Photo: Leli Blagonravova/UNDP

To accelerate national development that benefits people and the planet, Georgia updated its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), expanding the pledge to reduce its total greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. In the updated NDCs, Georgia committed to unconditionally reducing its GHG emissions to 35 percent below its 1990 baseline level (an approximately 16 percent per capita reduction) by 2030.

The Government adopted the updated NDCs on 8 April and submitted them to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) on 5 May.

By boldly updating its NDCs, Georgia reiterated its strong commitment to the landmark 2015 Paris Agreement, through which world leaders agreed to take action to limit overall temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius, aiming to keep at a safe threshold of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Georgia’s National Climate Change Strategy 2030 and its Action Plan 2021-2023, adopted by the Government at the same time as the NDCs, outline the concrete actions the country will take to implement this ambitious agenda.

“The NDCs is a strategic document that will define Georgia’s development path for years ahead,” said Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture Levan Davitashvili. “It covers the key sectors of the economy, including energy, industry, agriculture, waste management and forestry.”

Key components of Georgia’s new climate pledge include:

  • Unconditionally limiting its total GHGs by 35 percent below the 1990 level by 2030 and potentially increasing this commitment (with sufficient international support) to 50 to 57 percent;
  • Continuing to record GHGs not regulated by the Montreal Protocol in its National GHG Inventory;
  • Setting out feasible targets for limiting emissions in seven sectors (transport, buildings, energy generation and transmission, agriculture, industry, waste and forestry). This includes reducing emissions by 15 percent below the reference level in the transport and the energy generation and transmission sectors, by 10 percent in the forestry sector and by 5 percent in the industry sector;
  • Shifting to low-carbon development approaches in the construction, waste management and agriculture sectors;
  • Assessing specific impacts of climate change on coastal zones, mountain ecosystems, forests and water resources and introducing relevant adaptation measures;
  • Assessing the economic, social and health impacts of climate change and introducing relevant adaptation measures;
  • Promoting biodiversity conservation with a focus on endemic, indigenous and endangered species;
  • Taking measures to reduce losses and damage caused by climate-induced disasters and extreme weather events; and
  • Upholding Georgia’s commitments to the principles of gender equality and the Sustainable Development Goals by empowering women as agents of change and increasing their participation in decision-making in all NDC areas, including energy efficiency and the sustainable use of water resources.

“Georgia is updating its national climate pledge at a critical time when the world is moving away from ‘business as usual’ and sets out a visionary path to a low-carbon, post-pandemic future,” said Resident Representative a.i. of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) Anna Chernyshova. “The NDCs and the Climate Change Strategy provide Georgia with a roadmap leading to a sustainable economy, increases in renewable energy, expanded green jobs and the development of climate-friendly technologies — all of which will contribute to a speedy recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.”

UNDP is supporting Georgia’s new climate pledge and efforts to build a climate-resilient society by working closely with the government and international partners, such as the European Union (EU), the Green Climate Fund (GCF), the Global Environmental Facility (GEF) and the governments of Sweden and Switzerland.

UNDP support includes the EU-funded regional EU4Climate programme, designed to assist Georgia and other Eastern Partnership countries introduce climate-sensitive policies and reduce greenhouse gas emissions, a robust initiative funded by GCF, Georgia, Sweden and Switzerland that aims to protect over 40 percent of the country’s population from climate-induced disasters, and the GEF-funded initiatives, designed to protect biodiversity and support green urban development.   

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UNDP’s Climate Promise aims to support global, transformational climate action by supporting countries to enhance their NDCs in 2021 and beyond. The initiative is being delivered in over 118 countries, making it the world’s largest support offer of this kind. UNDP’s Climate Promise is supported by Germany, Sweden, EU, Italy, Spain and other core contributors.

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