Climate change, environment & energy
Climate risks, biodiversity loss and energy dependence
Moldova is highly vulnerable to climate change and related disasters, with an average annual economic loss of 2.13% GDP. The country’s unique biodiversity is currently threatened by climate change, habitat fragmentation and over-exploitation. The conservation of the Prut river wetland, and supporting the efficient management of the protected areas is an important milestone to reverse the biodiversity loss and ensure livelihoods wellbeing. Improvement of the water governance in the Nistru river basin is yet another area of support provided by UNDP to the Moldovan Government.
Enforcement of environmental legislation lagging behind European standards leads to environmental degradation, pollution and unsustainable use of natural resources. Moldova is still highly dependent on external energy sources. While there is a decrease in the country’s energy intensity, it is still higher than the average energy intensity in the EU countries by 29%.
Renewables. Green development. Mitigation and adaptation
UNDP is assisting the Government of Moldova in its transition towards low-emission, green and climate-resilient development, by building up institutional, legal and individual capacities to respond to the green and resilient development objectives.
A special focus is placed on exploring the mitigation potential through promotion of renewable energy solutions, which currently is standing at 25,06% in the total energy mix, energy efficiency measures and resource efficiency production and consumption. At the same time, support to the reform and modernization of environmental management systems conducive to green development and EU standards are being provided.
UNDP activities in the areas of climate change, environment and energy range from provision of support for development of environment-friendly and climate-sensitive national and local policies and legal frameworks to the piloting of on-the-ground solutions enabling modernization of respective sectors, as well as technology transfer and alignment with the commitments assumed under the 32 multilateral environmental conventions, protocols and agreements to which Moldova is party.
While the main beneficiaries of policy and legal frameworks are the central and local public authorities, through the piloted demonstration projects UNDP is reaching out to NGOs, urban and rural communities and the private sector to increase their capacities for climate change adaptation and mitigation, through capacity building of climate resilience, through women empowerment in rural areas, climate education in schools across Moldova, access to affordable renewable energy and energy efficiency measures, disaster risk reduction and climate-smart cities through innovative solutions and new technologies.
Sustainable and climate resilient communities
UNDP will support rural women to enhance their access to alternative income generation activities, support services and knowledge transfer on the best and most efficient strategies in managing forest ecosystems, water, including in the transboundary context, and agricultural land to increase community's climate resilience.
Additionally, climate education has been disseminated across schools in Moldova with the Climate Box toolkit, to equip children between the age of 7 and 14 with the necessary knowledge how they and their families could live a climate and environment-friendly lifestyle. Engagement with youth, as agents of change will further continue to promote the green transformation agenda.
Climate change cooperation throughout the Eastern Partnership
UNDP is also supporting Moldova through EU4Climate (EU Funded), in developing and implementing climate-related policies in cooperation with the Eastern Partnership countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia and Ukraine). The objective of the project is to support the development and implementation of climate-related policies by the Eastern Partnership countries which contribute to their low emission and climate resilient development and their commitments to the Paris Agreement on climate change.
Climate change adaptation and disaster risk management
While the institutionalization of the climate change adaptation coordination mechanisms, as well as of the climate-related budget planning process is under way with UNDP support, a number of efforts have been undertaken to strengthen the capacities of the State Hydro-Meteorological Service to perform in line with the EU Meteoalarm standards and to provide quality and hydrological services. At the same time, with UNDP assistance, development of the the National Disaster Risk Management Programme and Action Plan has been kick-started. This covers the whole cycle of disaster risk management, with a focus on prevention and preparedness. At a local level, the piloted IT solutions for crisis prevention and early warning are increasing the institutional capacity of the Emergency Situations General Inspectorate to serve local communities. After piloting climate adaptation solutions in the water and civil protection, UNDP is scaling up these efforts to increase the resilience and adaptive capacities of rural communities to climate change and disasters through improved water storage infrastructures and disaster risk reduction measures. UNDP is supporting implementation of climate-smart water management solutions for agriculture, flood management and fire prevention and expansion of community-based rescue/firefighting teams in selected rural communities to reduce the vulnerability of rural communities to climate change and disaster risks.
Low emission, energy poverty and green urban development
UNDP supported the Government in developing a Low Emission Development Strategy, including a prioritized list of nationally appropriate mitigation actions (NAMAs). UNDP also helped to strengthen and institutionalize a robust national greenhouse gas inventory system and the associated monitoring, reporting and verification mechanisms for NAMAs. Additional effort is allocated to support the Government of Moldova in development and implementation of climate-related policies in line with the commitments assumed under the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. To support Moldova’s future energy security, UNDP completed a flagship EU-funded intervention promoting the use of biomass from agricultural waste and solar energy, which is combining the social and environmental benefits of improved heating in public buildings and households from which benefited around 199,000 people. The programme also contributed to CO2 emission reduction of 70,000 tones/year. Additional 200,000 tons of CO2eq reduction is being sought through piloting of concrete demonstration projects in the buildings energy efficiency, transport and waste sectors.
Energy poverty, a missing concept in the current policy and legal social and energy framework of Moldova has been defined and appropriate protection mechanisms will be institutionalized for the vulnerable consumers to compensate for and/or reduce their energy consumption. A national coverage Energy Vulnerability Reduction Fund was co-designed with the Government and operationalized. Through such a Fund, over 800,000 households receive targeted on-bill compensations for energy depending on their level of energy vulnerability. A large-scale voucher programme for replacement of old home appliances with more energy-efficient ones will be launched, along with the Green Home Programme. The later will be testing energy-efficient and renewable solutions in the energy poor households. On the policy side, support will be provided to the transposition of the Third Energy Package into primary and secondary legislation, as well as a series of Directives and Regulations of Clean Energy for all European package, which addresses the energy performance of buildings, renewable energy, energy efficiency, ecodesign and energy labelling, governance and electricity market design. To advance the reforms in the energy area and to be better prepared to react to the current and potential future energy crisis, the capacities of the Government of Moldova and of energy institutions will be enhanced through revision of business processes, capacity building activities and coordination mechanisms.
To support the municipality of Chisinau in addressing the growing urban issues, the Sustainable Green Cities project, and the Green City Lab, has been catalyzing investments in sustainable green cities in the Republic of Moldova using a holistic integrated urban planning approach. By encouraging innovation, participatory planning and partnerships between a variety of public and private sector entities, the project seeks to support urban land use and mobility planning, residential building energy efficiency and renewable energy use, low carbon mobility and efficient waste management in the capital of Chisinau.