Belarus

  • With a population of around 9.5 million (2019), Belarus represents a relatively small portion, 0.18%, of the global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In 2018, CO2e emissions per capita for Belarus were 6.8 mt, and though the indicator fluctuated substantially in recent years, it tended to increase. The carbon intensity of the economy in the period 1995-2012 decreased almost 4 times, making it the fastest rate of progress toward low-carbon development in Europe.

    In Belarus, energy and agriculture are the two sectors with the largest GHG emission shares,

    and this is where the majority of the mitigation potential lies. As an Annex I country, in its Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), Belarus made an unconditional quantified emission reduction target to reduce GHG emissions by at least 28% until 2030, compared to 1990.

  • The country faces significant climate change-related threats.

    Temperatures (1), floods (2), droughts (3), precipitation (4) have begun to diverge from historical patterns, which will impact multiple sectors.

  • Water, while abundant within Belarus, may deteriorate in quality due to increased flooding, extreme rain events, and changes in runoff patterns. Furthermore, changing rainfall patterns and flooding may alter the distribution of dangerous radionuclides, particularly in food and water resources, found in southern Belarus as a result of the 1986 Chernobyl accident. In a country with almost 43% forested land, rising temperatures are likely to change ecosystem function, forest composition, and certain species of trees, such as spruce, will suffer. Drought and increased temperatures could make forests more vulnerable to climate-related threats, such as disease outbreaks and forest fires. The most vulnerable sectors are agriculture, human health, forestry, water resources, and energy.

     

  • There are various binding legislative provisions and other regulations in effect in Belarus, specifying policies and measures with targets for reduction of GHG emissions and the energy intensity of the economy. The National Sustainable Development Strategy for the period 2021-2030, places due emphasis on low-emission development. Belarus adopted a green economy strategy until 2030, with a focus on green innovation, improving the quality of life and increasing the competitiveness of the national economy. The government has also been integrating the SDGs into national development planning, having invested in both legal frameworks and public campaigns for action in this area. In terms of sustainable energy, Belarus has started to electrify its transport infrastructure and invest in energy efficiency. It has also been actively supporting decentralised solar energy systems with a focus on hospitals, schools and other public buildings. The National Designated Authority in the climate change area is the Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection.

Climate policy development and advancing cooperation with the EU in Belarus

Belarus has been participating actively in the multilateral formats of the Eastern Partnership. The bilateral relationship will be strengthened through the EU-Belarus Partnership Priorities, which are currently being negotiated, and which will set the strategic framework for cooperation in the coming years. Through the EBRD-managed Eastern Europe Energy Efficiency and Environment Partnership, Belarus has access to €10 million for key projects in energy efficiency and environmental protection. EU support has helped to improve energy efficiency in a number of educational facilities and residential buildings. In the transport sector, roads and railways improvements will bring better connectivity and safety, and through the use of intelligent transport systems, some decarbonisation will be achieved. Bilateral dialogue on environment and climate action takes place on an annual basis. Belarus is moving forward on its sustainable energy pathway, with strong support from the EU and international financing institutions.

  • 2014
    • Biennial Report 1
  • 2015
    • INDC 2016-2030
    • COP21 Paris Agreement
    • Pledge to Sustainable Developent
      Agenda 2030
    • Biennial Report 2
  • 2016
    • Ratification of Paris Agreement
    • State Program “Environmental Protection
      and Sustainable Use of Natural Resources”
  • 2017
    • EU Bilateral Partnership Priorities
      negotiation (2017-2020)
  • 2019
    • EU4Climate launched
      Biennial Report 3
  • 2020
    • Updated NDC 2021-2030
    • National Strategy for Sustainable
      Development
    • Biennial Report 4

EU4Climate key policy interventions and expected impact

 

  • The Government of the Republic of Belarus pays considerable attention to the problems of climate change and has in place some strategic policies and measures aimed at sustainable and green development. Together with sustainable energy and energy efficiency, the importance of measures to improve the quality of sinks and reservoirs of greenhouse gases is emphasised, as forests occupy a vast part of its territory. Belarus reporting under the UNFCCC follows the stringent rules for the developed countries. However, as a country with an economy in transition, and possessing insufficient capacity to meet the challenges of the transition to low-emission and climate-resilient development, it is eligible for international climate change support.

  • EU4Climate Programme, funded by the European Union, aims to support the development and implementation of climate-related policies by the Eastern Partnership countries. Specifically, this project seeks to support Belarus in meeting its commitments under the Paris Agreement, through providing support to decision-makers and planners in preparing and adopting an enhanced Nationally Determined Contribution in 2020, and the required a low carbon and climate-resilient development strategic documents for its implementation. Throughout the project, the best international and EU practices will be applied, including some alignment with the EU Acquis.

EU4Climate result areas and timeframe in Belarus

RESULT AREAS

2019

2020

2021

2022

 

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

Q1

Q2

Q3

Q4

NDC

Long-term LEDS

MRV System

EU Climate Acquis

Climate mainstreaming

Climate investment

Adaptation planning

Full country profile can be downloaded here.