BAKU, 15 April 2019 – A new regional EU4Climate project financed by the European Union kicked off in Baku today putting multistakeholder partnerships at the forefront of effective climate change action in countries of the Eastern Partnership (EaP) region.
The initiative, which was launched in response to the direct and existential threat of climate change, aims at supporting the six Eastern Partnership (EaP) countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Republic of Moldova, and Ukraine) to develop and implement climate-related policies based on the countries’ commitments under the 2015 Paris Agreement on Climate Change, the Association and Partnership Agreements with the EU, the Eastern Partnership policy initiative “20 Deliverables for 2020,” (in particular the climate-related Deliverables 15 and 16) and the UN 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development (in particular SDG 13 on “Climate Action”). The project is funded by the European Union and implemented by the United Nations Development Programme.
The national launch of the regional project today offered an opportunity for government officials and the representatives of various stakeholder groups to discuss priorities and next steps for “EU4Climate” implementation in Azerbaijan until 2022.
Speaking at the opening of the EU4Climate project, Ms. Simona Gatti, Minister-Counsellor/Head of Cooperation at the European Union Delegation to Azerbaijan noted: “EU4Climate demonstrates the strategic partnership of the European Union with the Government of Azerbaijan in order to jointly take an action against climate change. It will support the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and improve climate policy and legislation in line with the European Union and international standards”.
The new initiative is tapping on a number of climate-related challenges facing the countries of the Eastern Partnership region, from water and energy shortage to energy intensity and inefficiency resulting from overreliance of some countries on fossil fuels for domestic energy consumption demand. Climate change makes urban and rural communities more vulnerable, while putting more financial burden on national governments.
“As the largest implementer of climate action in the UN System, UNDP works with countries around the world to turn their climate goals into action,” – UNDP Resident Representative a.i., Mr. Alessandro Fracassetti said. ”In Azerbaijan, UNDP has been successfully partnering with the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources for many years on a number of projects tackling environmental sustainability and climate change. I particularly welcome the financial support of the EU which will help Azerbaijan in building a more robust climate change mitigation and adaptation policies and practices”
The regional project will be financed by the European Union with EUR 8.8 million. In Azerbaijan, EU funds of around EUR 830,000 will go towards the implementation of nationally important climate change policies and practices.
The EU4Climate aims to build –for the first time in Azerbaijan – national capacities to integrate low-emission and climate-resilient actions into national development plans as well as align climate change legislation with EU standards. Long-term low greenhouse gas emission strategies will be developed as part of this initiative with a forward-looking vision to serve the climate action agenda in all six EaP countries till 2050. The project will establish concrete industry-specific guidelines for the implementation of the Paris Agreement across various sectors of the economy, including agriculture, construction and energy in each partner country.
In all six countries, the project will contribute to accelerating the achievement of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its 17 accompanying Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs). Specifically, the project will directly support the implementation of SDG 13: Climate Action. Indirectly, EU4Climate will contribute to the achievement of other SDGs related to poverty, food and water security, urban and rural resilience, gender equality, affordable and clean energy, responsible production and consumption and strengthening partnerships for development.
The EU4Climate project will also build upon the results and lessons learnt from previously implemented ClimaEast Programme, which received substantial funding from the EU in 2013-2017 and supported climate change mitigation and adaptation in the EU Neighbours East countries –including Azerbaijan –as well as Russia.