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SDG 13, SESSION 1 “Acting for Climate: Stepping Up Climate Change Policies, Action and Awareness in the Region ”

Thank you chair,

I would like to respond to the question on social co-benefits and tax schemes. My name is Adriana Spahiu I’m coming from Women in Development, Albania, and I am here today as a representative of civil society, as part of the Regional CSO Engagement Mechanism at UN ECE.

Thank you very much for the interesting case studies, I have a question about the Montenegro case study: have you taken into account a gender perspective in the Disaster Risk Reduction plans? Maybe also for France it would be interesting to know if you have taken a gender perspective.

I would like to ask another question in relation to the case study on urgency and financing of climate resilience. Many people think that climate mitigation should pay itself, via market mechanism. But we know that climate disasters are causing immense costs to vulnerable countries and communities. We heard so from Bosnia Herzegovina in the previous session. There is not at all enough funding to pay for climate adaptation. The mechanism is not there. Should we not have climate taxes go into a climate adaptation fund ?

Renewable energy sources in Albania are promoted through customs and excise tax exemptions. Furthermore, a feed-in tariff for small renewable energy power plants as well as a premium tariff for larger ones are in place and have a duration of 15 years.

Basing on the data of 2016 we can say that after transport, the building sector in Albania has the highest final energy consumption. The total final energy consumption in the residential sector of Albania shows that for households the main energy source is electricity (45%), followed by biomass (38%). Albania has a high unemployment rate of 19% which has been continuously growing. Inadequate access to energy services is a common issue in Albania where just above 40% of households have cooking appliances, water heating and other electric appliances. 11.2% of connected households are late with paying their bills and 20.7% have inadequate heating. It is also important to note that 12.5% of households have damp walls, floor or basement and 7.7% have a leaking roof [36]. All those numbers highlight the severity and prevalence of inadequate access to energy services in Albania.

There are some nice projects:

● Albania will Adopt New Support Schemes For Solar Power And Wind Energy Plants projects (30 years project)

● Albania is almost entirely depending on hydro power as over than 95% of the electricity is generated by hydropower plants. This disbalance underestimated the great potential that Albania has in developing other sources of renewables, such as solar or wind power plants.

The state needs to address energy poverty of vulnerable groups

Similarly as in other SEE countries, energy poverty in Albania is not clearly defined and systematically monitored. There are no specific policies in place designed to alleviate energy poverty. Vulnerability is addressed through different energy and social policies. The following criteria are taken into account for acquiring vulnerability status:

● customers with low income, who use electricity to supply their permanent residence;

● customers who consume electric power supplied through single-phase grid with maximum power of 16 Amperes;

● maximum level of energy consumption per person reflecting seasonality;

● manner of direct support by the Government budget;

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