Informal Ministerial Council meeting in Tepelenë, Albania addresses Energy Community decarbonisation and winter preparedness

30 June 2023

The Informal Ministerial Council Meeting, hosted by Albania as the current holder of the Energy Community Presidency for 2023, commenced today in Tepelenë. The Council gathered ministers from the Energy Community Contracting Parties, representatives from the European Commission, and Energy Community Secretariat representatives to discuss critical topics related to the energy landscape of the region.

The primary focus of the meeting was the implementation of the Energy Community Decarbonisation Roadmap. Participants engaged in a thoughtful dialogue regarding the pathway to a regional emissions trading system, with a specific emphasis on achieving ambitious decarbonization targets. The adoption of an effective emissions trading system was recognized as a crucial step toward promoting carbon neutrality and reducing greenhouse gas emissions across the Energy Community.

Energy Community Secretariat Director Artur Lorkowski, in his welcoming remarks, stated, "The recent adoption of the EU CBAM Regulation underscores a set of commitments already made by the Contracting Parties and supported by the Decarbonisation Roadmap from 2021. Swift progress in the fields of electricity integration and a common approach to carbon pricing will be pivotal, considering the accession process to the EU, in realizing the full potential of the internal energy market for electricity, facilitating the green energy transition in alignment with the objectives of the EU Green Deal "

Another significant agenda item focused on assessing lessons learned from previous winter seasons and identifying next steps to ensure better preparedness for the upcoming winter. Participants shared experiences and best practices to enhance energy security and maintain stable energy supplies during challenging winter conditions.

The Director-General of DG CLIMA, Kurt Vanderberghe, added: “The European Commission is impressed with the region’s commitment to decarbonisation, and we stand united with you in your resolve to achieve climate neutrality. Today’s discussion on carbon pricing in the Energy Community is an important step forward in the implementation of the Decarbonisation Roadmap adopted in 2021, and we look forward to taking part in the talks of how best to design a regional emissions trading system, where Contracting Parties can join when ready. Designing such an emissions trading system together, adapted to the needs of the region and with gradual effect, will both have a positive impact on your accession path and diminish the impact of the carbon border adjustment mechanism, which will enter into effect in 2026.”

Deputy Director-General of DG ENER, Mechthild Wörsdörfer, further emphasized the importance of today's Informal Ministerial Council meeting, stating, "At this moment when Europe needs to accelerate the clean energy transition in response to the energy crisis, reliable integrated planning under the National Energy and Climate Plans must serve as the blueprint for this transition. Efforts should be intensified to implement the EU's regulatory framework, thereby achieving market integration, the 2030 renewables and energy efficiency targets, and decarbonization. Tangible results in the region are essential. Timely and full implementation of the electricity package is a prerequisite for Contracting Parties' integration into the EU's electricity market. Market coupling represents the way forward to enhance Contracting Parties' energy security, create a more favorable investment climate, and ensure affordable energy prices."

Deputy Prime Minister Belinda Balluku also expressed Albania's active support for establishing a regional framework for emissions trading, saying, "As the holder of the Presidency of the Energy Community, Albania actively supports the establishment of a regional framework for emissions trading. We strongly encourage all contracting parties to join this endeavor, recognizing the critical importance of alignment and agreement at the highest level for the effectiveness of any regional initiative we undertake."

The Ministerial Council is the institution representing the governments of the Parties to the Energy Community Treaty. The Council is the highest decision-making body of the Energy Community and formally convenes at least once a year to discuss and make key decisions on energy-related matters. Additionally, an informal meeting of the Ministerial Council takes place once per year.

In Scope:

  • Albania Albania