Climate regulation in Moldova

Climate regulation in Moldova

Table of Contents

General Information

When describing climate regulation in Moldova, it is necessary to refer to the country’s actual data and the international climate agreements it has implemented. Moldova, with a population of approximately 2.59 million in 2022, makes a minimal contribution of only 0.03% to global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. It ranks among the regions with the lowest per capita footprint, at 4.4 t CO2e. In 2020, the primary sectors emitting GHGs were energy (excluding transport) at 51.5%, transport at 18.4%, waste at 11.5%, and agriculture at 11.3%. Over the 1990-2020 period, Moldova saw a substantial decrease of 69.8% in national direct GHG emissions (excluding LULUCF), dropping from 45.25 Mt CO2 equivalent in 1990 to 13.66 Mt CO2 equivalent in 2020. Including LULUCF, net direct GHG emissions decreased by 68.7% during the same period, from 43.59 Mt CO2 equivalent to 13.66 Mt CO2 equivalent.

Moldova has experienced significant climate changes, with temperatures rising by more than 1.2°C over the past 133 years and a slight increase of 51.3 mm in precipitation. These changes pose considerable risks and costs to Moldova, especially in vulnerable sectors like agriculture, human health, water resources, forestry, transport, and energy.

In its Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC2), Moldova has committed to more ambitious targets, aiming to reduce GHG emissions by 70% below 1990 levels by 2030, compared to the previous commitment of 64-67%. This contribution could be increased to 88% with international support for financial resources, technology transfer, and technical cooperation.

The landscape of climate projects with market mechanisms is currently shaped by a lack of specific national legislation governing their implementation. One notable area of development is the implementation of climate projects under The Joint Crediting Mechanism (JCM).

A number of climate projects are also being implemented in the Republic of Moldova without the use of market mechanisms, which can be found at the link.

Climate Regulation in Moldova: Mapping the Key Stages

2014

3rd National Communication submitted to UNFCCC

The National Communication is a report submitted by countries to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) every four years. This report serves two purposes:

  • Inventory Greenhouse Gases: Countries report their greenhouse gas emissions and removals. This helps track progress on reducing emissions.
  • Outline Climate Actions: Countries detail the steps they’ve taken or plan to take to mitigate climate change (reduce emissions) and adapt to its impacts.

The UNFCCC website has specific information on submissions from the Parties:

National Climate Change Adaptation Strategy until 2020 and the action plan to implement it entered into force 

By Decision no. 1009 of 10.12.2014 the Government of the Republic of Moldova has approved the Climate Change Adaptation Strategy for the period up to 2020 along with its Action Plan.

This strategic document aims to ensure that Moldova’s social and economic development can withstand the impacts of climate change in the coming years. Additionally, the Strategy aligns with global objectives set forth by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), to which Moldova is a Party.

Furthermore, the Strategy establishes a national framework to facilitate Moldova’s access to international support mechanisms for developing countries not listed in Annex 1 of the UNFCCC, which is provided by industrialized nations.

2015 

Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC or NDC1) 2016-2030 

Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs) were basically pledges made by countries outlining their efforts to address climate change. These pledges came before the Paris Agreement in 2015. INDCs served as a stepping stone for the current system, Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) which are submitted under the Paris Agreement.

The Republic of Moldova intends to achieve an economy-wide unconditional target of reducing its
greenhouse gas emissions by 64-67 per cent below its 1990 level in 2030 and to make best efforts
to reduce its emissions by 67 per cent.
The reduction commitment expressed above could be increased up to 78 per cent below 1990
level conditional to, a global agreement addressing important topics including low-cost financial
resources, technology transfer, and technical cooperation, accessible to all at a scale
commensurate to the challenge of global climate change.

