Georgia launches work on climate change law
TBILISI. 10 October 2022 – The launch of a climate change law was officially announced on Monday 3rd October at a national event organised by the UK Embassy in Georgia and the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD) in partnership with the Parliament of Georgia and the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Agriculture. Georgia’s climate law will be developed under the WFD managed programme supported by the UK Foreign, Commonwealth and Development Office (FCDO) - Advancing Environmental Protection, Climate Change and Democratic Resilience in Georgia.
In recent years, Georgia has taken significant steps to deal with the consequences of climate change and fulfil its international commitments. In 2021, Georgia updated its Nationally Determined Contribution with increased ambition, followed by adoption of the 2030 Climate Strategy and 2021-2023 Action Plan. The Long Term Low Emission Development Strategy and National Energy and Climate Plan are also being finalised. The documents outline climate change mitigation policies for different sectors, government's vision and specific measures. However, the country does not have a legal document that will regulate important issues related to climate change.
“We still do not have a legal document that will regulate important issues related to climate change, and these issues are reflected in various laws, by-laws. Therefore, it is important to create a framework document, a law that will regulate the mentioned issues and distribute responsibilities. In keeping with our international commitments and goals, together with the Parliamentary Environment and Natural Resources Committee, we are starting work on the Climate Change Act. Ultimately, we will pass a law that serves the interests of our country and our citizens”, Otar Shamugia, the Minister of Environmental Protection and Agriculture mentioned
Aiming to push forward the process of creating more transparent, inclusive and coherent climate and environmental governance in Georgia, the climate change law will be a remarkable steppingstone and game changer in this field.
"The adoption of the framework climate law is important for the transition to low-emission development of our country, which should be accompanied by proper consideration of the economic and social aspects of development, increase of Georgia's resilience and adaptation capabilities. The framework law will significantly strengthen the role of the Parliament of Georgia in the development and implementation of climate policy. I would like to thank the Westminster Foundation for Democracy and the United Kingdom for supporting such ambitious initiatives!''” Marked Maia Bitadze, Chair of the Committee on Environmental Protection and Natural Resources.
“A sound environmental protection policy is important for effectively combating climate change and promoting sustainable development. Drafting the Climate Law of Georgia will be one of the important steps forward for the improvement of environmental standards and development of green economy in Georgia. We are grateful to the Westminster Democracy Foundation for its contribution to the strengthening of environmental democracy in Georgia." said Shalva Papuashvili, Chairman of Georgian Parliament.
Notably, the Parliament of Georgia will take leading role in drafting Georgia’s climate law with a new approach implying development of green and white policy papers prior to legislative drafting, providing more space and possibility for stakeholders and citizens to be involved in policy consultation process prior to legislative drafting of climate law.
Need for inclusive and broad consultation approach, as well as all cross-party cooperation was repeatedly underlined by the keynote speakers.
“The climate crisis is real and is affecting all of us now. Ambitious NDCs from everyone are essential if we are to prevent devastating effects. That is why I am proud that the UK is supporting Parlimant of Georgia in launching the process to Georgia’s first Climate Change legislation” said UK Ambassador to Georgia, Mark Clayton. “I hope to see cross-party cooperation and civil society involvement in this important work.”
“The WFD was founded 30 years ago out of the conflict in Bosnia - in the belief that building democratic resilience was a vital contribution to world peace. Today we work with Georgia on a new Climate Law to help protect the environment and strengthen parliamentary process. I am delighted to help launch this process with so many distinguished partners - and WFD looks forward to help the next steps for a historic new law.” added Richard Graham.
Advancing Environmental Protection, Climate Change and Democratic Resilience in Georgia programme’s approach and actions are underpinned by the key principles of environmental democracy. This 3-year programme aims to enable sustainable change in environmental protection, climate resilience and democratic governance in Georgia. It supports various national and local stakeholders in the delivery of the new climate change and other green-focused legislation and policies, enhances the enabling environment in favour of low-carbon development alternatives and supports strengthening evidence-base in favour of these outcomes.