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Georgia is vulnerable to climate change

By Gvantsa Gabekhadze
Wednesday, September 30
The Prime Minister of Georgia, Irakli Garibashvili, delivered a speech at Interactive Dialogue Protecting our Planet and Combating Climate Change on September 28 in the frame of the 70th session of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) in the United States.

During his speech, the PM touched upon the global problems and the situation in Georgia in this regard.

He stressed that because of Georgia’s unique geographical location and varied climate, Georgia is extremely vulnerable to climate change.

“This summer, Tbilisi, our capital city, suffered severe flooding which had a drastic impact on human lives and infrastructure. The tragedy has become an additional driver for us to tackle climate change with redoubled vigour,” the PM said.

Garibashvili stated that his government was boosting investments in low-carbon technologies throughout Georgia, which would reduce the vulnerability of highly exposed communities.

“Georgia is therefore taking steps to integrate climate risk and resilience into core development planning and implementation,” he said.

He also said that Georgia started in 2013 the elaboration of the Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) with the support of the US government.

“Furthermore, Georgia is committed to develop and adopt the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions (NAMA) and Reduce Emissions from Deforestation and Forest Degradation (REDD).”

“Georgia supports green economic development by promoting modern environmental technologies, developing clean transport services and ensuring the transfer to Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP).”

He stressed that Georgia planned to unconditionally reduce its Greenhouse Gas Emission (GHG) emissions by 15% below the Business As Usual scenario (BAU) for the year 2030.

“But we need international support. Access to finances that allows Georgia to invest in new technologies to substantially limit GHG emissions is crucial for us,” he said.

Meanwhile Georgia’s green movements frequently accuse the current Government of Georgia of ignoring ecological and environmental issues.

They stress that the Government is focused on generating money and attracting investments while Georgia’s green space is being sacrificed to the business interests.

They are also against the construction of big Hydro Power Stations in which the current Government of Georgia is especially interested, saying that they are necessary for the country’s energy security.