COP21 Paris Agreement 

In 2015 the Paris Agreement was concluded and ratified by 190 countries a year later. The period of initial commitments began in 2020 with reviews of results every five years. The Agreement sets the following goals:

a) To hold the increase in global average temperature well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C, recognizing that this would significantly reduce the risks and impacts of climate change.

b) To increase the ability to adapt to adverse climate impacts and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas emissions development in a manner that does not threaten food production.

c) To align financial flows with a pathway towards low greenhouse gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

Pledge to Sustainable Development Agenda 2030

In September 2015, the Republic of Moldova, alongside with 192 Member States of the United Nations committed to implement the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. The Agenda through Sustainable Development Goal (SDG) 13 – “Take urgent action to combat climate change and its impacts” aims to address climate change through the following steps:

  1. Strengthen resilience and adaptive capacity to climate-related hazards and natural disasters in all countries.
  2. Integrate climate change measures into national policies, strategies, and planning.
  3. Improve education, awareness-raising, and human and institutional capacity on climate change mitigation, adaptation, impact reduction, and early warning.
  4. Implement the commitment undertaken by developed-country parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change to a goal of mobilizing jointly $100 billion annually by 2020 from all sources to address the needs of developing countries in the context of meaningful mitigation actions and transparency on implementation and fully operationalize the Green Climate Fund through its capitalization as soon as possible.
  5. Promote mechanisms for raising capacity for effective climate change-related planning and management in least developed countries and small island developing States, including focusing on women, youth, and local and marginalized communities. 

2016

The first Biennial Update Report BUR1 submitted to UNFCCC 

BURs are reports submitted by developing countries (non-Annex I Parties) to the UNFCCC. These reports provide updates on their actions to address climate change since their most recent National Communication.

What’s included in a BUR?

  • Updates on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals.
  • Information on actions taken by the country to reduce emissions (mitigation).
  • The needs and challenges the country faces in addressing climate change.
  • The support received from developed countries (Annex I Parties) for climate action.

How often are BURs submitted?

BURs are submitted every two years. There are two options for submission:

  • As a summary: If a country’s National Communication is due in the same year as the BUR, they can include a summary of the relevant information from the National Communication in the BUR.
  • As a standalone report: If the BUR submission year doesn’t coincide with the National Communication, a separate report is required.

Flexibility for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS):

LDCs and SIDS have the flexibility to submit BURs at their own pace, considering their capacity.

Benefits of BURs:

  • Enhance transparency and accountability for climate action by developing countries.
  • Track progress on emission reductions and adaptation efforts.
  • Facilitate support from developed countries for climate action in developing countries.

Resources:

The UNFCCC website provides more information on BURs, including submission guidelines and resources for Non-Annex I Parties

The Association Agreement between the European Union and the Republic of Moldova has entered into force

CHAPTER 17 CLIMATE ACTION 

Article 92

The Parties shall develop and strengthen their cooperation to combat climate change. Cooperation shall be conducted considering the interests of the Parties on the basis of equality and mutual benefit and taking into account the interdependence existing between bilateral and multilateral commitments in this field. 

Article 93

Cooperation shall promote measures at domestic, regional and international level including, in the areas of: 

  • (a) mitigation of climate change; 
  • (b) adaptation to climate change; 
  • (c) carbon trading; 
  • (d) research, development, demonstration, deployment and diffusion of safe and sustainable lowcarbon and adaptation technologies; 
  • (e) mainstreaming of climate considerations into sector policies; 
  • and (f) awareness raising, education and training. 

Article 94

The Parties shall, inter alia, exchange information and expertise; implement joint research activities and exchanges of information on cleaner technologies; implement joint activities at regional and international level, including with regard to multilateral environment agreements ratified by the Parties, and joint activities in the framework of relevant agencies, as appropriate. The Parties shall pay special attention to transboundary issues and regional cooperation. 

