Macedonia                                                                 By Iskra Stojkovska (Citizens Association Front 21/42)


Basic information



Relevant general information


The first GHG Inventory in Macedonia was prepared for the First National Communication and it used the Revised 1996 IPCC methodology. It is important to note that the GHG Inventory process for the First National Communication on Climate Change did not incorporate many of the good practice elements defined in IPCC Good Practice Guidance and Uncertainty Management (2000).


The Second National Communication (covering the years 1999-2002, with 2000 as the base year) was prepared following the guidelines for the preparation of National Communications, which in turn resulted in a (more) reliable time series 1990-2002 for the national GHG Inventories, complete and consistent EXCEL database, appended by the full documentation of activity data and emission factors for the year 2000.


Due to uncertainties in the results, based on lack of sound input, requirements for a successful implementation of the Monte Carlo analysis are not met for all source categories within the Second Communication inventory of GHGs. Estimation of the uncertainties is done only for the Sectorial Approach of the Energy Sector. The total uncertainty for the whole energy sector (calculated by the Tier 1 approach) is 8.44%. A lot of improvements and activities are needed in order to apply higher Tier in the subsequent inventories in the future communications.


The latest GHG emissions official data for the Republic of Macedonia are reported in the Second National Communication (December 2008) and it covers the period 1990-2002.


Contribution of CO2, CH4, N2O, CO, and HFCs to CO2-eq.  emissions for all sectors (in kt) 2

















Sectoral CO2-equivalent emissions2


2002 emissions (in kt)













OVERVIEW GHGs 1990-20022



Latest data on Macedonia, according to World Resources Institute 3:


In 2006: Total GHG emissions (CH4, N2O, PFCs, HFCs, SF6), excluding land use change (in Mt CO2e): 8.4

* for comparison WRI reports the same 8.4 Mt CO2e in 2002 (without land use change) and the Second National Communication reports 12,490.04 kt, with LUCF for the same year.


Overview 2

The major contributor to the GHG emissions in Macedonia is the energy sector - around 70% of the total emissions. The second biggest contribution comes from the agricultural sector with about 8-15%, while all other sectors are contributing with less than 10% each. The only exception to this general conclusion is in the year 2000, when due to enormous forest fires, the emissions from the LUCF sector were about 14% of the total national emissions. About 75-80% of the equivalent emissions are direct CO2 emissions from burning, 12-14% are the CH4 emissions, 5-9% are the N2O emissions, and about 2% are the CO emissions.


Emissions per capita

Considering the total GHGs emissions, it is evident that Macedonia is not a significant GHGs contributor to the global emissions (contributes with 0.03% to the global emissions). However, if we take a look at the emissions per capita, the story is a bit different.

CO2-eq emissions per capita2 for the year 2000 were estimated to be to 7.16 t CO2-eq/capita. Macedonia’s emissions per capita are higher than the corresponding emissions in some large and economically growing countries such as: Turkey, Mexico, Brazil, China, Indonesia, Pakistan, and India.

According to the World Bank data, these emissions in 2007 were slightly higher then in 2002.


World Bank data:



Additional relevant data:


GDP Growth (%)4




























1, 2: SECOND national communication on climate change: / [project coordinator

Maja Azievska… i dr.].Skopje : Ministry of environment and physical

planning, 2008.

3: World Resources Institute, CAIT GHG Data (

4. World Bank publication



The development of the latest GHG emissions

There is no official data on GHG emissions after 2002. The 1990-2002 period (for which there is data) is very turbulent period in the Macedonian society and it includes: the war in ex Yugoslavia in the 90s; gaining independence in ‘91; the “quite” embargo from Greece; NATO intervention on Kosovo and the huge wave of refugees from Kosovo to Macedonia; the privatization process during which a great number of companies reduced their production and/or closed down; the armed conflict in Macedonia in 2001.

The GDP development reflects this turbulent development4:



What is evident from the official GHG emissions charts (OVERVIEW GHGs 1990-2002) is that despite the obvious economic downfall in the 90s the total annual GHG emissions remained more or less the same in this period.

