Albania presents the Third National Communication to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

Oct 19, 2016

Cover of the Report

Albania presented today the finding of the Third National Communication to UNFCCC- a process which took three years and involved stakeholders from several national institutions, experts of  climate related issues, academia, civil society organizations etc.

To ensure country-wide ownership, during the design of the National Communication, a number of consultations were undertaken with key stakeholder during the respective stocktaking exercises and during their implementation processes. This was done to ensure that goals and objectives were consistent with national sustainable development priorities.

The document which aims to inform the UNFCCC parties, decision makers and the Albanian public on the current trends of the climate change and its consequences, provide an inventory of  GHG emissions and flows and describe the ability  of Albania to contribute to mitigation and  adaptation. This is the country’s obligation as a non-annex 1 party to UNFCCC.

Albania‘s third GHG inventory (2000 – 2009) covers all sources and sinks as well as all gases as mandated by Climate Change Convention. It  looks into  five main sectors such as energy, industrial processes, agriculture, waste, and land use change & forestry (LUCF) and direct GHGs such as: CO2, CH4 and N2O and indirect GHGs such as: CO, NOx, SO2 and NMVOC.

Total direct GHG emissions (CO2, CH4, N2O) for Albania for the base year 2005 amounted to 8,863.3 Gg of CO2 equivalent, with the main contributor the energy/transport sectors accounting for 52,28% % of overall emissions in 2005 followed by Agriculture (15.83%), Industrial processes (12.61%), LUCF (11.91%) and Waste (7.37%). The Report reveals that emissions from the LUCF sector are diminishing sharply towards 2008 - 2009, while the Industrial Processes sector is increasing its emissions.

When it comes to the Vulnerability and Adaptation assessment (V&A), the third national communication covers the following sectors: water, agriculture, livestock, forest, crops, biodiversity, tourism and population, and health. The assessment provides a synthesis of existing and new research to identify adaptation measures.

The Report indicates that Albania’s coastal area is likely to become warmer over time from climate change. Similarly, increasing trends in annual and seasonal temperatures, both minimum and maximum values, are expected.

All the scenarios reveal a likely decrease in annual precipitation related to 1990 for all time horizons. In particular, generalizing the outputs of different scenarios results found that the annual precipitation is likely to decrease by up to -8.5% (from 47.4 to -56.0%) by 2050; and by up to -18.1% (from 94.0 to -89.7%) by 2100. On the other side, the Adriatic Sea has experienced an average sea level rise of about 15 cm over the last century, leading to a retreating movement of the shoreline for each cm of average sea level rise.

Brian Williams, UNDP Resident Representative highlighted: “The National Communication Preparation Process in Albania has been extremely important for mainstreaming and integrating findings into sectorial strategies and policies. Since the First National Communication to the Third they have been the main tools for mobilizing funds and projects in the area of climate change. Besides the National Determined Contribution- NDC, the Third National Communication has enabled development of the National Appropriate Mitigation Actions-NAMAS, National Climate Change Adaptation Planning, National Climate Change Strategy and the climate change related legislation. The entire process of Third National Communication development serves to build the institutional capacity and raise public awareness on climate change issues in Albania”.

Integrated Coastal Zone Management principles were used to rationalize adaptation measures/Adaptation plan which consists of a series of integrated adaptation measures and actions, classified as  Soft (21 measures),  Green (Ecosystem-based-Adaptation, 18 measures),Grey (engineering interventions -27 ranked measures) and 1 Fiscal Adaptation measures and respective actions, recommended for implementation in three time horizons: short - (up to 2020), mid -  (2020-2030) and long-term (2030-2050). Part of the report is a set of schematic adaptation maps for the coast..

Mitigation Analysis: Albania has taken mitigation commitments and submitted its Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC) in September o2015. Following  the INDC, the Paris Agreement was ratified on July 2016, constituting  a major step towards its implementation.

 The TNC Report has analyzed Mitigation measures (until 2030), considering their GHG emissions reduction potential on a certain penetration rate and time frame for the following categories: Energy, Agriculture, Forestry, and Waste. Furthermore, the analysis evaluated the financial efficiency of identified measures by estimating the cost of reduction of CO2 emissions, and considering specific rates of penetration for each measure. In this respect, the report concludes that only the energy and transport sector may contribute to 14.91% emissions reduction (in CO2 eqv.) in 2030 compared to 2009 if recommended mitigation actions will be implemented.

The NC process has revealed the need to have in place a national system that includes all the institutional, legal and procedural arrangements necessary for estimation of  anthropogenic emissions, for  their reporting and verification.

The TNC has for the first time integrated gender issues into the national communication process. At a first step a comprehensive guideline on mainstreaming gender into climate change adaptation and mitigation programmes and plans in Albania is designed

The TNC development has been a joint undertaking of the Ministry of Environment (MoE) and the UNDP Albania in the frame of the support given by the Global Environment Facility (GEF).