Objectives and links to political processes
The programme’s overall objective is for the EaP countries (Armenia, Azerbaijan, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine) to move towards a green economy by decoupling economic growth from environmental degradation and resource depletion. More specifically, the Programme aims to:
to mainstream sustainable consumption and production (SCP) into national development plans, legislation and regulatory framework with a view to provide a sound legal basis for future policy development, in line with the regional and international agreements and processes and consistently with existing EU acquis in the relevant policy areas;
to promote the use of the Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA) and Environmental Impact Assessment (EIA) as essential planning tools for an environmentally sustainable economic development;
to achieve a shift to green economy through the adaptation and adoption of sustainable consumption and production practices and techniques in selected economic sectors (manufacturing, agriculture, food production and processing, construction).
The programme responds to commitments made by countries, the European Union and international partners in several international forums: the Warsaw Eastern Partnership Summit, the Seventh “Environment for Europe” Ministerial Conference, and the Rio+20 Summit.
The expected results of the Programme are:
national legislation and sectoral regulatory frameworks are examined in depth and the presence or lack of elements that are relevant to SCP is assessed;
proposals for changes in national legislation and regulatory frameworks are formulated in order to provide stronger incentives for SCP and are achieved in those countries that have opted for implementing them;
measurable improvements in resource efficiency and environmental performance are achieved in selected economic sectors;
SEA and EIA are integrated into the national regulatory framework and are more regularly used in decision making;
public authorities' professional and institutional capacities to develop and implement policies to promote sustainable production and consumption are strengthened;
capacity development activities targeting private sector actors, including the domestic financial sector, are carried out.
Such results will be sought through an integrated approach which will combine policy reform; professional and institutional capacity building in government, economic sectors and financial markets; and support for enterprises to provide access to affordable financing and appropriate technology and management systems. Although EaP GREEN is a regional programme, many of its activities will be implemented nationally and the results shared in various regional forums. Both policy support and demonstration projects are envisaged.
Through a prior process of regional exchange of experience and views, the partner EaP countries agreed that SCP and green growth promotion more generally need a reinforced focus on implementation. They underlined that overcoming the relatively weak capacity of environmental ministries in the region and their extreme institutional instability will be a major challenge in pursuing these objectives in the EaP countries. At the same time, there was a wide consensus around the fact that the success of SCP and green growth promotion will highly depend upon the involvement of the non-environmental community, including ministries of economy and finance, line ministries, NGOs and the private sector, as well as broader considerations of the political economy of reform and mobilisation of finance for SCP-supportive investments.
The EaP GREEN Programme is structured around three components:
Component 1 - Governance and financing tools for promoting SCP
Component 1 aims to (a) support advancements in the relevant sectoral policies' regulatory framework as well as (b) to promote demand and supply of SCP of both the public and private sector. The first objective (a) will be carried out through a series of activities aiming to promote the integration of SCP into the national regulatory framework. This work mainly implies activities at policy level. Priority will be given to those elements that are in line with regional and international agreements as well as the parts of the EU acquis included in the Association Agreements negotiations. In countries where an Association Agreement is not planned to be signed in the near future, activities will be implemented along the lines proposed above but outside the Association Agreement framework. The second objective (b) will be supported through a series of demonstration projects which are to be implemented both in the field and at policy level in a number of selected economic sectors.
Component 2 - SEA and EIA: accompanying SCP policy implementation
Component 2 aims to support the integration of environmental considerations into the preparation and adoption of laws, policies, plans, programmes and projects by ensuring that environmental assessments are carried out for initiatives that are likely to have an impact on the environment, in line with the EU Directives on EIA and SEA as well as the Espoo Convention on Environmental Impact Assessment in a Transboundary Context and its Protocol on Strategic Environmental Assessment.
Component 3 - Demonstration Projects
A set of projects (regional or national with regional value or replication potential) intended to demonstrate the benefits of the work implemented under Components 1 and 2 is envisaged. They will be identified in co-operation with partner countries and could be implemented in relation to the introduction of a specific policy or policy instrument, on a sector basis or with a more specific territorial focus. The proposed sectors are: manufacturing, agriculture, food production and processing, and construction. The projects will target both demand and supply side of production and will include actions for stimulating public and private consumers' demand.
Responsibilities for implementation
Four partner organisations are responsible for different elements of the programme:
- OECD (Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) will serve as co-ordinator of the programme, and support the implementation of market-based approaches to promote green growth and the reform of environmentally-harmful subsidies, the greening of banks and small- and medium-sized enterprises, and the adoption of green growth indicators;
- UNECE (United Nations Economic Commission for Europe) will support the implementation of strategic environmental assessments and environmental impact assessments of national development activities;
- UNEP (United Nations Environmental Programme) will help mainstream sustainable production and consumption in national policies through strategic policy setting, as well as help countries implement sustainable public procurement and organic agriculture policies and practices;
- UNIDO (United Nations Industrial Development Organization) will assist private sector actors adopt resource efficient practices and cleaner production.
The OECD and UN Partners will provide analytical expertise and facilitate the process of policy reform in the EaP region. Regular information flow between the European Commission, the OECD, the UN Partners and the beneficiary countries will be ensured through the communication channels of the EaP Platform, the EU Delegations, as well as direct contacts with relevant actors in the beneficiary countries. EU Delegations will play a key role in supporting the Programme in the beneficiary countries, providing technical advice and ensuring coordination with ongoing activities in the relevant fields.
Stakeholder participation and governance
The programme is targeted at several actors, primarily government authorities in EaP countries who need to improve their policies and capacity in order to unleash the potential of the region to shift to a greener path of growth. Within this programme, various arms of the government will be involved, including ministries of environment and ministries of finance and economy, statistical offices and sectoral ministries. The private sector actors and the International Finance Institutions (IFIs), as well as the domestic banking sector will be important partners as well. This includes major development and commercial banks active in the region, such as the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), the European Investment Bank (EIB), KfW (Kreditanstalt für Wiederaufbau), the Asian Development Bank (ADB), and the World Bank.
Experts, government officers and environmental NGOs from the region will contribute with technical expertise and concrete policy and regulatory reform actions to the programme implementation. The programme will be implemented in close co-ordination with related domestic and international projects in the region.
A regional Steering Committee will oversee programme implementation. The Steering Committee will meet at least annually. National Focal Points will be designated by the beneficiary governments.
EaP GREEN: Greening economies in the European Union’s Eastern Partnership countries