In order for the energy transition process in Bosnia and Herzegovina to be as efficient and fair as possible, it is necessary to urgently start planning the decarbonisation of the energy sector, said the experts from the Centre for Sustainable Energy Transition RESET at the panel discussion “Energy Transition – Where is BiH Going To?” which was organised by the Centre for Environment in Banja Luka last night. In order to gain access to European funds, it is necessary for BiH to adjust its energy strategy to the EU climate policy, as a signatory of the Paris Agreement and the Sofia Declaration.
“Strategies should be adopted with a clear vision of what kind of energy future we want, which should be supported by decision makers, the economy and citizens, and not just under pressure from the international community. Citizens and the economy need to see their benefits in the energy transition and turn over to investing in sustainable and smart solutions,” said Nihad Harbaš from RESET.
The current energy strategy does not envisage a sustainable scenario that includes the decarbonisation of the energy sector, that is, a gradual reduction until the complete abolition of the use of fossil fuels. On the contrary, BiH still plans most of its production from coal-fired power plants, and such a scenario inevitably leads us to the introduction of a customs duty on carbon dioxide for the export of electricity and all other products to EU countries. This will result in higher product prices, destruction of our nature and greater pollution leading to additional health costs.
“How citizens and the economy will go through the energy transition primarily depends on informing, understanding and accepting that they have an active role in it.” Otherwise, the same will happen as in previous transitions in the last 20 years “, said Damir Miljević from RESET.
The International Climate Change Panel (IPCC) has made it clear that we have a maximum of 10 years to prevent the catastrophic consequences of the climate crisis. “The role of my generation is to open the door to a just energy transition, and I would like to see that what happened in EU countires, where young people through protests clearly showed politicians what kind of future they want, to happen in BiH too.” Only under the pressure of the younger generations did EU politicians realised that it was the worst to be late. I hope that such a turnaround will take place in Bosnia and Herzegovina, not only by going to the streets, but alsoby taking the initiative to build the future they want. ” said Mirza Kusljugic, president of RESET.
The Centre for Environment believes that we must gradually abolish the financing or subsidising of harmful energy projects, which at the same time drag us into deep poverty. This primarily refers to subsidies for the coal sector, as well as to the encouragement of hydropower projects. “We can stop all this, first of all, by democratising, decentralising and digitalising the energy sector, and by redirecting incentives for non-commercial production and community energy. In that way, we will preserve the environment, and the citizens and the economy of BiH will ultimately benefit,” said Majda Ibraković from the Centre for Environment.
For more details, see the analysis of the Centre for the Environment: Energy transition – a burden or a development opportunity in BiH? and Analysis of the economic justification of concession fees and incentives for small hydro power plants in BiH.