Commencement of the KSDW 2022 - Decarbonization Path of WB6: From Sofia Declaration to National Strategic Documents

02 June 2022

31 May 2022, marked the first day of the Kosovo Sustainable Development Week (KSDW). 

The first day of the conference was dedicated to energy and the decarbonization of the sector. Rinora Gojani, Programmes and Operations Manager at the Balkan Green Foundation, was part of the panel ‘Decarbonization Path of WB6: From Sofia Declaration to National Strategic Documents’, together with: Sabit Gashi, Chair of National Energy and Climate Plan, Ministry of Economy; Trim Ternava, CEO of JAHA Solar and member of Network for Clean Energy Businesses (N4CEB); Andreas Pointvogl, Managing Partner, OMNIA; Avni Sfishta, Team Leader of the Energy Project at GIZ Kosovo. The panel was chaired by Anja Rosenberg, Technical Advisor at the Energy Community Secretariat. 

The panel highlighted the importance of adopting documents that support the just energy transition in Kosovo and other WB6, and the need to move towards a carbon-neutral region by 2050. During her addressing, Ms. Gojani said that ‘Kosovo needs to move from a monopolized fossil fuel dominated system without room for meaningful engagement to a participatory renewable energy system with inclusive decision-making processes'. Rinora, also stated that the strategic document drafting process needs to: Conduct regular public participation and stakeholder consultations that include youth and vulnerable groups, Draft a joint vision of JET and undertake transparent planning processes, Set measurable goals and ensure clear accountability, and implement measures to improve and ensure gender equality, Educate and raise awareness on energy issues and Look at related issues such as land and water. 

The panel agreed that decarbonization measures such as: investments in energy efficiency, innovative solutions, digitalization and a holistic approach to the problem are very important. All play a critical point in fighting energy poverty and obtaining higher levels of energy savings. This imposed lower levels of CO2 emissions in Balkan countries which unfortunately are known to be amongst the biggest air polluters. As such, in order to meet the objectives for a carbon-neutral environment, clear strategic documents like: National Energy and Climate Plans (NECP), Energy Strategy, and other relevant documents will serve as a guide for the energy transition pathway and decarbonization.

The panel agreed that the energy crisis has shown how important it is to cooperate and have a safe reliance between the regional countries of the WB6. To this point, improvements in connectivity between neighboring countries have been made, but still, the WB6 lacks a unified regional energy market. Reducing costs in a very critical financial time is of high interest to all governments in the region. Hence, investments in infrastructure and energy planning are essential to ensure the overall well-being of the citizens. 

Kosovo Sustainable Development Week - KSDW is organized in close cooperation between the Ministry of Economy and Environment, European Union Office in Kosovo/EU Special Representative, Deutsche Gesellschaft für Internationale Zusammenarbeit (GIZ) GmbH on behalf of the German Government, Institute of Development Policy and Balkan Green Foundation.

'Decarbonization Path of WB6: From Sofia Declaration to National Strategic Documents' panel was financed by Heinrich-Böll-Stiftung and was organized by Balkan Green Foundation.