It would be important to compare the GHG emissions with the 2002-2009 period, during which the economy (GDP) has a steady growth, except in the global crisis year of 2009. However, due to lack of any data (except the World Bank chart on the GHG emissions per capita until 2007) we can only guess the development of the latest GHG emissions in Macedonia. Considering the fact that no significant changes occurred in this period in the largest contributor – the energy production, while the economic activities developed, we would guess that the GHG emissions had risen in the 2002-2009 period. 


Official expectations of GDP growth and GHG emission growth in the future

Most of the relevant Government plans and documents (e.g. the Energy Strategy, the National Communication, etc) are based on the expectation of around 5% growth of the GDP per year. Macedonia as a No Annex I country does not have reduction targets, but the status of an EU candidate country is inevitably going to change this situation.

All three scenarios in the Second National Communication predict rise of the GHG emissions:


Projections of the total GHG emissions [kt CO2-eq] 2


Baseline scenario


First mitigation scenario

Second mitigation scenario






























It is important to note that the creators of the Second Communication note that the mitigation analysis was constrained by the lack of sectoral developmental plans, relevant data (historical and present), as well as other relevant national studies.


Front 21/42 comment:

The second mitigation scenario gives false projections for GHG reduction because the liberalization of the energy market was taken as an assumption only for this scenario and as a result the consumption of the big consumers was simply “erased” (not taken into account). The authors assumed that the big consumers will supply their energy at the free market and it does not necessarily need to come from the domestic production – hence the “reduced” GHG emissions in the second mitigation scenario.

The fact is that the liberalization of the energy market has to take place - Macedonia is a member of the Energy Community and the Treaty implies liberalization of the market. This assumption could in no way be applied only in the second mitigation scenario for the sake of showing reduced emissions.

This “trick” to show reduction without really planning to do anything to achieve it is a good example of the official policy in Macedonia – lack of political will to explore (and even more to commit to) the real potential for GHGs emission reduction. Another example includes the discussion on the future inclusion of our country into the EU climate policy: its main focus is on the “building the capacity of our negotiating team to convince the Europeans that we need to continue to develop the economy on a fossil energy basis.”


We (Front 21/42) recognize that:

-          Macedonia is a developing country with very high unemployment rate (over 30%); and

-          the country is highly dependant on the energy import (according to the Government adopted energy balance for 2010 over 40% of the energy in Macedonia will come from import);

and therefore needs an ambitious economic development plan, as well as new energy projects. However, we think that this economic growth can and should be achieved with a serious dedication to clean development (and consequently truly reduced GHG emissions), for which we see plenty of potential:

-          Macedonia's primary energy intensity is 40 % above the average of the EU15 (due to: heavy use of energy in metal processing industry; low-efficiency power generation, supply and consumption; the prevalence of using electric energy for residential heating during the winter);

-          Macedonia has a significant potential in renewable energy, especially solar (from all former Yugoslav countries, The Republic of Macedonia, part of Dalmatia in Croatia, and the coast of Montenegro get the most abundance of sun with over 4 kW/m2 a day. Macedonia has around 250 sunny days a year and yet the Energy Strategy proposes that in 2020 only 0.2% of the primary energy in Macedonia come from the solar energy);

-          as a NonAnnex1 country, but also as an EU candidate country, Macedonia has access to various funds and programmes which can be used for energy efficiency and renewable energy projects.



