Is Moldova ready to embrace the European Climate Agenda?

November 30, 2023
Photo: UNDP Moldova

September 2023 has been recorded as the hottest ever in the history of meteorological measurements in several European countries. The Republic of Moldova was no exception. According to scientific sources, the Republic of Moldova is among the most climate-vulnerable countries in Europe.

Over the past decade, the monitoring of weather patterns has revealed a troubling trend of rising temperatures and insufficient precipitation. The autumn 2023 observations of these patterns confirm the projections of more intense and disruptive climate impacts on social, economic, and environmental dimensions in the medium and long term. The agricultural sector, a significant source of income and food for the rural population, is expected to be particularly hard-hit by these changes.

As the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, from 30 November to 12 December in Dubai (COP28), draws nearer, the global community gathers to determine ambition and responsibilities, and identify and assess climate measures.  Among them is the urgent need to mobilize global collective action to limit the global temperature increase and to act on adapting the already existing effects of climate change.  At COP28, signatory parties must increase global ambition towards climate neutrality by highlighting the importance of substantially scaling up global climate ambition to keep the 1.5°C objective within reach.  Clean investments need to more than triple every year, to around US$4 trillion by 2030, to reach net-zero by 2050.

Fossil fuels can be phased out by increasing renewable energy capacity. This entails strengthened commitment of parties to the Paris Agreement to have their energy sector predominantly free of fossil fuels well before 2050, as well as of striving for a fully or predominantly decarbonised global power system in the 2030s, leaving no room for new coal powerWhile partnership efforts to improve Moldova’s track record in energy efficiency and expanding the share of renewables in its energy mix are already underway, undertaking much-needed climate adaptation given the country’s increasing climate vulnerabilities requires equally urgent attention. 

More than ever before, reversing deterioration of the nature around us and preventing losses to people’s lives, incomes, and property needs to be at the heart of our collective climate action.

Greater efforts are needed towards climate mitigation and adaptation. The first Global Stocktake, an inventory looking at where the world stands on climate action, will be conducted at COP 28, identifying the gaps and the work tor to agree on solutions pathways to 2030 and beyond. The Republic of Moldova could seize this opportunity and make future investments into its economy – be they into agriculture, infrastructure or transportation - climate-proof and adapted to withstand the anticipated impacts of a changing climate, especially on most vulnerable communities. Achieving this will require co-investment partnerships spanning public and private sector institutions, both domestic and international, to undertake ambitious action.

Throughout the United Nations Climate Change negotiations, the European Union has proved its determination to become net zero by the year 2050. The EU Green Deal is among the most comprehensive and detailed legislative process in the world in the fight against climate change.  New collection of common rights and obligations that constitute the body of EU law, known as the EU Acquis, are created in the frame of the EU Green Deal, changing, among other, existing norms to make businesses and supply chains more sustainable. Circular business practices are being adopted to ensure a just transition that will positively impact the production of sustainable goods within and outside of Europe.  Such new acquis will also be introduced in Moldova in its trajectory to become a future EU member state.

The success of the Republic of Moldova’s climate resilience efforts will hinge on the country’s progress in the reforms at the core of its EU membership pathway – first, in the rule of law sector to ensure a level playing field for all citizens and businesses in taking climate actions; and in the justice sector reforms to allow for effective addressing of environmental and other grievances, as well as continued anticorruption efforts to avoid leakages of scarce financial resources which could otherwise have been used to address climate impacts. Ultimately, these will be needed to build a more inclusive, green, prosperous European Moldova where no one is left behind.