In 2019, the European Commission presented its Green Deal, an overarching vision for the European Union’s transition to a climate-neutral, modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy, as well as a fair and prosperous society.
It was, and is, an ambitious and transformative vision, and one that reflects the urgency of the climate crisis. Its success will depend on a massive collective effort from all EU member states. The EU’s Eastern Partnership are natural partners in this transformation.
As momentum across the region grows, despite the challenges of COVID-19, here’s how Moldova is working towards a greener, more sustainable future.
Endowed with fertile soils, agriculture is Moldova’s lifeblood. Around 57 percent of the population live in rural areas, with more than one-third employed in the crop and livestock sectors.
Agriculture is a mainstay of the national economy, contributing approximately 10 percent of GDP and accounting for around 45 percent of total exports.
Climate change is driving more extreme weather across Moldova's rolling steppes, towns, and cities. The country projects that if no mitigation and adaptation measures are taken, the losses instigated by global warming and extreme weather events will reach $1.3 billion annually by 2050.
The government has been taking action. In a reflection of its commitment, this March it became the fourth country, along with the Marshall Islands, Norway, and Suriname, to submit its revised Nationally Determined Contribution to the UNFCCC.
Under their new pledge, Moldova has committed to unconditionally reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 70 percent below 1990 levels by 2030, raised from 64 to 67 percent committed in its first NDC in 2015. Given technical, financial, and technological support, the country is aiming for an 88 percent reduction by 2030.
Ultimately, the country aspires to reach climate neutrality by 2030.
In addition to a more ambitious NDC, with EU4Climate support, Moldova is now also drafting an updated Low Emission Development Strategy towards 2050 addressing emissions from the energy, industry, agriculture, waste, and forestry sectors.
Work is underway to improve waste sector legislation to fight illegal dumping and promote recycling. A checklist for investment projects in the waste sector, in terms of climate impact, has been developed, supporting the commitment to reduce emissions from the waste sector by 38 percent by 2030.
At the same time, the country is transposing European legislation on climate and energy into national legislation, key to fulfilling its commitment to reduce emissions. This has included analyses of the gaps between Moldova’s existing laws and regulations relating to climate change and those of the EU.
The country is also working towards more robust emissions measurement, reporting, and verification.
A National Adaptation Plan is being updated to implement the adaptation component of the National Determined Contributions.
“We are proud that the Republic of Moldova was the fourth country in the world to develop and submit its updated Nationally Determined Contribution to the UNFCCC Secretariat. To achieve the new, more ambitious emissions reduction targets, Moldova must strive towards climate-neutral development.”
– Minister of Agriculture, Regional Development and the Environment, Ion Perju, March 5 2020
According to the World Meteorological Organization, the world is about to conclude the warmest decade on record. With extreme weather on the rise, the stakes are high.
NDCs offer a blueprint for climate action that can spur economic growth, technology transformation, job creation, and address key social inequalities. In fact, many countries are using them to launch a green recovery from COVID-19.
Yet NDCs cannot stand alone and countries must match their goals with action: a move away from fossil fuels, a move towards low-emission development, and a broad push for adaptation and resilience.
Ambition is needed now more than ever, from every corner of the globe.
Funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme, the EU4Climate Project is working with EU Eastern Partnership countries –Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Moldova, Georgia, and Ukraine – to develop and implement forward-looking policies in support of climate action.
Since 2019, the initiative has been providing intensive support to the countries of the region to develop their climate pledges (known as Nationally Determined Contributions, or NDCs) under the global Paris Agreement, scaling action and ambition towards low-emission and resilient development.
Learn more about Moldova and Armenia’s climate action with EU4Climate.
Learn more about UNDP’s Climate Promise, supporting 115 countries worldwide.
Source: UNDP Climate