Public attitude towards Climate Change (CC)


To our knowledge there is no official national survey on the CC public opinion. We conducted our own public opinion poll in the period November 2007- May 2008. The poll was conducted among high school students (1024), primary and high school professors (462), and representatives of 6 municipalities. The poll results showed that:


Macedonian youth and their professors are quite familiar with the term „climate change“; The greatest sources of information on climate change for the students are: the school, the domestic media, internet and NGOs environmental campaigns; the professors get most of their information about climate change from: domestic media and NGOs environmental campaigns. The poll revealed an interesting point that over half (60%) of the students who pointed out the school as their main source of information think that climate change is a result of natural processes. The revision of the school textbooks showed that human caused CC is hardly mentioned. At the same time 55% of the professors think that CC is a result of the human activities; A great 73% of the students and 91% of the professors think that climate change will directly affect them and their families; Over half of the polled students and professors are aware of their personal responsibility (the impact of their choices/actions on the CC). The poll pointed out another interesting point – the majority of the students who pointed out domestic media as their main source of information think that no one should fight CC. This corresponds to the reality in which Macedonian media, when they cover the CC topic, mainly focus on the consequences (usually devastating) and rarely mention the possibilities and ways for mitigation – this creates a feeling of being helpless. However, a very high number (70% of the students and 90% of the professors) would change some of their habits in the name of the action on climate. The greatest problem is a lack of knowledge evident from the answers which habits they would change – garbage disposal is more important both for the students and the professors then saving energy.


The poll we conducted revealed that the general conclusion which was usually the attitude of all stakeholders in various debates and informal discussions: „Macedonian people haven’t even heard of climate change, let alone care about it“ is not quite true. However, Macedonian people do lack knowledge and information what can be done to mitigate CC and we think that the government (especially the education sector), the NGOs and the media need to put proper information and education on their agenda.


The public debates on CC are not that frequent and usually occur in relation to some specific events (e.g. the COP15). However, the progress in the CC related public debate is evident in recent years – various stakeholders (government institutions and bodies, the NGO sector, Parliament commissions and groups, international foundations and organizations, think tank organizations, EU delegation representatives, etc) initiate and/or organize debates, round-table discussions, seminars and conferences. The general feeling about these debates is that climate change is recognized as a very important challenge, the effects on the Macedonian society are acknowledged, but a constructive debate on the possibilities for mitigation measures in our country is lacking, especially from the scientific community which mainly agrees with the official policy that ambitious and progressive plans/ projects for energy efficiency and RES are not applicable in the case of Macedonia.        


The general public doesn’t have knowledge (and consequently interest) in UN CC policies. The NGOs show some interest in the UN CC policies, but still even among this stakeholder basic information is often lacking. The media hardly covers UN CC policies, with an exception of COP15 which had (modest, but significantly higher than the other UN CC events) coverage on the UN CC related process. As for the public concern – it is related to the changing weather and especially extreme weather conditions, but also to the aspects of vulnerability evident in Macedonia, most of all related to the agriculture (e.g. water level in the rivers and lakes, new pests and crop diseases, etc).  In recent years more and more people (and the media) connect weather extremes to the human caused CC. 


Very small and insignificant number of people in Macedonia consider global warming as beneficial for the country. Considering the fact that in the last decade summer heat waves with temperature over 40°C are more of a rule than an exemption, it is hard to expect any “warming” to be considered beneficial in Macedonia.


Measures that have the best chances to be introduced quickly in order to reduce GHG emissions

Considering the fact that energy sector is the greatest GHG contributor on one hand and the high energy intensity of the country, in other - the best opportunities for GHG emissions reduction lie in the energy efficiency measures. Some EE measures can be introduced with no cost or very little investment, especially in the household sector – serious efforts to promote such measures could result with evident energy savings.  The industry (especially metal processing industry) is a heavy consumer of energy – EE measures, supported by favorable bank loans and credits could be quite successful and greatly supported by the industry. Another opportunity for the private sector lies in the CDM projects - high ratio of GHG emissions to economic output (GHG or carbon intensity) signals about high cost-effectiveness of potential CDM projects as it implies that large volume of GHG emission reductions can be achieved per 1 US$ of investments 5. The energy consumption of the public buildings is in the focus lately as well and there is a growing interest from local authorities (municipalities) for EE measures. There also financial opportunities for such measures in the public sector from various international organizations’ and EU programmes.


