Lithuania rises two places to 19th in the current CCPI, remaining among the medium performers.
Lithuania ranks medium in the GHG Emissions, Renewable Energy, and Energy Use categories but low in Climate Policy.
Lithuania mainly aligns with the EU guidelines
The National Energy and Climate Action Plan of the Republic of Lithuania for 2021-2030 was renewed in 2022 using a participatory approach. Such plans are documents that EU Member States (including Lithuania) were required to submit to the European Commission by June 2023.
Lithuania’s plan integrates policies across five dimensions, such as reducing fossil fuel dependency, increasing energy efficiency, and improving energy security. In this way, Lithuania mainly aligns with the EU guidelines and targets, but it also presents mitigation and adaptation strategies. For instance, by 2030, the government expects to achieve a 45% share of renewable energy in final energy consumption, in which 45% in electricity and 90% in district heating will come from renewables.
However, the CCPI country experts criticise that even though Lithuania is following EU guidelines and goals for climate neutrality, there is still a lack of a clear vision and measures and funding sources for implementing emissions reduction and achieving climate neutrality. The experts’ main demand at this point is for a clear pathway towards net-zero emissions with sectoral ceilings. Lithuania’s insufficient ambition is also seen in the GHG per capita current trend indicator, in which the country only ranks 50th.
Strong targets, poor implementation
While the experts note that national targets until 2050 are strong, implementation is very poor. They note there should be more focus on implementation, rather than pushing for new, stronger targets for 2050 and delaying plans for ambiguous short-term (by 2030) targets.
Also, to go with targets for reducing fossil fuel dependence, there is only minimal action for doing so. Keeping oil refinery factories and gas pipe infrastructure is a concerning national strategic goal. Moreover, even though the import of biomass from Belarus stopped after the Russian invasion of Ukraine, Belarus’ exports are now replaced by increased local production and imports from other countries. Therein, the experts see a missed chance to shift away from fossils towards renewables, and a great risk of missing out on reduction targets.
The experts demand better collaboration between policymakers and utility companies, development of short-term strategies aligned with the 1.5°C target, and termination of biomass use.
National experts that contributed to the policy evaluation of this year’s CCPI chose to remain anonymous.