Building Just Transition in Kosovo

Tassos Chatzieleftheriou, energy policy analyst at Τhe Green Tank, participated in the Stakeholder Forum titled “Make energy transition a reality, make the transition just” that took place in Prishtinë, Kosovo.

The Forum was co-organized by Climate Reality Europe and EcoZ Kosovo. The aim was to exchange views on just transition, how to accelerate its processes and what are the prerequisites for its success.

In his contribution, Tassos Chatzieleftheriou, presented the recent study by the Green Tank and CEE Bankwatch on the creation of a dedicated Just Transition Fund for the Western Balkan countries.

More specifically, he emphasized the need for the creation of such a fund that can support carbon intensive regions in the Western Balkans towards their transition to more sustainable activities and presented a methodology for a fair distribution of the Fund among the six Western Balkan countries. Based on the proposed methodology, he concluded that countries will receive a larger share of the fund’s resources if they adopt climate-ambitious policies. He also stressed that with early planning, the Western Balkan countries would avoid many of the challenges currently faced by the lignite regions of Greece, which now have very little time to adjust their entire economies. In the same context, he pointed out that the process of developing and implementing just transition planning must be transparent and participatory, because without the support of local communities it is almost certain to fail.

Other presentations highlighted as well the importance of involving local stakeholders and citizens in the planning of Just Transition, and they urged for setting a time frame for lignite phase-out in Kosovo and the adoption of a carbon pricing system (such as a carbon tax or an emissions trading system).

Participants included Bashkim Pllana (Ministry of Finance, Kosovo), Learta Hollaj (Office of the President of the Republic of Kosovo), Arben Ajazi (Ministry of Environment, Spatial Planning and Infrastructure), Viktor Berishaj (Climate Action Network Europe) and Irina Lazzerini (Energy Community Secretariat). Interventions were made by Egzona Shala (EcoZ) and Zsolt Bauer (Climate Reality Europe), on behalf of the organizers.

The forum took place on June 02, 2022.