Article 95

The cooperation shall cover, among others, the development and implementation of: 

  • (a) an overall climate strategy and action plan for the long-term mitigation of and adaptation to climate change; 
  • (b) vulnerability and adaptation assessments; 
  • (c) a National strategy for adaptation to Climate Change; 
  • (d) a low-carbon development strategy; 
  • (e) long-term measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases; 
  • (f) measures to prepare for carbon trading; 
  • (g) measures to promote technology transfer on the basis of a technology needs assessment; 
  • (h) measures to mainstream climate considerations into sector policies; 
  • and EN 43 EN (i) measures related to ozone-depleting substances. 

Article 96

A regular dialogue will take place on the issues covered by this Chapter. 

Article 97

The Republic of Moldova shall carry out approximation of its legislation to the EU acts and international instruments referred to in Annex XII to this Agreement according to the provisions of that Annex.

2017 

Low Emission Development Strategy (LEDS) 2030 and Action Plan for its implementation entered into force

By the Government decision No. 1470 of 30.12.2016 the Low Emissions Development Strategy of the Republic of Moldova until 2030 and of the Action Plan for its implementation were approved.

This Strategy is a strategic document that is designed for the Republic of Moldova to adjust the direction of development towards a low-carbon economy and achieve the goals of the Intended Nationally Determined Contribution (INDC or NDC1) through green sustainable development based on the priorities of the socio-economic development of the country.

Ratification of Paris Agreement 

The law passed by the Moldovan Parliament on May 4th, 2017. The law officially approves (ratifies) the Paris Agreement, an international agreement on climate change adopted in December 2015. The law also assigns responsibilities:

  • The Moldovan Government must take actions to fulfill the agreement’s requirements.
  • The Ministry of Foreign Affairs and European Integration needs to prepare and send a document (instrument of ratification) confirming Moldova’s participation in the agreement.

2018 

4rd National Communication submitted to UNFCCC 

The National Communication is a report submitted by countries to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) every four years. This report serves two purposes:

  • Inventory Greenhouse Gases: Countries report their greenhouse gas emissions and removals. This helps track progress on reducing emissions.
  • Outline Climate Actions: Countries detail the steps they’ve taken or plan to take to mitigate climate change (reduce emissions) and adapt to its impacts.

The UNFCCC website has specific information on submissions from the Parties:

2019 

The second Biennial Update Report BUR2 submitted to UNFCCC (original submission: 27 Dec 2018)

BURs are reports submitted by developing countries (non-Annex I Parties) to the UNFCCC. These reports provide updates on their actions to address climate change since their most recent National Communication.

What’s included in a BUR?

  • Updates on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals.
  • Information on actions taken by the country to reduce emissions (mitigation).
  • The needs and challenges the country faces in addressing climate change.
  • The support received from developed countries (Annex I Parties) for climate action.

How often are BURs submitted?

BURs are submitted every two years. There are two options for submission:

  • As a summary: If a country’s National Communication is due in the same year as the BUR, they can include a summary of the relevant information from the National Communication in the BUR.
  • As a standalone report: If the BUR submission year doesn’t coincide with the National Communication, a separate report is required.

Flexibility for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS):

LDCs and SIDS have the flexibility to submit BURs at their own pace, considering their capacity.

Benefits of BURs:

  • Enhance transparency and accountability for climate action by developing countries.
  • Track progress on emission reductions and adaptation efforts.
  • Facilitate support from developed countries for climate action in developing countries.

Resources:

The UNFCCC website provides more information on BURs, including submission guidelines and resources for Non-Annex I Parties

National Measurement, Reporting and Verification (MRV) System set up 

In order to prevent double counting of GHG emissions, an appropriate robust national MRV system was put in place in 2019 through the Government Decision No. 1277 as of 26.12.2018. It covers GHG emissions counting from international bunkers and CDM projects as well, while delivering real and verified emission reduction

2020 

Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC2) (2021-2030)

Nationally determined contributions (NDCs) are central to the Paris Agreement’s core and its long-term objectives. They represent each country’s efforts to lower national emissions and adapt to climate change impacts. As per the Paris Agreement (Article 4, paragraph 2), every Party must outline, communicate, and update successive NDCs that they aim to fulfill. Parties are required to implement domestic measures to meet the goals set by these contributions.

