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Our focus

Climate and disaster resilience


There is no country in Europe and Central Asia where the impact of climate change cannot be seen and felt. The entire region is now clearly affected by air temperature variations, changes in river runoff and precipitation, and the more frequent incidence of extreme weather events.

From the catastrophic flooding in Western Balkan countries to more widespread and prolonged droughts in the countries of Central Asia, extreme climate events are threatening decades of hard-won development achievements.

At the same time, economies in the region are characterized by high levels of energy intensity and inefficiency, ageing infrastructure and the slow adoption of renewable energy sources.

Ambitious climate action is needed now more than ever, and UNDP is on the front lines. UNDP’s Climate Promise is the world’s largest offer of support for countries to enhance their pledges (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement. UNDP is helping 118 countries globally, including all 18 programme countries and territories in our region, to be bolder in reducing emissions, increasing resilience, and protecting nature.

Our goals

As the UN agency working on sustainable development, UNDP has a mandate of supporting countries as they move towards low carbon development paths, more sustainable use of natural resources and resilience to climate change and disasters.

UNDP supports countries to:

  • Address and build resilience to the impacts of climate change;
  • Assist countries as they brace for disaster and help them recover fast; and
  • Develop sustainable and renewable energy solutions.

In depth

Countries in Eastern Europe, the Southern Caucasus and Central Asia face water and energy shortages and a broad spectrum of climate-related and geophysical disasters.

Economies in the region are characterized by high levels of energy intensity and inefficiency, relying on fossil fuels for over 80 percent of their energy needs. Together, they represent 10 percent of all global energy consumption.

From Serbia to Tajikistan, climate change exacerbates current pressure on natural resources and ecosystems.

Temperature increases in the southern belt of the region are ahead of global trends. With more frequent and severe meteorological hazards, rural and urban populations across the entire region are likely to become more vulnerable, while the overall costs of adaptation are projected to increase dramatically.

The region’s challenge will be to shift to a low-carbon development model, while at the same time shielding people from the consequences of catastrophic climate change and disasters.

What we do

Together with the Global Environment Facility (GEF), the Green Climate Fund and other multilateral and bilateral partners, UNDP is working to boost investments in clean energy, sustainable use of natural resources, disaster risk reduction, adaptation and ultimately, climate resilience.

What we have accomplished

  • UNDP’s Climate Promise has been helping all countries in the region to enhance their climate pledges or Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) under the Paris Agreement, to develop and implement ambitious climate policies and strategies for their NDCs implementation, and to report on their climate action. The Climate Promise consolidated technical expertise, funding and knowledge provided by UNDP and our 35 partners globally to make them accessible to our countries.
  • Thanks to the EU4Climate programme, Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine are getting better prepared in implementing the Paris Agreement through improved climate policies and legislation
  • 15 countries in the region are supported in the formulation of their National Adaptation Plans with the financial assistance from the Green Climate Fund and the EU. Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Armenia, Kazakhstan, Serbia, North Macedonia developed Disaster Risk Reduction policies at national and community level and strengthened their resilience to disaster risks.
  • Almost 100,000 farmers and shepherds in Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan adopted efficient on-farm water and land use technologies to improve their resilience to climate-induced water scarcity.
  • 60,000 school children and 3,000 teachers across 9 countries in the region have been engaged in climate education with UNDP’s Climate Box interactive learning toolkit and teachers’ training programmes.
  • Integrated climate resilient flood risk management has been implemented across 5 countries - Bosnia and Herzegovina, Georgia, Albania, Montenegro and North Macedonia- with support from the Adaptation Fund, Green Climate Fund and Special Climate Change Fund.

Programme and initiatives