Serbia, Iceland lean towards EU to meet UN climate pledges

Published 14:47 on June 30, 2015  /  Last updated at 10:42 on November 20, 2015  /  Climate Talks, EMEA, EU ETS, International  /  No Comments

Serbia submitted its INDC to the UN on Tuesday, pledging to cut its emissions 9.8% under 1990 levels by 2030 but allowing a rise of 15% above 2013 levels according to the nation’s latest data.

-Serbia pledge allows for rise as emissions fell sharply in 1990s
-Nation aims to join EU ETS in early 2020s
-Iceland also submits INDC

Serbia submitted its INDC to the UN on Tuesday, pledging to cut its emissions 9.8% under 1990 levels by 2030 but allowing a rise of 15% above 2013 levels according to the nation’s latest data.

Serbia’s INDC covers 100% of the Balkan nation’s economy but it made no reference to the use of international carbon markets.

Serbia’s emissions were 25% below their 1990 levels of 81 million tonnes in 2013, according to the report published in April.

As a non-Annex I party to the Kyoto Protocol, the European nation was not one of the industrialised nations expected to take on a binding reduction target.

During a visit to Belgrade earlier this month, European Commission vice president Maros Sefcovic praised the drafting of the INDC as a “great achievement”.

“As the first EU candidate country to do this, you are setting an example for others to follow,” he said in a speech.

EU LINK

The former member of communist Yugoslavia is aiming to become a fully-fledged EU member state between 2020-2025, and as such, it would be required to regulate emissions under the EU ETS and meet binding annual targets in non-ETS sectors, where cooperation between participating nations is envisaged.

“As part of the EU accession preparation, Serbia is getting ready to implement the EU ETS but the linking itself is not envisaged at the moment,” said Dragana Mileusnic of green group coalition CAN Europe.

“The EU ETS will become applicable in the moment of the full EU accession – therefore it makes no sense to do the linking (beforehand), there are some discussions and rumours that Serbia could start up a voluntary carbon market in order to test and prepare for the EU ETS but this is also not going to happen for a few years at least,” she added.

In preparation, Serbia has since 2013 worked on establishing an MRV system for emissions that would be covered by the EU ETS, and has been getting EU cash to help it implement pollution standards at its power plants.

The EU money, which is distributed across non-EU nations in southeast Europe, has come on condition that countries increase the share of renewables in their energy mix while improving energy efficiency.

ICELAND

Meanwhile, non-EU member Iceland submitted its INDC to match the EU’s goal of a -40% goal versus 1990 in the same way as Norway, adding that most of its mitigation will be achieved through domestic actions.

Iceland already participates in the EU ETS and pledged to implement the same framework as the EU to cut emissions in non-ETS sectors, along with negotiating to take part in the bloc’s effort-sharing system that allows nations to invest and take credit for emission reductions in other states.

This implied that the country saw no need to tap carbon markets outside of Europe for abatement options.

By Ben Garside – ben@carbon-pulse.com

To stay updated on countries’ climate pledges, check out our INDC Tracker

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