In simpler terms, countries are asked to detail and share their climate actions after 2020, which collectively determine whether the Paris Agreement’s long-term aims are met. This includes reaching a global peak in greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions as soon as possible and then swiftly reducing emissions according to scientific recommendations, aiming for a balance between human-caused emissions and natural GHG removals by mid-century. It’s recognized that developing nations may take longer to peak emissions, and emission cuts are expected to align with fairness and sustainable development goals, including poverty eradication.

NDC submissions are made every five years to the UNFCCC secretariat, ensuring a gradual increase in ambition over time. Each new NDC is expected to surpass the previous one in ambition, reflecting the highest feasible level of commitment. Parties are due to submit their next or updated NDCs by 2020 and subsequently every five years (e.g., by 2020, 2025, 2030), irrespective of their specific implementation schedules. Additionally, Parties have the flexibility to adjust their existing NDCs to enhance ambition levels whenever necessary (Article 4, paragraph 11).

The Republic of Moldova new economy-wide unconditional target is to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 70 per cent below its 1990 level in 2030, instead of 64-67 per cent as committed in INDC (NDC1).
As to the new economy-wide conditional target, instead of 78 per cent as committed in INDC (NDC1), the reduction commitment expressed above could be increased in NDC2 up to 88 per cent below 1990 level, provided a global agreement addressing important topics including low-cost financial resources, technology transfer, and technical cooperation, accessible to all at a scale commensurate to the challenge of global climate change, is insured.

2021 

The third Biennial Update Report BUR3 submitted to UNFCCC 

BURs are reports submitted by developing countries (non-Annex I Parties) to the UNFCCC. These reports provide updates on their actions to address climate change since their most recent National Communication.

What’s included in a BUR?

  • Updates on greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions and removals.
  • Information on actions taken by the country to reduce emissions (mitigation).
  • The needs and challenges the country faces in addressing climate change.
  • The support received from developed countries (Annex I Parties) for climate action.

How often are BURs submitted?

BURs are submitted every two years. There are two options for submission:

  • As a summary: If a country’s National Communication is due in the same year as the BUR, they can include a summary of the relevant information from the National Communication in the BUR.
  • As a standalone report: If the BUR submission year doesn’t coincide with the National Communication, a separate report is required.

Flexibility for Least Developed Countries (LDCs) and Small Island Developing States (SIDS):

LDCs and SIDS have the flexibility to submit BURs at their own pace, considering their capacity.

Benefits of BURs:

  • Enhance transparency and accountability for climate action by developing countries.
  • Track progress on emission reductions and adaptation efforts.
  • Facilitate support from developed countries for climate action in developing countries.

Resources:

The UNFCCC website provides more information on BURs, including submission guidelines and resources for Non-Annex I Parties

Revision of the existing monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV) system in accordance with the Enhanced Transparency System (ETF) of the Paris Agreement

Under the Enhanced Transparency Framework of the Paris Agreement, Parties are obligated to submit biennial transparency reports (BTR) every two years, with the initial report due by 31 December 2024. As outlined in the modalities, procedures, and guidelines (MPGs) for this framework (as an annex to decision 18/CMA.1), BTRs encompass details on national inventory reports (NIR), progress towards Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), policies and actions taken, impacts and adaptations related to climate change, levels of financial and technological support, and capacity-building efforts, including identified needs and areas for enhancement. Small Islands Developing States (SIDS) and Least Developed Countries (LDCs) have the option to provide the information required for BTRs as they see fit.

2022 

National Development Strategy “European Moldova 2030”

The National Development Strategy “European Moldova 2030” (NDS) describes the short, medium and long-term strategic development vision of the country synchronizing the priorities, objectives, indicators and targets of international commitments taken by the Republic of Moldova, including the ones set in the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development, to the national context.

