5 November 2021. Istanbul, Turkey – A study on “NDC preparation and implementation in Eastern Partnership countries” about the national pledges of Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine under the Paris Agreement, was presented by the EU4Climate initiative. The study illustrates the six Eastern Partnership countries’ progress in mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects by introducing climate-sensitive policies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. All Eastern Partnership countries are vulnerable to the effects of climate change, for example through more frequent extreme weather events, significantly raising the importance to reduce emissions and prepare for its adverse effects.
Under the Paris Agreement, countries agreed to develop climate pledges – known as ‘Nationally Determined Contributions’ or ’NDCs’ – that taken together will help tackle global warming. The Paris Agreement also calls on countries to revise and strengthen their NDCs every five years as urgent steps must be taken to reverse current unsustainable trends, leading to high expectations for governments to commit to ambitious pledges that leave no one behind.
The EU4Climate assisted Armenia, Belarus, Moldova and Azerbaijan in preparing their updated NDCs to demonstrate increased climate ambitions and set their approach rethinking of economic development patterns, accelerating actions towards the transition to a more sustainable, resilient, and low-carbon economy. In Georgia and Ukraine, the EU4Climate project assisted with awareness-raising and communicating the revised NDC targets. Further support will be provided for the Eastern Partnership countries with the development of NDC implementation roadmaps and financial plans.
“The EU is at the forefront of international efforts to fight climate change and we are closely working with our Eastern Partners on this. The successful and timely implementation of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) to reduce greenhouse gas emissions is a burning topic. This requires significant and sustained efforts to ensure we all meet our commitments to make Europe the first climate-neutral continent. The EU4Climate initiative is helping EaP countries to mainstream climate change on the national and subnational level, for example by assisting with introducing climate policies in the energy sector, which is the largest source of GHG emissions in the EaP region”, says Michaela Hauf, Team Leader for Green and Connectivity, Directorate-General for Neighbourhood and Enlargement Negotiations.
՛՛With continuing support of the European Commission, EU4Climate is assisting countries of the Eastern Partnership with setting new targets for reducing emissions, engaging a wide range of stakeholders in discussing these targets, and preparing implementation plans for the new NDCs. Despite the ongoing challenges, including pandemic, the EaP countries are working on increasing their ambition in fighting climate change. EU4Climate, together with the UNDP Climate Promise initiative, directly supported the NDC update in four countries of the region; and further helps with capacity building and communicating NDC targets in two more countries. EU4Climate assists with developing or updating four low emissions development strategies for the region՛՛, says Stanislav Kim, Team Leader a.i., Climate and Disaster Resilience, UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub․
The NDC study shows that Eastern Partners are making progress towards the Paris Agreement’s goals. All EaP countries (The submission of the NDC of Azerbaijan to UNFCCC is expected by the end of 2021) increased their ambition in reducing GHG emissions by 2030, compared to the previous NDC cycle. Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have increased the ambition to reduce GHG emissions up to 25%, compared to the previously submitted NDCs in addition to the increased ambition to abate emissions, coverage of the updated NDCs was widened to cover the economy as a whole; in the new NDCs of Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, countries have reduction targets which are economy-wide and have sections on gender equality, as well as components on adaptation to climate change; this is substantial progress compared to the previous NDC submission cycle.
The next step towards the implementation of the newly developed NDCs is the development of Low Emissions Development Strategies, covering the timeline until 2050. The EU sets a prominent example by setting a target to become carbon neutral until this date. Ukraine was the first country in the region to commit itself to carbon neutrality – a pledge to become carbon neutral by 2060 is included in the updated NDC. EU4Climate currently provides support to the region with defining mid-century targets to reduce emissions; the mid-century strategies are currently being developed with the project’s assistance for Armenia, Azerbaijan and Georgia.
The NDC study is supplemented with case studies, demonstrating best practices and lessons learned by the countries in the region:
Armenia – Climate Budget Tagging study – Among the six EaP countries, Armenia hosted the first pilot study on climate finance budgeting and expenditure tracking. The case study assesses translation of the climate change policy into programmes and objectives, the effectiveness of the institutions in formulating and implementing climate responses, the budget allocated to address the climate change and the possible improvement of the financing scheme to better integrate climate change.
Georgia – NDC awareness-raising campaign – The case study illustrates the main aspects of what the Georgian population thinks about climate change. The document provides details about the nationwide opinion poll that was conducted to research climate-related knowledge and behavior in Georgia and revealed well-awareness of the Georgian population of the global threat posed by climate change.
Moldova – Mainstreaming of climate policies into waste management sector – The document refers to the waste which accounts for around 10% of total national direct greenhouse gas emissions in Moldova and for almost half of Moldova’s emissions of methane. The study shares highlights of areas of the existing legislation in waste management that would need improvement in order to achieve the goals set in Moldova’s Low Emission Development Strategy.
Ukraine – Mainstreaming of climate policies into the transport sector, micromobility – In Ukraine, the transport sector accounts for 16% of national greenhouse gas emissions, so the development of attractive and environment-friendly alternatives to road transport, such as using light vehicles adapted for one-person travel – micromobility being one of the goals of Ukraine’s NDC. The study shows how the best international practices analysed and could be adopted in Ukraine where the micromobility is already taking a stronghold.
The EU4Climate initiative is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme. It supports countries in implementing the Paris Climate Agreement and improving climate policies and legislation. Its ambition is to limit the effects of climate and make citizens more resilient to them. It will assist the EaP countries to integrate the low emissions and climate resilience objectives into development policies and plans, to improve and consolidate climate policies and legislative alignment. For more information please visit: www.eu4climate.eu.
For media inquiries, please contact: Aghavni Harutyunyan, Regional Communications Analyst, EU4Climate project, email@example.com