impact of humans on ecosystem functioning.

Carbon dioxide levels, at 395.5 parts per million globally, are at historic highs, while loss of biosphere integrity is resulting in species becoming extinct at a rate more than 100 times faster than previous rates .

Of the nine worldwide processes that support life on Earth, four have exceeded “safe” levels – human-driven climate change, loss of biosphere integrity, earth system change, and high phosphorus and nitrogen runoff in the oceans due to the use of fertilizers.

The scientists found that the changes of the past 60 years are unprecedented in the previous 10,000 years, a period in which the world has had a relatively stable climate and human civilization has advanced significantly.

Since 1950, the urban population has increased sevenfold, the use of primary energy has increased significantly, while the amount of waste used is now eight times higher. The amount of nitrogen entering the oceans has quadrupled. All these changes are shifting the earth to a “new state” that is becoming less hospitable to human life, researchers have found.

Renewable energy, batteries and Kosovo

Written by Adhurim Haxhimusa (FHGR, Switzerland), Kristian Sevdari (DTU, Denmark)

It is human nature for crops (eg cereals) to be stored in large barns and stored for later consumption. At the same time, almost every home / apartment plan has a small warehouse to store flour, oil, rice, beverages, and many other food items. Simply put, families plan and want to have their well-being secured for a certain amount of time.

But not every product can be stored easily, cheaply, and quickly. Electricity is one such product. In the last ten years we have had a much more stable supply of electricity as a result of the elimination of technical problems from regular maintenance and proper management of the units of Kosovo coal power plants A and B.

The problem of electricity generation with coal power plants is that they cause high environmental pollution at the local level, but that at the same time is also affecting climate change globally. As a result, countries around the world have decided to make an energy transition by moving from the use of energy sources that pollute the environment (eg coal, gas, oil derivatives) to renewable energy sources (RES) (p) e.g. wind, solar, geothermal) in the next two decades. Such an energy transition is obligatory for Kosovo as a signatory of the Energy Treaty. Kosovo plans but has also started to invest in the diversification of energy sources through RES, where even a few days ago was put into operation another wind farm with 105 megawatts (MW) of electricity capacity in north of Kosovo.

However, RES are highly dependent on atmospheric conditions. It is simple, windmills rotate around their axis and produce electricity depending on the intensity of the wind. Also solar panels produce electricity only during the day and depending on the intensity of sunlight. So, depending on the generating capacity, in some hours of the day the production from RES can exceed the consumption, while in other hours the consumption can be higher than the production. This makes sustainable RES-based electricity supply challenging.

It is therefore necessary that during the time when we have surplus electricity we store it, to use it during the hours when consumption is higher than production. This is the concept of flexibility (in consumption and production). So for sustainable energy supply it is necessary to make a combination of RES with the most reliable and efficient energy conservation technologies.

Over the last decade, with the increasing use of RES, the scientific activity for finding different methods to conserve energy in large quantities has also increased. A 100% RES-based energy system necessarily requires relatively large energy storage capacities. These capacities are divided according to applications:

a) frequency adjustment (energy up to 15 min);

b) network operation (power up to 4 hours) and

c) save energy (energy up to 6 months).

During this article we will analyze some technologies, with special focus on the technologies with the greatest potential.

Taking advantage of mature technology and the ability to store large amounts of energy, reversible hydropower plants account for about 99% of the world’s energy storage capacity, as batteries are the technology that has recently begun to be applied.

Basically this type of hydropower plant has two basins, one on a high hill, while the other for example in a low valley. During the hours when there is excess electricity the water is pumped up by filling the upper basin, while during the hours when the electricity consumption is higher than the production, water is released from the upper basin to the lower basin and produces electricity.

Batteries (Li-ion) are another very promising technology for energy conservation. Mainly due to the energy density they provide (75-200 Wh / kg) compared to reversible hydropower plants (0.5-1.5 Wh / kg). For this reason batteries are seen as the solution for the transport sector, moving towards electric transport.

