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Climate change mitigation (Montenegro)

Why should we care about this issue

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 22 Dec 2010

Montenegro became a member of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 27 January 2007 as a non-Annex 1 country. The Kyoto Protocol was ratified in 2007. Since EU accession is a national priority, harmonisation of Montenegrin legislation with the relevant parts of the acquis communautaire on the environment and climate change is a very important part of this process.

The issue of climate change is addressed in Montenegro’s first national report on climate change, based on the UNFCCC. Submission of this document to the Convention Secretariat is scheduled for October 2010. This first national report presents detailed national characteristics and a national greenhouse gas (GHG) inventory, a general description of steps taken or planned for the implementation of the Convention, vulnerability assessment, climate change adaptation and mitigation measures and other information relevant to the objectives of the Convention. It also details obstacles, shortcomings and requirements in terms of financial and technical resources to strengthen the capacity for reporting.

During the period 1949-2005 changes occurred in the value of climatic parameters for air temperature and precipitation at the national level. Measurements indicate a clear trend towards an increase in air temperatures throughout most of the territory of Montenegro in the second half of the twentieth century. Summers have become very hot, especially over the last 18 years. For the summer period from 1991 to 2005, average temperature deviations from the climatological norm, expressed as a percentage, ranged from 90 to 98 %. Moreover, results of scenarios for future climatic models in the region indicate that there will be further significant change in temperature, for example during the period 2071-2100, the northern part of the country will experience an increase in summer temperatures by up to 4.8 0C.

Annual precipitation is generally stable. Exceptions are the northern regions of Montenegro and the coast. In the north-east of the state, precipitation has been increasing since 1949, whereas on the coast there is a trend towards a slight reduction. Model results indicate both negative and positive change in precipitation, depending on the zone and the season.

One consequence of global warming is an increase in sea level. Predictions for the upper limit increase in sea level in the Mediterranean Sea basin (including the Adriatic-Ionian basin) for the period 2071-2100 is +35 cm. An increase of this calibre in the Adriatic Sea will have serious consequences. Water will permanently flood a large part of the coast that is already at risk of flooding and tidal flood waves will significantly increase the flood area, even in zones that have never been flooded before and a great many beaches will disappear.


The key drivers and pressures

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Greenhouse gas inventory for 1990

In its first national report Montenegro determined 1990 as the base year for its GHG inventory. For 1990, total GHG emissions amounted to 691.56 Gg of CO2, 27.02 Gg of CH4 and 1.19 Gg of N2O. CO2 gas is the main GHG with a share of 53.08 %. The amount of carbon dioxide absorbed in the "sinks" is 485.00 Gg. Calculated emissions of PFC gases from the aluminium industry were 0.1936 Gg of CF4 and 00:02 C2F6. The total amount of CO2 equivalent is 4 585.28 Gg
(5 070.28 Gg excluding the contribution from sinks). The energy sector contributes 92 % of CO2 emissions, which corresponds to 2 491.92 Gg, calculated on the basis of sectoral approaches. The remaining 8 % (199.64 Gg) comes from industrial emissions.

The total CO2 equivalent emission (including sinks) per capita is 7.7 tonnes CO2 eq/citizen, ranking Montenegro among the low-emission countries in relation to developed countries. The ratio of CO2 emissions caused by the burning of fossil fuels (4.55 t CO2 eq/citizen) is favourable because of a significant share of synthetic gases in the total emissions. Montenegro’s Environmental Protection Agency is currently collecting data for the GHG inventory for 2010.


The main characteristic of the energy sector in Montenegro is the high intensity of energy consumption. This is primarily due to the large share of industrial consumers using outdated and insufficiently energy-efficient technology. Energy consumption is also inefficient in the household and services sector, especially with regard to heating and the use of electricity. Traffic is characterised by a constant increase in the number of vehicles and the consumption of motor fuels. Other sectors have lower consumption and therefore do not represent a problem at present, but they may do so in the future if consumption rates continue to rise and measures are not taken to promote energy efficiency.

Depending on how energy needs are met in certain sectors, two scenarios were considered for the period 2010-2025: a reference scenario, with a complete absence of measures to reduce GHG emissions and a scenario with measures to reduce GHG emissions.

To create GHG emission scenarios it is necessary to make projections on  the growth of energy demand. These projections are based on assumptions concerning economic development and demographic growth. The basic indicators of economic development are the growth of gross domestic product (GDP) and the development of its structure during the period in question. Thus the following basic parameters are assumed in terms of energy needs for the development of Montenegro:


• average annual growth rate of the economy: 6 %

• average annual growth rate of the population: 0.16 %.


Power generation for the Montenegrin electricity system currently comes from the Pljevlja thermal power plant, that uses lignite as fuel, two large hydroelectric power plants (Piva and Perućica) and 6 smaller ones. The existing plants will be operational until 2025.

The reference scenario for the development of electric power is based on the assumption that the Pljevlja thermal power plant will increase its capacity from 210 MW to 225 MW in the period up to 2010 and that new electricity generating capacity will be developed: a second block at the Pljevlja thermal power plant will generate 225 MW of power from 2015 and the Moraca hydroelectric plant (Andrijevo, Milunović, Raslovići and Zlatica) will be gradually introduced into the system between 2013 and 2018, resulting in a total capacity of 238.4 MW.