Overall NDS goal 10. Ensuring a healthy and safe environment.

Goal 10.4 Active transition to a green and closed-loop economy In line with sustainable development commitments by 2030, the strategic goal of ensuring resilience to climate change by reducing the risks associated with climate change (SDG 13.1)

Moldova was granted EU candidate status

The European Council has decided to grant the status of candidate country to the Republic of Moldova. The European Commission is invited to report to the Council on the fulfilment of the conditions specified in the Commission’s opinions on the respective membership applications as part of its regular enlargement package. The Council will decide on further steps once all these conditions are fully met. The progress of the country towards the European Union will depend on its own merit in meeting the Copenhagen criteria, taking into consideration the EU’s capacity to absorb new members.

2023

The National Climate Change Adaptation Programme until 2030 and action plan for its implementation entered into force

By the Government decision No. 624 of 30.08.2023 the Low Emissions Development Program of the Republic of Moldova until 2030 and of the Action Plan for its implementation were approved.

Since 2013, the Republic of Moldova has joined the national Climate change Adaptation planning Process (hereinafter – NPA) in accordance with the Cancun Framework for Adaptation, approved at the 16th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change since 2010. The NPA is a long-term process aimed at achieving resilience to climate change for sustainable socio-economic development of the country. The NPA is aimed at creating a favorable environment for coordinated and effective adaptation actions by taking climate risks into account in the process of investment decision-making and business planning, while maintaining social and gender inclusiveness.

F-gases Law entered into force

The EU-Moldova Association Agreement incorporates the necessity to regulate emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases (F gases). The law is crafted to address climate change and environmental protection by diminishing emissions of fluorinated greenhouse gases and implementing measures to prevent their release throughout their life cycle. This includes a gradual reduction in the import and consumption of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs). The Republic of Moldova is progressively adopting natural cooling agents, aiming to phase out fluorinated gases by 2050.

5th National Communication submitted to UNFCCC

The National Communication is a report submitted by countries to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) every four years. This report serves two purposes:

  • Inventory Greenhouse Gases: Countries report their greenhouse gas emissions and removals. This helps track progress on reducing emissions.
  • Outline Climate Actions: Countries detail the steps they’ve taken or plan to take to mitigate climate change (reduce emissions) and adapt to its impacts.

The UNFCCC website has specific information on submissions from the Parties:

Ministry of Energy set up

The Ministry performs its functions in the following areas:

  • Energy security
  • Energetic efficiency
  • Renewable energy sources
  • Electricity
  • Thermal energy and the promotion of high-efficiency cogeneration
  • Natural gas and petroleum products
  • Energy transition

2024

The Low Emission Development Programme (LEDP) until 2030 and action plan for its implementation entered into force

By the Government decision No. 659 of 06.09.2023 the Low Emissions Development Strategy of the Republic of Moldova until 2030 and of the Action Plan for its implementation were approved.

This Strategy is a strategic document that is designed for the Republic of Moldova to adjust the direction of development towards a low-carbon economy and achieve the goals of the Updated Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC 2) through green sustainable development based on the priorities of the socio-economic development of the country.

National energy and climate plan underwent public consultation

A Government decree has been adopted on the implementation and operation of the carbon compensation and reduction System for international Aviation (CORSIA)

The Carbon Offsetting and Reduction Scheme for International Aviation (CORSIA), introduced by the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) in 2016, aims to achieve carbon-neutral growth in the sector from 2020 onwards.

CORSIA is the first mandatory carbon pricing scheme for a specific industry. It works in phases, with the pilot phase ending in 2023 and the first phase kicking off in 2024. While the pilot and first phase were voluntary for governments (ICAO member states), airlines operating on routes between participating states had to comply. Compliance becomes mandatory for all flights in the second phase, starting in 2027. In 2032, a review of CORSIA will take place to determine the further track of the scheme.