Kosovo will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% in 2031

In the framework of the draft new National Strategy for Electricity, Kosovo has set strategic objectives. Among other things, one of the objectives aims to reduce emissions as well as to promote decarbonisation and investment in renewable energy sources.

“High carbon emissions in Kosovo will be significantly reduced through the gradual decarbonisation of the energy sector, implementing a carbon pricing system, transposing EU regulation regarding the monitoring, reporting and verification of carbon emissions , as well as creating an adequate institutional and technical infrastructure “, it is said in the draft national energy strategy, published by the Ministry of Economy, reports Kosovo.Energy.

Kosovo aims to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 32% and increase the share of RES in electricity sector consumption to 35%, from the current 6.3%.

Kosovo will gradually implement the price of carbon, in the same way will attract subsidies for fossil fuels
On the way to reducing carbon emissions and in addition to the obligations undertaken with the signing of the green agenda, Kosovo will have to create a national emissions trading scheme.

According to the energy strategy, Kosovo will complete the preparation of the carbon pricing system in 2025, while it will integrate it in the EU Emissions Trading System (EU ETS) in 2031, reports Kosovo .Energy.

During this period, in the national energy strategy, Kosovo is committed to gradually withdraw subsidies for fossil fuels, which are currently high.

Revenues from the carbon trading system will be placed in the Fair Transition Fund. Exactly how the funds raised will be used will be determined later, but the funds can be used to promote RES, train and rehabilitate the workforce, energy-related projects dedicated to consumers in need, etc., reports Kosovo.Energy.

From 246 MW, Kosovo will increase the installed capacities of RES to 1400 MW in 2031
In the national energy strategy, special emphasis is given to the establishment of renewable energy projects in Kosovo. It says the country will apply auction procedures to ensure a more economical and transparent approach.

“The auction process will start immediately, with the preparation of documentation for the first auction in 2022. Using the experience gained from this auction, the Secondary Legislation for RES Law will be drafted and then rounds of further auctions in the coming years, for wind technologies, photovoltaics and other renewable energy “, it is stated in the energy strategy, reports Kosovo.Energy.

Kosovo aims to increase the installed capacity of the renewable energy sector from 244 MW to 1300 MW. In addition, in 2031, Kosovo has set as a goal to increase the capacity of self-consuming producers (consumers), from 2 MW as it is now, to 100 MW.

Thus, the strategic objective of the draft national electricity strategy is to increase the installed capacity of RES from 246 MW as it is now, to 1400 MW.

Feasibility studies for 8 new heating plants
The draft strategy document, published by the Ministry of Economy, states that by 2031, the government will be engaged in promoting the use of renewable energy for heating.

Although it has not set precise indicators for the use of renewable energy for heating, the strategy states that feasibility studies will be carried out in eight different municipalities (except Gjakova and Pristina, which already have a district heating system), reports Kosovo. Energy.

“This study will help determine the level of use and combination of these technologies by 2031, while the existing system of DH Prishtina will diversify its technology so that by 2025 it includes solar-based heating. of 70 MWth “, it is stated in the strategy.

Comments on the strategy can be submitted until June 27th
Otherwise, together with the publication of the draft national energy strategy for 2022-2031, the Ministry of Economy has started the process of public discussion on this document.

The deadline for submitting comments on the draft national energy strategy is June 27, the Ministry of Economy has announced, reports Kosovo.Energy.

All comments and written contributions should be submitted electronically to the e-mail address with the title: Contribution to the public consultation process for the Energy Strategy of the Republic of Kosovo 2022-2031.

Carbon Taxation Policy Research Introduced: Government sets price to be paid by polluters

The Institute for Development Policy (INDEP) has presented the research “Carbon Taxation Policies – Importance, Challenges and Opportunities for Kosovo”, reports Ekonomia Online.

It was requested that in every country in the world, in Kosovo, carbon taxation be started, in order to protect the environment. Through a carbon tax, the Government was asked to set a price to be paid by polluters for each ton of gas emissions.

