Supporting environmental democracy in Georgia


Supporting environmental democracy in Georgia

WFD supported the parliament and the government in the preparation of its climate law through an unprecedented process of transparent, public consultation.
A woman speaks into a microphone at a panel event. In the background are an image of mountains and Georgian flags

In 2018-19, WFD supported the Georgian parliament to establish the practice of holding thematic inquiries and to conduct post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) with an environmental focus, with the overall intention of improving the legislature’s oversight function

WFD provided assistance to the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee (EPNRC) of the Georgian parliament to inquiries on ambient air pollution and municipal waste management as well as assess the effectiveness of existing regulations concerning electric vehicles.

Through these processes, WFD has also helped to improve the participation of citizens in environmental decision-making by supporting parliament to produce recommendations based on well-structured, transparent, and solution-oriented collaboration with civil society organisations (CSOs) and individual citizens, in addition to other stakeholders, such as government and the private sector.

Building on this experience, since 2021 WFD has been accompanying the Environmental Protection and Natural Resources Committee (EPNRC) of the Georgian parliament in the preparation and eventual adoption of a national Climate Change Act, in close cooperation with the Executive. The preparation is currently progressing as an ambitious and innovative democratic process which is raising the bar of transparency and participation in Georgia: this is the first time that a national consultation process hinges on the publication of a Green and a White Paper as the basis for a consolidated Bill. The Green Paper has also been presented at several townhall events throughout the country, bringing it as close as possible to ordinary citizens beyond Tbilisi.

The Act is expected to provide for mechanisms for an effective climate governance, including whole-of-parliament involvement, reflecting the cross-sectoral nature of climate objectives. Also, the law is expected to provide a legal basis for ongoing, meaningful participation of citizens in climate decision-making, essential to keep ambitious climate action depoliticised, legitimate, and enforceable, in line with current best international practice. The climate change law process is accompanied by thematic inquiries on decarbonisation and sustainable urban mobility. In parallel, WFD has been providing professional development training on climate and environmental challenges and advocacy to local media and CSOs