In a Nutshell

  • Croatia has not yet set a CDR target. The country focuses mostly on soil carbon sequestration and more recently on carbon capture and storage.
  • The passing of contradicting pieces of legislation on geological CO2 storage has been identified as one of the main roadblocks to the successful development of the country’s storage capacities.
  • With several ongoing carbon management projects supported by EU funds and a substantial theoretical CO2 storage capacity, Croatia could become a storage hub in the region.
  • A National Feasibility Study on the capture, transport, injection and storage of CO2, as well as the interconnection of CO2 transport systems, is under development.

Role for carbon removal in national climate policy

Croatia has not set explicit targets for carbon removal. The country emphasises soil carbon sequestration in its climate policy. Carbon capture and storage (CCS) is also gaining importance in the country’s toolbox to reach climate neutrality by 2050.

 

The draft updated version of Croatia’s National Energy and Climate Plan (NECP) presents multiple measures targeted at increasing the carbon sink capacities of the land-use, land-use change and forestry (LULUCF) sector. For instance, measures for agricultural soils are presented, including measures for agricultural soils, including potential new business models to finance carbon farming practices. Croatia is waiting on the Carbon Removal Certification Framework’s (CRCF) final version to get clarity as to how carbon farming will be categorised. There are several measures within the NECP aimed at the forestry sector, including afforestation, reforestation – where there is an initiative to plant one million trees a year – and an increase in the use of wood products, for example for construction. Besides the CRCF, Croatia is looking at the Common Agricultural Policy and EU funds for development as funding sources for such activities.

 

The NECP highlights CCS as a key measure for decarbonising Croatia’s economy, with the goal of establishing a national platform for the collection, use and storage of CO2. Several plans and studies related to CCS are in the making at the national level, including a national feasibility study on the whole CCS value chain. In the NECP, CCS is also linked to measures related to the greening of the energy sector.

 

The Energy Development Strategy expands on the decarbonising potential of CCS in the energy sector, stating that Croatia has the technical and natural prerequisites for developing CCS technology. CCS is considered as a transitional solution that enables the continued use of fossil fuel for electricity production alongside a steady reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Croatia’s long-term strategy, the Low-Carbon Development Strategy, was released in 2021 and presents two scenarios, one of which requires the use of CCS in gas power plants, cement, processing and fertiliser production industries after 2040. The strategy also specifies that carbon stocks in forest biomass need to increase to make the LULUCF a net greenhouse gas sink.

Support for R&D and Innovation

The Fund for Environmental Protection and Energy Efficiency provides funding for various types of projects, including those focused on CO2 mitigation, which includes CCS, along with funding the protection and preservation of biological and landscape diversity. Revenues are drawn from Croatia’s allocated revenues from the EU-ETS, as well as from regional budgets and various domestic taxes on pollution.

 

In addition to receiving national funding, several CCS projects have received, or will receive, EU funds. The Geothermal CCS project was selected as a Project of Common Interest in the sixth list of PCIs released in November 2023. It will enable CO2 captured at the Našice cement plant – part of the  CO2NTESSA project – to be stored in an onshore saline aquifer next to a geothermal plant. This project also received early Innovation Fund funding, and its first phase could store 0.6MtCO2/year. The project would also build a pipeline linking to a cement factory in Hungary.

 

The KOdeCO net zero project was selected for funding as part of the 2022 large-scale funding round. It links a cement facility with a CO2 storage site located under the Mediterranean Sea. This project also received funding from the Just Transition Mechanism. The project has an anticipated launch in 2028.

 

Croatia has a total estimated storage potential of 4.2GtCO2, enough to store its domestic captured CO2 from other countries. This extensive storage capacity could enable Croatia to become a CO2 storage hub in the region.

On the horizon

The draft NECP mentions the development of a Smart Specialisation Strategy for the period up to 2029, in which CCUS will be a research focus.

 

The development of a National Feasibility Study on the capture, transport, injection and storage of CO2, as well as the interconnection of CO2 transport systems, has been mentioned since 2019 in the first version of the NECP. However, it was mentioned again in the draft updated version but without a time horizon. Alongside the feasibility study, plans are underway for the development of an evaluation study on national CO2 storage capacity alongside an action plan for preparatory activities for CCS projects. 

 

By the end of 2026, EUR 14 million will be invested in pilot projects to enable the development and commercialisation of CCS through the Recovery and Resilience Facility.

 

A bioeconomy strategy aimed at clarifying how the bioeconomy sector should be transformed will soon be developed. It will include an assessment on the use of biomass from agriculture, forestry, fishing and aquaculture, with a view towards creating new value chains for biomass.

Contributors

Targets

  1. Net zero target: 2050
  2. Net Negative Target:

    No

  3. First interim target: 2030
  4. Type of interim target: Emissions reduction target
  5. GHGs covered: Carbon dioxide and other GHGs
  6. Separate target for emission reduction and removals: No
  7. Comprehensive CDR Target: no
  8. CDR Target for Conventional Removals: yes
  9. CDR Target for Novel Removals: no
  10. Historical emissions: Yes
  11. Annual reporting mechanism: Annual reporting

CDR Plans

  1. Plans for carbon removal (CDR): Not Specified
  2. Planning to use external carbon credits: Yes
  3. Conditions on use of carbon credits: a

Key stakeholders

Think Tanks and NGOs

DOOR – Civil society organisation promoting sustainable energy development and climate change mitigation.