Dardan Abazi, director of the Sustainable Development Program at INDEP, said the adoption and implementation of the carbon tax in Kosovo’s policy framework is a complex process that requires gathering all stakeholders and reviewing how it works.

“Carbon tax is one of the policies that the government of Kosovo in a way will be forced to apply in Kosovo, to impose a tax that those who cause it would have to pay and will enable the decarbonization of our system energy and our lives ”.

“We are in the first steps where the debate on the carbon tax has probably not started yet while it is knocking on our doors, whether in the long-term decarbonisation strategy or in other ways, and in general in the legislative framework and public policies,” he said. ai.

During the roundtable was presented the INDEP research of the same name. The presentation of the paper was made by Fiona Bakija, research assistant at INDEP.

“I have been working on the processing of the paper for the last few months. We as INDEP have no need to do such a work as there was no language in Albanian that citizens, policymakers and businesses were informed about such a tax. “Kosovo has signed the declaration of the Sofia summit and is committed to full decarbonisation by 2050,” she said.

“The methodology we have used is qualitative, we have analyzed various reports, legislation in force and we have compared it with foreigners with that of Europe and the Western Balkans as it is more comparable with the state of Kosovo. During the drafting of the publication, we conducted three interviews with actors that we do not care if the carbon tax is imposed in Kosovo “.

“During the research we compared the case of Kosovo with Albania, Estonia, Poland, Slovenia and Sweden because we thought that Kosovo with these countries is more comparable, maybe not with Sweden but we got the beginnings when Sweden has implemented carbon taxes.” she said.

The Climate Change Officer at the Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure, Abdullah Pirce, said that given the conditions that Kosovo has, it is too early to make such a decision, but that it considers it necessary.

“It’s known that recently there has been a global discussion on climate change and how to fight and stop climate change. For our conditions, it is a bit like before to take this action, but the obligation is an obligation because we have an obligation. “We are also equal members in the treatment of the community and we must respond to the demands that arise from being treated,” he said.

If we can increase production from renewable sources, I think that this way we can achieve some. It remains to be seen how it will happen. The Ministry of Environment can not cope with all this, it does not depend on us, implementation depends on the Ministry of Economy which is responsible for the energy sector, it depends on transport, it also depends on the Ministry of Agriculture how much it will achieve with afforestation “they reforest from Kosovo customs”, he said.

Should climate change be taught as a subject in our schools?

By: Afrim Berisha, PhD in Environmental Sciences

Although education is not a direct solution to preventing climate change, it is nevertheless one of the most effective tools to change attitudes and better understand the problem, and is therefore a very important action in the fight against global warming. .

Various researches list the strengthening of education and the commitment to climate change as one of the most important social interventions to slow down the phenomenon of rising global temperatures. A wider public with better education on climate problems may be more aware when it comes to supporting policy change and measures to slow or stop greenhouse gas emissions.

Even relevant United Nations climate agencies acknowledge the fact that it is difficult to imagine effectively addressing climate change and climate change without a broad and in-depth educational strategy.
Because of this, the subject of climate change has already become part of the curriculum in many public and private schools around the world.
Despite the complexity of climate science and the many unknowns that this field brings, including the lack of expertise needed for this unit, the interest in learning and understanding the problems of climate change is growing.

In some countries, the commitment to increase support for education in the field of climate change has been placed in the framework of national action plans to meet the implementation of the requirements of the Paris Climate Agreement. One such example comes from Italy, which since September last year has officially started teaching the subject of climate change in schools with 33 teaching hours per year. Furthermore, Italy, within the Ministry of Education, has set one of the main objectives of education for sustainability and climate.

In some other countries, such as New Zealand, comprehensive climate curricula have already been developed and are being implemented in schools for students aged 11-15. In compiling this curriculum, Zealand has even engaged climate scientists to make the curriculum as effective as possible.
Even in some schools in the north of England the teaching of climate change has started as a separate teaching unit. Previously, this country has certified special teachers for climate change, and this subject has become part of the curriculum.

