Capacity-building to facilitate the implementation of EU Emission Trading Scheme in Macedonia

The main message of the Conference on Capacity Building to facilitate the implementation of the European Emissions Trading Scheme (EU ETS) in Macedonia, held on 6th-7th February in hydropower plant “Radica” in Mavrovo was to demonstrate that the state, that is, the Ministry of Environment and Physical Planning and the economic operators are seriously preparing for the obligations and benefits arising from the EU legislation in the field of environmental protection and climate change.

The Conference was part of a project, supported by the Norwegian Environment Agency (NEA) and co-financed by the Norwegian Ministry of Foreign Affairs (NMFA) to enable the conditions for further facilitation of the implementation of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme in the country. Total value of the project is EUR 711,300.00, for a period of 3 years, 2012-2015., of which EUR 617,700.00 in donations, and the rest are non-financial support from the MEPP.

According to Minister Ademi , the project provides support to the process of building local capacities and provision of a series of sectoral trainings (by type of sectors relevant to the identified potential EU-ETS installations) that will offer an introduction and practical knowledge for the preparation of documentation required under EU regulations described in the EU Directive 2003/87 and Directive 2009/29 EU-ETS, and a new Regulation 601/2012 on monitoring and reporting of greenhouse gas emissions. Along with the educational part, it is foreseen to analyse the possibilities for preparing draft legislative acts that would go as suggestions for suplements and amendments to the Law on Environment and bylaws of the future Law on climate action that is planned under IPA TAIB 2012 as part of the institutionalisation of the EU-ETS.

The second phase anticipates regionalising of the project activities with involvement of neighbouring countries, promoting the possible networking and exploring the possibilities and prospects for the scheme at regional level. The latter opens the possibility Macedonia to take a leadership position in this area in the region.

In the last year, the project (depending on progress) envisages selection of pilot operators and simulation of human emissions of greenhouse gases. Also, it is planned to make analysis of the local capacities for verification and preparation of procedures for eventual accreditation of verifiers of installation reports.

The EU’s emission trading of greenhouse gases is the basis of EU policy to combat climate change and its key tool for reducing industrial greenhouse gas emissions in a cost-effective way. EU ETS works on the principle of “cap and trade”. This means that there is a “cap” or limit on the total amount of certain greenhouse gases that can be emitted from installations based on certain indicators (ie benchmarks). Within that limit installations receive emission allowances which they can if necessary sell or buy from each other. The limit of the total available quota allows them to have value. European Emission Trading Scheme (EU ETS) covers approximately 11,000 power and industrial plants in 30 countries in Europe. EU ETS is developing fast and it has to be part of the environmental legislation that Macedonia will have to implement to become an EU member.

In this regard, Minister Ademi stressed that the fulfilment of recommendation will be great challenge and obligation, as well as the future preparation of legislation that is enforceable in practice.