The geographical position of Macedonia makes the use of solar energy quite favorable, especially for water heating. There was a government programme (supported by foreign donors) for subsidizing installation of new solar heaters for which the citizens expressed great interest. Unfortunately this programme ended when the donors support expired. However, it showed that, if proper financial help is offered, the citizens embrace the opportunity. EE measures, at least theoretically, have a strong support from the Government – this year the National Strategy for Energy Efficiency with an Action Plan was adopted.


In 2008 the Government adopted the National Strategy for Clean Development Mechanism for the first commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol 2008 – 2012 which analyses the GHG reduction potential in various sectors (energy, waste, agriculture, forestry) and prioritizes the possible CDM projects. According to this analysis project measures replacing grid-based electricity are likely to lead to high emission reductions because Macedonia’s energy sector is heavily reliant on coal-and lignite-based thermal power.


"Hot climate change topics" being discussed in Macedonia

In 2009/10 climate change was generally more “hot topic” then in the previous years. The wave of public discussions on CC was related to COP15 and it started shortly before the meeting in Copenhagen and especially developed in the months right after the international climate conference. The specific topics included analysis of the Copenhagen outcomes and “what after Copenhagen” (the global situation and especially Macedonia positions towards Copenhagen Accord), national policies related to CC, especially energy policies, EU climate policy and how the status of a candidate country and especially the negotiation process will affect the national policy and economy. Adaptation and possibilities for adaptation measures in Macedonia was previously quite forgotten topic, but it gained interest from various stakeholders in this period. The NGO sector, united in a national NGO network “Together for the Climate” was quite active and raised some issues especially regarding the real will of the Macedonian official policy to put CC high on the agenda and explore the potential and possibilities for clean development and GHG emissions reduction.    



NGOs activities


There are very few individual NGOs active in the field of climate change, but in 2008 the national informal NGO network Together for the Climate was created. The network unites about 20 NGOs and was quite active especially prior and after COP15 and during the debates on the energy strategies. NGOs raised the issue of deliberately putting false GHG emissions reduction projections in the Second National Communication and questioned the real commitment to CC combat of the national policy. NGOs mostly connect climate change issues to their energy related projects with local authorities. Front 21/42 conducted a wide national campaign on climate change in 2007/08 (“Our Climate is Changing – So Must We!). 

NGOs Centre for Climate Change and National Cleaner Production Centre Macedonia  together with Norsk Energi from Norway implement a 3 year program offering Macedonian industry technical assistance in identifying environmentally sound energy projects and preparing these projects for financing.

Generally NGOs are invited to all public debates on CC and the media shows a growing interest in NGOs views and attitudes on climate change.

NGOs can and should be more active and visible in raising  CC issues, campaigning and especially in facts supported debates on the possibilities for mitigation measures, but still climate change is an area where NGO activism is visible and brings results.


The Ministry of Environment recognizes the NGOs (particularly Together for the Climate network) as a credible and valuable partner. NGOs comments to the original idea for the content of the Annex2 to the Copenhagen Accord were taken into account and NGOs proposals for mitigation measures Macedonia could report in this Annex were accepted and made it in the official document our Government submitted. There are good prospects for the NGOs to be included in the working groups for the preparation of the Third National Communication to UNFCCC. Generally the Ministry of Environment considers NGOs comments and suggestions when shaping policy.


The situation with other related ministries, especially Ministry of Economy, which is responsible for the energy sector, is quite different – NGOs are considered to be annoying factor whose arguments have to be heard because the laws impose that, but in way they deserve any serious consideration. Macedonian Parliament expresses an interest in meaningful dialogue with the NGOs on CC in recent time – NGO representatives were invited to present their views and suggestions on several parliament discussions organized by various commissions. As a result of the NGOs activities, among other factors, the Parliament adopted a Declaration on Climate Change, stating that all MPs will have CC effects in their mind when voting for laws and other acts. This Declaration is one of the few supported by all political parties.


All in all very few NGOs are really familiar with the IPCC4th Report (most NGOs probably heard of it, but not really studied the content and use it in their activities). Those few who use the Report as a source of information occasionally mention it in some debates (such as the debate on the importance of limitation of global temperature rise to 2°C). The Stern Review, dealing with the economic effect of climate change, is used more often as the subject is more related to the domestic concerns.     