In other countries, such as Washington in the US, the climate change curriculum has been budgeted through a special law aimed at funding training projects for public school teachers and civil society organizations to expand knowledge about climate. During 2017 alone, the professional development of this program known as Clime Time, benefited about 7,500 public school teachers, mainly primary school teachers, while for the next two years another $ 3 million was made available.

In support of this whole process, a special contribution is being made by the United Nations, which through specific online courses is certifying teachers for the subject of climate change. The Climate Change and Sustainable Development Education Program (CCESD) has even been established within UNESCO, which aims to increase knowledge about climate change through education.

Educational programs on Climate Change and Sustainable Development under UNESCO guidelines have already been adapted to education systems in Australia, China, Japan and several other countries.
In addition to formal education, there are plenty of informal initiatives to learn about climate change, and the media have increased their commitment to supporting the climate education process.

There is no lack of individual initiatives of students to do more in this regard. We have fresh the initiative of the student from Sweden, Greta Thunberg, who through her actions every Friday, I ask the world leaders to take concrete actions to prevent further climate change. Her actions have inspired millions of young people around the world to protest and one of their demands is even better climate education.

However, in Kosovo there is no concrete initiative to address the inclusion of the climate change curriculum within the regular educational curriculum.

Coal is still the main threat to global climate goals

The number of coal-fired power plants worldwide fell in 2021, according to a published study, but the fossil fuel most responsible for global warming still generated record CO2 emissions, threatening Paris’s climate goals.

Since the 195-country treaty was signed in 2015, coal energy capacity under construction or planned for development has fallen by three-quarters, including a 13 percent year-on-year decline in 2021 to 457 gigawatts (GW) .

Globally, there are more than 2,400 coal-fired power plants operating in 79 countries, with a total capacity of 2,100 GW.

According to the Global Energy Monitor annual report, Tracking the Global Coal Plant Pipeline, a record 34 countries have new coal plants under consideration, from 41 in January 2021.

China, Japan and South Korea, all historical supporters of coal development outside their borders, have pledged to stop funding new coal plants in other countries, although concerns remain about potential gaps in China’s engagement.

And yet, the worldwide operational coal-powered fleet increased in 2021 by 18 GW, and as of December, an additional 176 GW of coal capacity was under construction, almost the same as a year earlier.

The bulk of this growth is in China, which accounts for just over half of new coal-fired power. South and Southeast Asia account for another 37 percent.

Three-quarters of the new coal-fired power plants that began work last year were in China, where newly commissioned capacity offset the retirement of coal-fired power plants in all other combined nations.

“The pipeline of the coal plant is shrinking, but there is simply no carbon budget left to build new coal plants,” said Flora Champenois of the Global Energy Monitor. “We have to stop, now.”

The UN Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change and the International Energy Agency have warned that having a chance to fight global warming at sustainable levels means there are no new coal plants and a rapid shutdown of existing ones.

Rich countries should do this by 2030 and most of the rest of the world by 2040, they said.

Many emerging economies like India, Vietnam, Bangladesh have cut plans for new coal capacity.

“In China, plans for new coal-fired power plants have continued to be announced,” said Lauri Myllyvirta, lead analyst at the Center for Energy and Clean Air Research and co-author of the report.

To date, the world’s largest greenhouse gas emitter, China has pledged to reach the peak of carbon emissions by 2030 and become carbon neutral by 2060.

In the United States, efforts to limit coal use have slowed, the report said.

The capacity of US ‘retired’ coal capacity in 2021 fell for the second year in a row, from 16.1 GW in 2019, to 11.6 GW in 2020, to around 6.4 to 9.0 GW last year.

To meet its climate targets, the United States will need to draw 25 GW per year from now until 2030.

The European Union retired a record 12.9 GW in 2021, including 5.8 GW in Germany, 1.7 GW in Spain and 1.9 GW in Portugal, which went coal-free in November 2021, nine years before the target departure date.