Europe and Eurasia's leadership on LEDS
Case StudyThe European Union Emissions Trading System (EU ETS)
The EU ETS was established in 2003 by a Directive of the European Parliament and the European Council, and came into operation in 2005. It is the cornerstone of EU policy towards combatting climate change by reducing GHG emissions cost-effectively. It is the first multinational cap-and-trade system at the level of installations and covers 45% of GHG emissions of the EU. It covers 31 countries which, in total, account for 20% of global gross domestic product (GDP) (EDF et al. 2015).
The main objective of the EU ETS is to help EU Member States meet their commitments under the Kyoto Protocol to limit or reduce GHG emissions in a cost-effective way. The system does this by capping the overall level of emissions across EU Member States and permitting the trade of emissions allowances. Each allowance gives the emitter the right to emit 1 tonne of CO 2 or an equivalent amount of any other GHGs. The ETS, in contrast to traditional ‘command and control’ regulation, allows the market to identify the most cost-effective emission reductions.
Case StudyDeveloping municipal level mitigation action plans
Georgia, a country with 4.5 million inhabitants, is currently developing a national low emission development strategy. At the local level, Covenant of Mayor signatory cities are planning to make significant contributions to this strategy and Georgia’s national mitigation efforts. Of the seven current signatories to the EU Covenant of Mayors (CoM) in Georgia, four have already submitted and have begun implementing Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP). The SEAPs outline plans to achieve the commitment outlined in the CoM to reach GHG emission reductions of at least 20% by 2020.
The development of the SEAPs involved a variety of stakeholders, including local and national public sector, private actors, international donors and experts. A variety of barriers were faced, including a lack of data (and access to existing data), difficulty engaging the private sector, political issues, capacity constraints, definition of baselines, adapting an EU process to a transition country context, donor coordination, national and local level coordination, and limited financial resources.
Critical to the success of the development of the SEAPS were political commitment on national and local level, international financial support, technical assistance to local level & national coordinators, access to funds, motivated personnel and capacity building programs externally financed by the CoM.
Case StudyGeorgia's electricity market model
Georgia is making strides toward low emission sustainable economic development. The country’s long-term (20-year) climate objectives, as laid out in the 2010 National Environmental Action Plan (NEAP) of Georgia, include implementing measures for adaptation to climate change and reducing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
Through the EC-LEDS program, Georgia and the United States are working together to plan and manage Georgia’s economic development for a lower GHG emissions trajectory, focusing on the development and implementation of clean energy solutions at both national and subnational levels.
Georgia’s Ministry of Energy, with technical support from U.S. energy experts, is working to improve its national energy security by promoting investments in new hydropower plants and establishing an energy trading mechanism (ETM) through the implementation of the Georgia Electricity Market Model of 2015. The ETM provides the structural, technical, legal, contractual, and regulatory framework required to attract private investment and support regional electricity markets and trading.
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