The climate emergency has prompted policy-makers in North Macedonia to launch measures towards a fossil free society. As an official EU accession candidate, North Macedonia is to implement the energy, climate and related acquis for a strategic design, operationalization and implementation of common goals leading to a low-carbon society. In this process North Mace-donia faces various challenges:
- 1. Air pollution in the country is among the highest in Europe and is the result of deep en-vironmental, social, and political issues. The main emissions sources are private households that use firewood for heating in winter, traffic, and industry.
- 2. The current energy crisis has been a real test for the country’s pledge to abandon coal by 2040 by intensifying electricity production of a thermal power plant to balance in-creasing energy prices. The advice of civil society and social groups to better balance the climate and social goals of the country has remained unheard.
- Many citizens: the country suffers from energy poverty, i.e. many households have difficulty paying rising energy costs. This lack of energy resources was estimated to have affected about 24% of the population in 2020. So far energy vulnerable citizens are not represented in the decision-making process-es and there is a limited number of narrow measures to address their needs.
In order to address these challenges, ZIP and nexus are planning a Climate Assembly (CA) for the city of Skopje which will take place from February to April 2024. The main aims of the project are to give citizens a voice with a special focus on vulnerable groups that are often forgotten in policy making as well as developing recommendations for decision-makers that will expediate a socially just and democratic transition towards a low carbon society. The participatory process includes:
- – Focus groups with firewood users and women from the rural municipality Saraj to iden-tify their coping strategies related to energy poverty
- – Group Delphi with experts to support the planning of the CA
- – Climate Assembly with 60 citizens from Skopje
- – Roundtable with stakeholders and members of the CA to take stock of the results of the CA and facilitate the collaborative implementation process of the recommendations
Duration: 11/2023 – 10/2025 Funder: Deutsche Bundesstiftung Umwelt (DBU) Team: Prof. Dr. Hans-Liudger Dienel (Project lead), Uta Zetek (Operational project lead), Nele Buchholz Partner: ZIP Institute Logo: ZIP Institute