The main measures considered by the NGOs to fight CC

The main focus of the NGOs position on measures to fight CC is on energy savings measures and use of renewable energy, especially solar. NGOs main strategy and intention is to prove that economic development in Macedonia is very much possible with ambitious energy saving and renewable energy projects and without the new coal and lignite based power plants advocated by the mainstream scientific community and the Government.     



Media coverage of CC


The media in Macedonia is generally interested in climate change only if it is related to specific events – COP15 was covered better then any other international meetings and events, natural disasters such as floods and/or extreme temperatures also trigger media attention. 


Post Kyoto targets as well as EU climate change issues, besides the post COP15 articles which covered in bulk variety of CC related topics,  were not even mentioned in the media in the last 12 months.


Journalists attitude to CC

Very few journalists follow CC as a topic. So far only one journalist showed both continuing interest and knowledge in CC issues. Considering the power of the media and the fact that the general population gets most of their information from the media – education of the journalists is of a high importance. 


Information on adaptation to CC

Discussions on adaptation are not that frequent and actually started quite recently (last couple of years). So far adaptation as a topic is limited to debates in closed circles, involving specifically targeted stakeholders. Information is available on the internet on several domestic web sites, but not really communicated actively with the public.  


Best domestic source of information on CC

Ministry of Environment web site, UNFCCC Macedonia web site.



Policies and Measures


The EU candidate status is the main reason for the debate related to reduction targets. The prevailing opinion in Macedonia is that the country is a victim of the development of the industrialized countries, which now impose new rules that are quite costly and again only the industrialized countries can afford them. Therefore the efforts of our negotiating team should be focused on convincing the European team that we can not commit to serious reduction targets and find a way how to get “a permission” to continue carbon based development.  


Because of the possible implication of an EU commitment to higher reduction targets on the Macedonian obligations within the Union - it will probably get a negative opinion from the government, the mainstream scientific community and especially the business sector. The guess is that all theses stakeholders would be in favor of lower targets. The media would be interested mainly from the point of view of the possible impact of the EU targets on the Macedonian society, particularly economy. Except for the NGOs and maybe very few independent voices it is not feasible to expect support for higher targets. The situation is a bit of a conflict one: in one hand the public would “vote” for greater targets from the industrialized countries (responsible for the current situation), but because EU higher targets might effect the Macedonian economy – it would be OK only if we (as a future member state) don’t really take any burden.   



Governmental activities towards informing the public on how to reduce GHG emissions

The government is not doing almost anything to inform the public on how to reduce GHG emissions. International organizations and NGOs are far more engaged in such activities.



Measures in force for promoting RE

Current measures for promotion of renewables include feed-in tariffs for solar (pv), wind, small hydro, biogas from biomass and biomass electricity production:


Current feed-in tariffs for PV


Installed power

Feed-in tariff (€cents/kWh)


  50 kW



51-1000 kW



History of the policy towards PV:

·         The first feed-in tariff for PV was introduced in September 2008 and it was 46,00 €cents/kWh for the group I and 41,00 €cent/kWh for group II. Group II was ˃500 kW, without a ceiling.

·         In March 2010 it was 38,00 €cents/kWh for group I and 34,00 €cents/kWh for group II. The second group was limited to 1000 kW.


Comment: it is obvious that the measures for promotion of electricity from PV have a tendency to become more restrictive over the years. The official explanation was that the tariffs were too high and present a serious burden to the budget. In reality, because of the administrative barriers and the very long process of getting all the permits and documents there never was a great interest from investors, even with the first and most favorable feed-in tariff – the budget was never “burdened” in any way. Actually for two years there was only one request for a license. At this moment there are 11 licenses issued (this doesn’t mean that there are 11 producers who actually sell the energy to the grid – it is a long way from getting the license to finishing all the procedures and really being able to sell the energy).


Current feed-in tariff for wind energy is 8,9 €cents/kWh.


