Photo: UNDP/S.Omerbasic

Sarajevo April 21, 2021 - Bosnia and Herzegovina (BiH) presented its second national climate pledge to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), marking its renewed commitment to the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement where world leaders universally agreed to advance climate actions to limit temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, while pursuing efforts to limit to a safer 1.5 degrees.  

With submission of this document, BiH becomes one of the first countries in Western Balkans to adopt the updated NDCs with the plan to cut greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions for 33.2 percent by 2030, and almost 66 percent by 2050, compared to 1990 levels. With increase of GHG sinks in the forestry sector, the projected emissions by 2050 will be about 80 percent less compared to the net emissions in 1990.

Under the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to develop climate pledges - also known as ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ or ’NDCs’ - that taken together will help tackle global warming. The agreement also calls on countries to revise and strengthen their NDCs every five years. However, it is increasingly apparent that urgent steps must be taken to reverse current unsustainable trends, leading to high expectations for governments to commit to ambitious pledges that leave no one behind.

Some key components from Bosnia and Herzegovina’s new pledge include:

  • Comparing to the initial NDC which was submitted in 2015, the revised NDC increases emission reduction goals for 50 percent till 2030, with the focus on key country sectors: power, district heating, buildings, Industry, transport, forestry, agriculture, waste.
  • A climate adaptation component, with most interventions in the climate vulnerable sectors such as agriculture, water resources, forestry, energy, tourism, biodiversity, and human health.
  • A significant decarbonisation of the economy, especially in the power sector, with investments estimated at approximately of USD 10.18 billion until 2030, which is over 5 percent of GDP.

Staša Košarac, Minister of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, remarked: “This NDC will help us to restructure the structure of the economy and gradually transition from fossil fuels to renewables, so we can build more resilient communities driven by green growth, job opportunities, and reduced climate risks.”

Bosnia and Herzegovina has relatively low GHG emissions. But if the comparison is made in relation to its GDP, emissions are nearly five times higher than in the European Union, which indicates a high resource-use profile of the economy and society at large. Thus, reducing the country’s carbon footprint is a key challenge.

Srebrenka Golic, Minister of Spatial Planning, Construction and Ecology of Republika Srpska and UNFCCC Focal Point for BiH, said: “To meet climate goals we will work on enabling the transition towards sustainability and creating an environment that attracts private sector investments in clean, affordable energy. The country will need substantial international assistance for technology transfer, for setting up financial mechanisms to encourage decarbonization, as well as financial support for climate-related projects.”

Steliana Nedera, UNDP Resident Representative, underlined “NDC can be a building block for a green recovery after the COVID-19 pandemic, as it offers a blueprint to modernize the economy. We supported the authorities to prepare ambitious climate action plans, and as UNDP we will remain engaged to support BiH to explore the advantages of investments in green jobs and a green future,  translating the NDC and adaptation plans into urban planning, agriculture, and land-use climate solutions.” 

UNDP supported BiH’s new climate pledge through the Climate Promise. The support included quality assurance and the development of the NDC Climate Finance Strategy. UNDP’s Climate Promise aims to support global, transformational climate action by supporting countries to enhance their NDCs in 2021 and beyond. The initiative is being delivered in over 118 countries – making it the world’s largest support offer of this kind. UNDP’s Climate Promise is supported by Germany, Sweden, EU, Italy, Spain and other core contributors.

Click here to read BiH’s NDC in full.

For more information on the Climate Promise, please visit

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