Eastern Partnership countries work together to counter climate change

EU and UNDP promote regional cooperation to increase national contributions to climate action

November 18, 2019

The six Eastern Partnership countries met in Tbilisi today to discuss their progress in mitigating climate change and adapting to its effects by introducing climate-sensitive policies and reducing greenhouse gas emissions. Organized by the European Union (EU) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), under the EU4Climate programme, the two-day regional discussion assembles high-level officials from Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine, as well as participants from the Western Balkans, the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Netherlands’s Royal Meteorological Institute and the World Recourse Institute.

The regional workshop supports policy-makers from the six Eastern Partnership countries in implementing the Paris Agreement, the landmark document that unites the world in fighting climate change.

“Climate change poses threats to ecosystems, economies and people throughout the world,” said Maia Javakhishvili, Deputy Head of Environment and Climate Change Department at the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture of Georgia. “As Georgia is currently updating our Nationally Determined Contribution to the Paris Agreement, we welcome the opportunity to deepen cooperation with the EU and Eastern Partnership countries in facing this global challenge together.”

"The EU is in the frontline of the international efforts to fight climate change," said Alexandre Darras, Team Leader on Connectivity, Energy, Environment & Climate Change at the Delegation of the European Union to Georgia. “We are happy to be working together with Georgia and the other countries of the Eastern Partnership in adapting to climate change, moving towards green economies and building further public support for climate action.”

The first day of the workshop focused on the Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) that countries committed to make under the Paris Agreement to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Participants agreed that national pledges should become more precise and ambitious as implementation of the Paris Agreement moves ahead.

“Climate change poses challenges but also creates opportunities,” said UNDP Georgia Head Louisa Vinton. “We have a chance now to rethink our assumptions about economic growth, question the consumerist lifestyle and create green jobs that preserve rather than destroy our natural resources. By sharing solutions across the Eastern Partnership countries, we strengthen our defences against climate change and also build foundations for regional cooperation.”

The Tbilisi workshop is part of a regional discussion series organised under the EU4Climate programme. Two previous workshops were hosted by Moldova focusing on low-emission development and adaptation to climate change.

The EU4Climate programme is an EU-funded initiative implemented by UNDP. EU4Climate builds on the achievements of the past cooperation programmes in the Eastern Neighbourhood, such as the EU ClimaEast programme, which supported climate change mitigation and adaptation in 2013-2017. Drawing on a total budget of EUR 8.8 million, the four-year EU4Climate programme will continue till the end of 2022.

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