Current feed-in tariff for biogas from biomass


Installed power

Feed-in tariff (€cents/kWh)


  500 kW



501-2000 kW



History of the policy towards biogas from biomass:

·         The first feed-in tariff for biogas from biomass was adopted in November 2007 and they were: 13,00 €cents/kWh for Group I and 11,00 €cents/kWh for Group II. Group II was ˃500 kW, without a ceiling. The investors were obliged to provide Guarantee for the origin of the production of the electric power from renewable source of energy, issued by the Energy Agency of Macedonia.

·         In March 2010 the tariffs were improved, the second group was limited to 2000 kW and the investors no longer needed the Guarantee for the origin.


Current feed-in tariff for biomass


Installed power

Feed-in tariff (€cents/kWh)


  1000 kW



1001-3000 kW




Current feed-in tariff for electricity from small hydro power plants


Monthly quantity of delivered electric power

Annual quantity of delivered electric power

Feed-in tariff (€cents/kWh)


1 - 85.000

1 – 1.020.000



85.001 - 170.000

1 - 2.040.000



170.001 – 350.000

2.040.001 - 4.200.000



350.001 - 700.000

4.200.001 - 8.400.000



˃ 700.001

˃ 8.400.001




Energy savings and RE achievements

Energy savings and renewable energy in Macedonia are much more theoretically supported and promoted (by various strategies, action plans, etc) then there is an actual visible progress in these areas. There are several small energy efficiency projects on a local level (mainly targeting schools, kindergartens and similar public buildings and implemented by NGOs, usually with a support from foreign donors). Austrian Development Cooperation has a large scale Energy Efficiency Programme aiming to mitigate climate change through improved energy efficiency in the building sector, awareness raising and capacity building of stakeholders involved in energy efficiency issues. There are two small PV power plants: 10.2 kW and 50 kW.


Chances of RE and energy savings against the fossil fuels

The NGO position is that Macedonia has all the potential that is needed (except political will) for the RE and energy savings to grow fast enough for the fossil fuel to be reduced. Considering the fact that currently around 80% of the energy in Macedonia is produced in coal based thermo power plants, RE will grow faster then fossil energy use. But this does not mean that the official policy in Macedonia plans for rapid growth of the RE – according to the Energy Strategy in 2020 fossil energy (coal and oil) will still account for around 70% of the total energy use in Macedonia.


New fossil fuel power plants

There aren’t any projects under construction at this moment but according to the Energy Strategy by 2030 Macedonia plans to build:

Scenario 1:

  1. Lignite based thermo power plant Bitola IV – 300 MW
  2. Lignite based thermo power plant Mariovo - 300 MW
  3. Lignite based thermo power plant Negotino - 300 MW


Scenario 2:

  1. Lignite based thermo power plant Bitola IV – 300 MW
  2. Lignite based thermo power plant Negotino 300 MW


Scenario 3:

  1. Lignite based thermo power plant Bitola IV – 300 MW


All 3 scenarios suggest revitalization of the existing thermo power plants and production of 1010 MW.


Clean coal burning

The Energy Strategy only mentions that the new thermo power plants will have to follow EU Directives (specifically IPPC and BAT) for “clean production”, but no details are provided.


Nuclear power

The Energy Strategy does suggest nuclear power plant (in the Third Scenario instead of 2 TPPs of 300 MW each, a 1000 MW NPP is suggested). There is a strong nuclear lobby group in Macedonia and some mainstream scientists, as well as government representatives, independent experts and media continuously present “the benefits” of a nuclear plant in Macedonia. Participation in the Bulgarian NPP Belene is also a very “hot” topic. NGOs are against both options (domestic NPP and participation in Belene), there is also one political party, which participates in the current government coalition, which is strongly against nuclear power plant – they organized a public debate “Solar instead of nuclear”. But generally there is no strong debate on these issues in Macedonia.   



Other information


Main stakeholders and governmental body responsible for CC process


Domestic web address where relevant (incl. governmental data) can be found