Ministerial Conference on Climate Transition for the Western Balkans and Türkiye

Environment and climate ministers and other high-level representatives from the Western Balkans, Türkiye and the EU will meet in Vienna today, April 26, 2024 to discuss climate action, the energy transition and adaptation to climate change in the region. The meeting is organized by the Austrian Ministry of Climate Action, the Directorate-General for Climate Policy (European Commission) and the Umweltbundesamt, the Environment Agency Austria, within the framework of the TRATOLOW project.

three women at the conference table
Western Balkans Conference,  photo BMK/Paul Benteler

Through the TRATOLOW – Transition towards lower emissions and climate resilient economy in the Western Balkans and in Türkiye – project, the European Commission/Directorate-General for Climate Policy supports Albania, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Kosovo*, Montenegro, North Macedonia, Serbia and Türkiye in their climate transition. 

At the TRATOLOW Ministerial Conference on 26. April 2024, the agenda will include climate change mitigation and adaptation, its financing, energy efficiency and energy independence, and issues like emissions trading systems (ETS) as well as the EU’s Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism (CBAM). At the conference, the ministers and experts will also exchange views on the state of implementation of the EU's "Fit for 55"-package. This package provides the legal framework for a climate-neutral Europe in 2050 and includes a series of proposals to help reduce the EU's emissions by at least 55 percent by 2030 compared to 1990.

“In Austria, the Western Balkans, Türkiye and globally, we measure, see and feel the effects of the climate crisis – and in turn, we have much to gain from a green transition. As finally also agreed at COP28 in Dubai, we need to phase out fossil fuels and we need to do so as fast as possible as well as build an energy system based on renewables. Decarbonizing our energy systems as well as industries, transport and buildings and adapting to the impacts of climate change will still be a lot of work in Austria and the EU as well as the Western Balkans and Türkiye. The TRATOLOW projects provides a highly necessary venue to exchange learnings and experiences and strengthen international cooperation for this historical task”, says Federal Minister for Climate Action Leonore Gewessler.
“Experiencing the effects of the climate crisis in our daily lives we are now at a critical point where decisive action is a must, in Austria, in Europe and beyond. Bringing together environmental and climate ministers from the Western Balkans, Türkiye and the European Union in Vienna is a strong signal for our common pathway into a climate-neutral and resilient future”, highlights Environment Agency Austria´s Managing Director Verena Ehold.
group photo
Western Balkans Conference,  photo BMK/Paul Benteler

In the TRATOLOW project, a network of experts led by the Environment Agency Austria and the project partner NIRAS has been supporting the Western Balkan countries and Türkiye in the development of a low-emission, resource-efficient and climate-friendly economy since October 2021. The aim is to create framework conditions for the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and the development of a climate-neutral economy, as well as to strengthen regional cooperation. This cooperation is financed by the European Commission.


More information about the TRATOLOW project at →

* This designation is without prejudice to positions on status, and it is in line with UNSCR 1244 and the ICJ Opinion on the Kosovo declaration of independence.