Airlines can achieve carbon-neutral growth through a combination of strategies:

  • Improved efficiency: This includes measures like developing more fuel-efficient aircraft and optimizing operations to reduce fuel burn.
  • Sustainable aviation fuels: Replacing traditional jet fuel with sustainable alternatives derived from renewable sources.
  • Carbon offsetting: Airlines can purchase CORSIA-eligible carbon credits to compensate for their emissions.

ICAO, with recommendations from the Technical Advisory Body (TAB), determines which carbon credits qualify for CORSIA compliance.

CORSIA aligns with the Paris Agreement’s goals for emissions reduction. Corresponding adjustments ensure the environmental integrity of the Paris Agreement. Simply put, for post-2021 emission reductions used for CORSIA compliance, there needs to be an adjustment made in the country where the reduction is generated.

CORSIA presents both challenges and opportunities for airlines. The need to invest in efficiency and sustainable fuels will require adaptation. However, CORSIA also creates a market for carbon offsetting, offering new revenue streams for businesses involved in carbon reduction projects.

The Law on Climate Action was passed

Goal: Achieving climate neutrality by 2050 through reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.

Main Principles:

  • Fair and sustainable emission reductions
  • Pollution prevention
  • Precaution
  • Polluter pays
  • Just transition
  • Shared commitments
  • Transparency

Key Points:

  • The law establishes a regulatory framework to achieve climate goals.
  • Greenhouse gas emission reduction targets are defined.
  • Climate change adaptation is an essential process.
  • A financial mechanism for CO2 emission pricing is introduced.
  • A system for monitoring and reporting greenhouse gas emissions is implemented.

The decision on the establishment of the national Commission on climate change has been approved

The National Climate Change Commission is a non-legal interdepartmental body created at the governmental level.

Goals and Objectives of the Commission

  • Facilitate dialogue and coordination between economic sectors in the process of planning, developing, coordinating, implementing, and monitoring climate change policies and actions.
  • Stimulate the inclusion of climate change measures in the socio-economic development programmatic documents at the national and sectoral levels.
  • Coordinate the allocation of financial resources from national and international sources for the implementation of climate actions.
  • Ensure transparency in the implementation of climate programs and actions.

The Commission includes key ministers: the Minister of Environment, the Minister of Finance, the Minister of Energy, the Minister of Infrastructure and Regional Development, the Minister of Agriculture and Food Industry, the Minister of Health, the Minister of Labor and Social Protection, the Minister of Education and Research, and the Minister of Internal Affairs under the aegis of the Prime Minister. The composition is approved by the Government.

Powers and Rights of the Commission

The Commission is endowed with broad powers, including the coordination of the development and integration of climate change policies, ensuring the alignment of sectoral commitments, facilitating budget planning, and approving methodologies and guidelines. The Commission also interacts with international structures and development partners.

Working Bodies of the Commission

  • Executive Bureau: Consists of ministers.
  • Secretariat: Representatives from the Climate Change Policy Department of the Ministry of Environment.
  • Sectoral Working Groups: Groups focused on agriculture, water resources, forestry, health, energy, transport, waste, industrial processes, and disaster risk management.

The Commission meets regularly to discuss and coordinate current issues and tasks. Key aspects of organizing meetings include:

  • Meeting Frequency: The Commission holds regular meetings at least once a quarter. Extraordinary meetings can be organized if necessary.
  • Agenda: The agenda for each meeting is formed by the Secretariat based on proposals from the Commission members and approved by the Chairman.
  • Attendance and Quorum: More than half of the Commission members must be present to make decisions. Decisions are made by majority vote.
  • Documentation: All meetings are recorded, and the decisions and recommendations of the Commission are published on the official website to ensure transparency and inform the public.

The draft resolution on the Environmental Strategy for 2024-2030 has been approved

Program for Promoting the Green and Circular Economy in the Republic of Moldova for the Period 2024 – 2028 been adopted