Skip to content

Serbia Sectors

What is Serbiaʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Serbia’s transport emissions increased by nearly 54% between 1990 and 2019, from 4.5 MtCO₂e to 6.9 MtCO₂e. The emissions growth is predominantly due to the fact that while transport volumes have increased, the sector has continued to rely primarily on internal combustion engine, powered by fossil fuels (97–98% oil in 2019). The remaining small part of the transport sector is powered by electricity.

Our analysis of 1.5°C compatible pathways suggests that electrification should reach a 9–30% share by 2030 and 30–72% share by 2050.

The government’s Low Carbon Development Strategy envisages GHG emissions in the transport sector to reduce by 30–54% compared to 2005 by 2050,3 while the 1.5°C compatible pathways analysed here show a fully decarbonised sector by around 2053.

Since 2021, the government subsidises the purchase of an electric vehicle by up to EUR 5,000 and a hybrid vehicle by up to EUR 3,500, and has increased the total budget dedicated for the subsidies in 2023.11,12

The modal split between road and rail transport in Serbia is uneven for passenger and freight. While about 12% of passenger-kilometres take place by rail transport, almost 47% of Serbia’s freight transport is conducted by rail.13 However, only a third of rail transport lines were electrified as of 2017.14 Serbia needs to invest more heavily into rail electrification, encourage a modal shift in transport by providing adequate rail connections for passengers, and incentivise uptake of EVs through more than just subsidies, including through building more charging infrastructure.

1 Republic of Serbia. Nationally Determined Contribution ( NDC ) of the Republic of Serbia for the 2021 – 2030 period. (2022).

2 Energy Community. Secretariat welcomes Sofia Declaration on the Green Agenda for the Western Balkans – Energy Community Homepage. (2020).

3 Republic of Serbia. Draft Low Carbon Development Strategy with Action plan. (2019).

4 Gütschow, J., Günther, A. & Pflüger, M. The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series v2.3 (1750-2019)..

5 Republic of Serbia. Second National Communication of Turkmenistan Under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). Eng_Serbia.pdf (2017).

6 IEA. World Energy Balances: 2021 version. (2021).

7 Republic of Serbia. Draft Integrated National Energy and Climate Plan 2021 – 2030 of the Republic of Serbia with a vision by 2050.(2022).

8 Republic of Serbia. Zakon o korišćenju obnovljivih izvora energije – Law on the Use of Renewable Energy Sources. Službeni glasnik RS (2021).

9 eKapija. eKapija | Gde smo godinu dana nakon donošenja Zakona o korišćenju obnovljivih izvora energije – Prikaz regulatornog okvira. (2022).

10 Republic of Serbia. Указ о проглашењу Закона о енергетској ефикасности и рационалној употреби енергије Закон о енергетској ефикасности и рационалној употреби енергије – Decree on Promulgation of the Law on Energy Efficiency and Rational Use of Energy Law on Energy Efficiency. (2021).

11 Ministry of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Serbia. Уредба о условима и начину спровођења субвенционисане куповине нових возила која имају искључиво електрични погон, као и возила која уз мотор са унутрашњим сагоревањем покреће и електрични погон (хибридни погон) | Министарство заштите животне средине – Regulation on the conditions and method of implementing the subsidized purchase of new vehicles that have an exclusively electric drive, as well as vehicles that, in addition to the internal combustion engine, are powered by an electric drive (hy…. (2022).

12 Balkan Green Energy News. Građanima Srbije i u 2023. subvencije za kupovinu električnih i hibridnih vozila. (2022).

13 EconStor. EconStor: Orient/East-Med Corridor: Challenges and potentials. (2019).

14 Srbijatransport Beograd. Saobraćajni sistem Srbije. (2020).

15 Using projected LULUCF emissions by 2030 from Serbia’s NDC document to estimate the absolute emissions level including LULUCF. See assumptions here.

Serbiaʼs energy mix in the transport sector

petajoule per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
SSP1 High CDR reliance
Low energy demand
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Natural gas
  • Coal
  • Oil and e-fuels
  • Biomass
  • Biogas
  • Biofuel
  • Electricity
  • Heat
  • Hydrogen

Serbiaʼs transport sector direct CO₂ emissions (of energy demand)


  • Historical emissions
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand

1.5°C compatible transport sector benchmarks

Direct CO₂ emissions and shares of electricity, biofuels and hydrogen in the transport final energy demand from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Serbia

Decarbonised transport sector by
Direct CO₂ emissions
2 to 4
1 to 2
0 to 1
Relative to reference year in %
−65 to −37%
−80 to −73%
−93 to −89%
Share of electricity
9 to 30
22 to 61
30 to 72
Share of biofuels
0 to 2
Share of hydrogen
2 to 8
6 to 36
19 to 47