The scenario with measures to reduce GHG emissions in the electricity sector offers an alternative to the construction of another thermal block at the Pljevlja plant. This scenario is oriented towards the exploitation of new renewable energy sources and primarily based on small hydro and wind farms. In addition to the various production structures, this scenario includes increasing the efficiency of the existing block at the Pljevlja thermal power plant. New production facilities include small hydroelectric plants totalling 80.2 MW of power that will become part of the system between 2010 and 2012; wind power totalling 96 MW and 168 MW of power from the hydroelectric power plant Komarnica that will go into operation in 2017.



The transport sector is responsible for approximately 10 % of total energy consumption in Montenegro. Almost 90 % of the energy consumed in transport comes from road traffic, predominantly cars. This trend is expected to increase in the future, due to the growth in the number of cars and a reduction in the number of passengers per car. Road transport is the sector that offers the main potential for introducing energy efficiency measures (EE) to rationalise energy consumption. Measures being introduced in the transport sector focus on the development of sustainable transport.

In order to reduce GHG emissions in road traffic, it is necessary to implement a package of measures including:

•  An increase in the energy efficiency of Montenegro’s vehicle fleet

•  The introduction of alternative fuels and substitutes for existing fossil fuels

•  The planning and establishment of a more efficient transport system.

measures analysed in the field of transport.



Figure 1. Total potential of the measures analysed in the field of transport. The reference scenario is indicated by a brown line and the scenario with measures for GHG emission reduction is indicated by a blue line.

Source: Ministry of Physical Planning and Environment of Montenegro.


The 2020 outlook

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 08 Apr 2011

Policies, measures and assessment of reduction in GHG emissions

The assessment of potential GHG emissions reductions was performed in accordance with approved development plans for the national economy. The assessment involved identifying appropriate measures, and developing projects and practical examples that can be implemented between 2010 and 2025 in key sectors: energy, industry, agriculture, land use change, forestry and waste. The measures were defined for each sector separately. Work on the assessment of GHG emissions was difficult due to the lack of sectoral development plans addressing climate change issues and the non-availability of data and other corresponding national studies. This was particularly relevant in the sectors of agriculture and forestry, which is why it was impossible to quantify the measures for GHG emission reduction in these sectors.

Based on the gas inventory for 1990, the sectors with the largest contribution to total GHG emissions in Montenegro appear to be energy (over 50 %, mainly CO2 emissions) and industry (around 32 %, predominantly emissions of synthetic gases - CF4).

Projections of GHG emissions in Montenegro have been made for the energy sector and the non-energy sector (industrial processes and waste). Assessment of GHG emissions reduction is based on two scenarios: a reference scenario and a scenario with measures for GHG emissions reduction (See Energy section above).

By summing up the effects of proposed measures to reduce GHG emissions in the sectors analysed, we obtain an overview of their effect on GHG emission levels in Montenegro until 2025. The projected results are presented in Figure 2. The 1990 level of GHG emissions is also indicated for comparison.

GHG emission

Figure 2. A reference scenario (brown line) and a scenario with measures for GHG emission reduction (blue line).

Source: Ministry of Physical Planning and Environment of Montenegro

According to the projections for GHG emissions in the reference scenario, by 2025 the level of GHG emissions will have increased by approximately 40 % against 1990. On the other hand, in the scenario with measures for GHG emission reduction, by 2025 the projected level of GHG emissions will be approximately 46 % lower than the level for the same year in the reference scenario, and 25 % lower than the level in 1990.

Existing and planned responses

Published: 26 Nov 2010 Modified: 22 Dec 2010

GHG inventory

The Ministry of Physical Planning and Environment (MPPE) has the main responsibility for climate change in Montenegro. The Ministry creates policies and adopts relevant regulations, while the Environmental Protection Agency, as an executive body, implements climate change policy. In 2008, an authorised national body was established within the Ministry for approving Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) projects.

The Environmental Protection Agency was established in early 2009 to carry out activities in the field of environmental protection. In institutional terms, the establishment of the Agency represents a significant strengthening of capacities in the field of environmental protection, including climate change, and is an essential prerequisite for the implementation of legislation. A technical and operational body for the implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism has been established within the Agency which will also be responsible for managing the GHG gas inventory. An inventory team will be responsible for the selection of methodology, data collection (input data and emission factors provided by statistical services and other organisations), data development and archiving and the implementation of quality control and quality assurance (QA/QC).


Energy Policy

Energy Policy comes under the jurisdiction of the Ministry of Economy of Montenegro. Energy policy and energy development are based on EU requirements in this field. The basic objective is to identify sustainable, secure and competitive energy supplies.

An agreement on Energy Community (Energy Community Treaty) was signed in 2005 and entered into force in 2006 [1]. This agreement represented Montenegro’s first legally-binding document towards the EU.

Fundamental long-term planning documents are the Energy Policy of Montenegro and the Energy Development Strategy to 2025. These energy policy and strategy documents form the basis for an action plan which aims to implement the Strategy. These documents are complementary, since they have the same goal: to develop a specific vision for energy and determine how this vision will be realised.

The new Energy Act (passed on 22 April 2010) transposes into Montenegrin law the EU Directive 2001/77 on the promotion of electricity produced from renewable sources in the internal electricity market and the EU Directive 2009/28 on the promotion of the use of energy from renewable sources. This Act also provided incentives for using renewable energy sources and encouraging cogeneration.

[1] Law on ratification of the Energy Community between the European Community and the Republic of Montenegro ("Official Gazette MNE" no. 66/06)


The country assessments are the sole responsibility of the EEA member and cooperating countries supported by the EEA through guidance, translation and editing.

European Environment Agency (EEA)
Kongens Nytorv 6
1050 Copenhagen K
Phone: +45 3336 7100