Bosnia and Herzegovina Where Energy Resources Are Tools of Power and Influence
In recent years, the geopolitical landscape of Bosnia and Herzegovina has been marked by a tussle for energy, power and influence. Its location in the heart of Southeast Europe makes it an epicenter of geopolitical competition.
As the global focus on renewable energy intensifies, this Balkan nation finds itself at the center of a struggle to harness its potential and navigate the competing interests of regional powers. Bosnia and Herzegovina boasts a significant potential for renewable energy, particularly in hydroelectric power. But its energy sector was heavily dependent on fossil fuels. It possesses significant coal reserves and natural gas. Environmental concerns are pushing Bosnia and Herzegovina towards cleaner energy sources.
However, transition towards green energy is not easy for this country because it is divided into the Federation of Bosnia and Herzegovina, and the Republika Srpska. These two divisions have varying energy policies and priorities, thus a challenge to develop a unified natural energy strategy. According to a giz report, Bosnia and Herzegovina is preparing a medium-term decarbonization strategy that integrates sectoral energy and climate strategies with the year 2030 as its deadline.
Moreover, the EU has made significant resources available for Bosnia and Herzegovina to speed up and scale up action towards a green energy future in the country, including through the Economic and Investment Plan for the Western Balkans.
There are also great interests (some can even be described as greedy) by the European Union (EU), United States and China in this country. The EU has significant influence in Bosnia and Herzegovina as the latter is a candidate country. Taking advantage of this, the EU has urged the Balkan country to fully align with the bloc’s climate and energy agenda.
The U.S. has been trying to reduce Russian influence in the region by promoting energy diversification and market liberalization. Washington is encouraging the development of renewable energy as part of its global climate change agenda. On the other hand, Chinese companies have heavily invested in Bosnia and Herzegovina’s coal industry and infrastructure projects. China has given a much needed boost to the country’s economy.
Meanwhile, the United Nations said the international community must not allow divisive politics to endanger social cohesion in Bosnia and Herzegovina