Energy and Environmental Protection in Georgia Main Aspects - საერთაშორისო გამჭვირვალობა - საქართველო

Energy and Environmental Protection in Georgia Main Aspects

11 January, 2010

After scientists ascertained that the technogenic influence by humans on the environment causes climate change, developed countries began devoting special attention to the issue of environmental protection. Global warming will cause floods, storms, droughts, and desertification. To avert the results of these natural disasters will cost the developed part of the world approximately 20% of its GDP by the year of 2050, unless it implements severe environmental protection policy today. Such is the main conclusion of the Kyoto Protocol Intergovernmental Expert Group Report No IV which was published in 2007. This report was prepared under the leadership of Nicolas Stern, adviser of the British Chancellor on economic issues. The countries of the European Union have established quite strict environmental standards. Compliance with these standards is controlled and monitored by different state institutions. Globally, electricity generation produces the major part of emissions (44%), followed by transportation (20%), industry (18%), and household and service (17%). Accordingly, in terms of environmental protection, the European Union most strictly regulates energy and transportation. Though environmental protection is not a priority of the Georgian state, but certain attention towards this issue can already be observed. The Georgian authorities justify the lack of due attention to the environment by the fact that after the disintegration of the Soviet Union and ensuing collapse of the economy Georgia produces fewer emissions compared with 1990 and therefore has no obligation to reduce emissions under the Kyoto Protocol. Thus to introduce modern environmental standards - and what’s more important – to implement these standards is not viewed as an immediate and imperative task. Accordingly, it should be no surprise that Georgia’s environmental protection legislation does not comply with modern environmental protection standards and criteria. In addition, there are no mechanisms for implementing this legislation, neither the mechanism to monitor whether the companies responsible for negative impact on the environment comply with the obligations they have undertaken under the current legislation. Public participation in discussions about environmental protection issues is minimal and the subsequent influence on the decision making process is limited. The evaluation of the environmental impact in Georgia is conditional and is mainly based on the information obtained from the companies and industrial units that have negative impact on the environment as a result of their activities. The absence of monitoring mechanisms makes it impossible to control how these companies fulfill their environmental obligations under the existing legislation. As a result, there are many questions regarding how reliable are the data on environmental impact, and the amount and types of emissions. In Georgia, as well as in the whole world, in terms of negative impact on the environment energy (35%) and transportation (11%) are the largest sources of emissions. But again because of the lack of modern evaluation criteria and the absence of independent laboratories, these data can only be estimates.