Conference "Supporting the Green Transition of Bosnia and Herzegovina"

Final event of the URBANLED and SolarCET Projects

May 15, 2024

The Conference "Supporting the Green Transition of Bosnia and Herzegovina" was held in Sarajevo, marking the conclusion of the UNDP projects "Catalyzing Environmental Finance for Low-Carbon Urban Development – URBANLED" funded by the Green Climate Fund (GCF), and "Accelerating the Transition to Clean Energy Using the Potential of Solar Energy in BiH - SolarCET" funded by the Ministry of Finance of the Slovak Republic. 

The conference brought together representatives of relevant ministries and institutions, donors, municipalities and cities that participated in the activities of these projects, as well as domestic and international partners.

The URBANLED project provided technical support for the implementation of low-carbon solutions in key urban sectors and promoted their wider uptake by local government and the private sector, through dedicated financial mechanisms, including the innovative and pilot solutions such as the ESCO model for financing energy efficiency and renewable energy projects. 

The SolarCET project focused on developing financial mechanisms and subsidizing the installation of solar systems in residential buildings in Mostar, Cazin, Gradiška, and Prijedor, as well as on developing the Interactive Solar Atlas (ISA), the first publicly available tool providing all necessary information on solar potential in Bosnia and Herzegovina.

Raduška Cupać, Head of the Energy and Environment Sector at UNDP in BiH

"The URBANLED and SolarCET projects have made a significant contribution to systemic and structural changes in decarbonization, sustainable development, and improving living conditions in BiH. The focus of these interventions was on urban areas, due to the high pollution we face, which exceeds health acceptable limits. The modernization of public buildings, infrastructure, and services will contribute to improving the quality of urban life and sustainable development in BiH and globally. UNDP, with its partners, remains committed and continues to work in this area."
Raduška Cupać, Head of the Energy and Environment Sector at UNDP in BiH, welcomed all attendees and briefly presented the significance of these two projects, expressing hope that successful practices achieved through these projects will be replicated.

Senad Oprašić, Head of the Environmental Protection Department at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH

"Through joint work, we have successfully implemented these two significant projects. Projects like URBANLED, which invested in the development of low-carbon technologies in BiH, and SolarCET, which encouraged citizens to use solar panels, are crucial to the transition to clean energy and in achieving the goal for BiH to become energy independent and rely on renewable energy sources, in line with numerous positive examples."
Senad Oprašić, Head of the Environmental Protection Department at the Ministry of Foreign Trade and Economic Relations of BiH, expressed gratitude to UNDP for cooperation through these and other projects and initiatives.

Michal Holík, Private Sector Specialist, Slovak Partnership, UNDP Europe and Central Asia

"It is important to emphasize the role of the private sector in achieving energy independence. Without their support and investment, it is difficult to achieve the goal of a sustainable energy policy. Cooperation is key to the growth of own energy resources, as well as to securing the necessary financial resources to achieve these goals."
Michal Holík, Private Sector Specialist, Slovak Partnership, UNDP Europe and Central Asia, addressed the attendees.


Presenting the key results, Aldin Međedović, leading the team that implemented these projects at UNDP in BiH, highlighted that the implementation of the URBANLED project began in 2018, covered 165,000 project beneficiaries throughout BiH, and implemented 65 projects. The ESCO green financing model, involving public-private partnerships, was introduced, and a strong contribution was made to the development of the regulatory framework for the application of this model. The first ESCO project for public buildings and public lighting was successfully implemented, and documentation was prepared for the implementation of ESCO projects for school buildings in the Central Bosnia Canton and the Zenica-Doboj Canton. Furthermore, URBANLED supported the establishment of two ESCO associations at the entity level. In the part of the project dealing with waste management improvement, a system was established and handed over for management and further use to entity funds for environmental protection, and municipal infrastructure was improved in eight cities. Moreover, the project supported the development of Sustainable Energy and Climate Action Plans (SECAPs) in 42 local self-government units across BiH. 

The SolarCET project was a pilot, focusing on promoting and installing solar power plants in households. It covered 300 beneficiaries, installed 60 solar power plants, and, among numerous benefits, it generates savings in those households. In parallel, the ISA was developed, available to all citizens for decision-making in solar energy investment and handed over for further use and management to the Independent System Operator (NOS).

Lazar Prodanović, Mayor of Bratunac

Speaking from the experience of the Municipality of Bratunac, Mayor Lazar Prodanović presented best practices at the local level and lessons learned, also expressing gratitude to UNDP, donors, and institutions involved in project implementation. Through the URBANLED project, by applying the ESCO financing model and implementing energy efficiency projects, the 550 streetlight bulbs were replaced with LED bulbs, which are modern and energy-efficient. The Mayor emphasized that in the past four months, they have been monitoring the results and have already recorded a reduction in energy consumption, which is significant for small communities that have previously consumed large amounts of energy with poor lighting. In addition, an innovative system for automatic and remote management of public lighting was introduced, allowing precise control of individual lamps.


The conference concluded with a panel discussion on creating an environment for low-carbon urban development, as well as challenges and opportunities. The need for greater education on these topics at the local level was emphasized, as well as projects in this area. In addition to the need to increase and improve existing capacities in relevant institutions, additional funding for investments in this area is necessary. The importance of resource preservation, as well as the establishment of national goals and strategic frameworks, was also highlighted. It was emphasized that these projects contribute to and support the country's European integration process.