Brussels, 16 December 2021
Working Group 3 recommendations on EaP post 2020 priorities on environment and climate
The EaP CSF Working Group 3 on environment, climate change and energy security welcomes and supports the recently published EaP CSF position paper on the Joint Staff Working Document (JSWD), ‘Recovery, resilience and reform: post-2020 Eastern Partnership priorities’ as well as the results of the 6th EaP Summit.
EaP CSF WG3 members would like to raise some specific recommendations on how to facilitate full and effective implementation of the post-2020 environmental and climate change priorities in EaP countries.
The current climate, green growth, environmental and sustainable development policies, and legislation in the EaP region are either underdeveloped or poorly implemented and enforced. National institutional capacity, knowledge, and resources are highly insufficient. The continuous EU assistance is welcomed and would support speeding up necessary policy reforms on environmental, climate, energy and green transition reforms.
To improve the environmental governance in EaP countries, WG3 members recommend working on reducing air pollution through better legislation. Sustainable transport and energy efficiency should be highlighted as great means to improve air pollution. Moreover, national institutions should actively cooperate with civil society to raise awareness on environmental issues within EaP societies.
The EaP countries should be encouraged to participate in the implementation of the European Green Deal, to adapt their policies in accordance with the European ones approved for the implementation of the European Green Deal. Green deal for all could be promoted as a flagship initiative to engage citizens and other stakeholders to transition to a climate-neutral economy and accelerate green growth in all EaP countries.
Furthermore, good governance in the areas of environment, climate change and energy, based on a transparent and inclusive decision-making process, should be one of the requirements of financial, economic and sectoral support to the EaP countries.
Regarding biodiversity, more attention is to be given to the effective implementation of the ecosystem approach in all EaP countries, mapping and assessing ecosystem services, restoration of ecosystems, and adaptation to climate change.
Ensuring energy security should be a main objective in EaP countries. To achieve this, countries need to reduce energy import-dependency, diversify energy supply sources and routes, increase the flexibility, security and resilience of critical energy systems and infrastructure, and develop renewable, energy efficient alternative technologies, including green hydrogen by 2030.
In addition, the need to develop sustainable urban mobility plans (SUMPs) for cities is evident and important in the context of the pandemic, which affected the EaP countries’ transport systems. Decision makers at the national and local level should cooperate closely together, working in synergy with international and non-governmental organisations to strengthen the resilience of the urban transport system, adopting protocols and frameworks for the development of multimodal transport, land-use planning and non-motorised transport modes. The EaP governments in particular should simplify procedures, update standards and facilitate the coherent development of urban mobility across their countries.