On 23 September, the National Press Centre of the Republic of Belarus hosted a press-conference on the occasion of Climate Action Summit opening and implementation of the national plan to combat climate change in accordance with the Paris Agreement.
UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus Joanna Kazana-Wisniowiecki, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus Alexander Korbut, and the member of inter-agency task force for climate change and expert of international environmental programs Alexander Grebenkov took part in the event.
During her address, UN Resident Coordinator in Belarus called global climate change the battle of our lives that we can and must win; however to limit global warming we need to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 45% by 2030 and to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050.
Ms. Kazana-Wisniowiecki spoke with deep satisfaction of the Belarusian Government’s commitment to green growth and sustainable development of the country in accordance with the National Sustainable Development Strategy of the Republic of Belarus till 2030. At the same time, through the work of the United Nations Development Programme in Belarus various projects with a budget of more than 20 million dollars aimed at combating climate change in Belarus have been implemented.
Deputy Minister of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection of the Republic of Belarus reminded that Belarus became a party to the Paris Agreement on September 20, 2016, i.e. was the first one among CIS states and the 30rd one in the world. Pursuant to the obligations under the Paris Agreement, the Government of Belarus approved a plan of actions to implement the provisions of the Paris Agreement and the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. One of solutions contributing to country’s transition to carbon neutrality is transition from hydrocarbon-fuelled vehicles to electric transport.
“Belarus decided to develop electric transport as the national priority and a number of normative legal acts have been adopted to regulate this sphere. A complex program of electrification of all public transport in big cities is being developed,” - said Alexander Korbut.
Deputy Minister noted that Belarus can act as a coordinator and supplier of electric transport infrastructure in the region and also share its knowledge and experience with the neighbouring countries, and mobilize partners and investments for electric transport production.
The member of inter-agency climate task force on climate change Alexander Grebenkov expressed regret over the growth of carbon emissions at a speed of 3,5% a year during the last decade.
Climate change can seriously impact agricultural sector of Belarus. Belarus is a large manufacturer and supplier of agricultural production. On the one hand, warm and vegetation periods expanded as a result of climate change and a new agroclimatic area evolved in Polesie; on the other, the harvests of major agricultural crop became less stable.
Climate change influences the situation and productivity of forests that cover 39% of land area of Belarus. Reduction of conifer forests and expansion of mixed and leafed forests and forest steppe is projected.
Climate Action Summit for the world leaders, members of governments, representatives of financial sector, business, and civil society opened on September 23, 2019 to facilitate the Paris Agreement and higher ambition and implementation of measures against climate change.