Georgia with a territory of 69,700 square kilometers, is located at the crossroads of Western Asia and Eastern Europe, bordered by the Black Sea from west, to the north by Russia, to the south by Turkey and Armenia, and to the southeast by Azerbaijan. It plays an important role in the Caucasus region because of its geopolitical location, is the transportation hub for the South Caucasus region (Georgia, Armenia, and Azerbaijan) and Central Asia (Kazakhstan, Uzbekistan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Turkmenistan) providing the routs to Russia, Turkey and Europe via the Black Sea.
According to the National Statistics Office of Georgia, the population in 2015 was 3,730 thousand. The country had a nominal GDP per capita of 3,676 USD in 2014, which was worth 16,508 million USD. Between 2010-2013 the largest contributions to the real GDP growth, with compound annual growth rates, the following sectors have contributed: Manufacturing (11.7%), Trade (5.9%), Transport (5.7%), Agriculture (5.2%) and Construction (3.2%).
Georgia contributed with 0.03 % of the global GHG emission, which was 16,679 Gg CO2eq in 2013, or about 35% of 1990 emissions level (47,187 Gg CO2eq). The decrease of the national GHG emission was due to the Soviet collapse affecting the country’s economic system. According to the INDC, Georgia plans to unconditionally reduce its GHG emissions by 15% below the Business as Usual scenario (BAU) by 2030 and this 15% can be increased up to 25% if the country can have access to low-cost financial resources and technology.
The energy and transport sector
Georgia’s energy sector is one of the biggest contributors to the total GHG emissions of the country (54.7% of total emission share in 2011). Energy consumption increased by 38% during 2010-2014. The main sources of energy are natural gas, oil products, hydro, firewood and coal. The Residential sector is the biggest consumer of energy (41%) followed by the transport (27%) and industry sectors (18%). The residential sector consumes mainly natural gas and biofuel (for heating and cooking), and electricity.
In 2013, GHG emissions from the energy sector amounted 9,386 thousand tons of CO2 equivalent, which is about 56% of Georgia’s total GHG emission (excluding LULUCF). It is considerably lower compared to the contribution of this sector in 1990 (78%). Compared to 1990 when the contribution of this sector was 78%, the total sectoral GHG emission decreased four times. The reason for this decrease in the 90’s is due to the breakup of the Soviet Union and fundamental changes in the economy of the country, however the national economy started increasing after 2000. Within the energy sectoral emissions, a large share of emissions is due to fuel combustion (80% in 2013) and the remaining 20% is due to fugitive emissions, which is high compared to other countries.
List of applicable technologies for mitigation measures in Georgia:
- Coal – pulverized bed combustion;
- Integrated gasification;
- Natural Gas Combined Cycle Plants;
- Wind – onshore –large and small scale;
- Coal mine/bed methane recovery;
- Hydro – Pumped storage;
- Solar power and solar heat;
- Use of Geothermal water;
Residential and Office buildings:
- Insulation in buildings;
- Geothermal heat pumps for space heating and cooling and water heating;
- CHP – small scale;
- Building energy management systems;
- Use of air conditioning split systems for heating;
- Efficient lighting;
- Efficient construction;
- Electric vehicles, hybrid cars, Plug-in hybrids, electric scooters;
- Regenerative breaking in trains and metro;
- Electric public transport: tram, trolley, metro extension;
Renewable energy development is one of the main priorities of the Georgian energy sector. There is a significant potential for hydro, wind, solar, geothermal, and biomass. The share of renewable energy in Georgia’s energy balance in 2014 including big hydro power plants (HPP), was approximately 27%.
The industrial sector is one of the main producers of GHG emission. In 2011 GHG emissions from industry constituted about 28% of country GHG emissions, including non-energy emissions (15%) and energy related emissions (13%). The main source of GHG emissions is the production of cement, chemicals, steel and iron, ferroalloys and other industries such as paper, drinks and food production, consumption and production of halocarbons.
In 2011 emissions from the industrial processes sector was 22.7% of the total GHG emissions, with 32% less than in 1990, but increased by 23,8% in comparison with 2000. Between 1990 - 1995, the emissions fall back in this sector too due to the Soviet Union collapse. After 1995 the sector has started to develop and in line with this, emissions have gradually increased too. In 2013 the sectoral emissions were estimated at 3008.2 Gg CO2 eq., which compared to 2010 emissions, meant an 82% increase. The increasing trend is attributable to increase in production in Lime and Cement manufacture.
Mitigation measures in industry sector:
- Conversion of wet-cement process to dry cement process;
- Energy saving activities at metal manufacturers;
- Improved boilers and steam/ hot water distribution systems;
- Attention to motors, fans, pumps, compressors;
- Energy efficient refrigeration systems;
- LED lighting Nationwide;
Agriculture presents one of the most important and traditional sectors in Georgia (9.3% of GDP composition in 2013). After the collapse of the Soviet Union, the share of the agricultural sectoral emissions was gradually increasing. It was maintaining the second place in total emissions from 2000 to 2005 when it reached the peak with 3 460 Gg of CO2eq. In 2011 the share of the agricultural sector was 15.2% of the total GHG emissions and about 16% in 2013 (excluding LULUCF).
Main sources of GHG from this sector are coming from enteric fermentation, manure management, agricultural soils and field burning of agricultural residues. The main shares come from enteric fermentation with the largest source of methane emissions (53.9-57.6%) and agricultural soils with large nitrous oxide emissions (42.4-41.6%).
Some of the adaptation measures in the agricultural sector are:
- development of emergency response plans for agriculture dealing with droughts, floods, etc.
- introduction of innovative irrigation management and water application techniques implementation of various site specific anti-erosion measures;
- establishment of information centers for farmers that provides guidance on adaptive management of agriculture;
Currently, there is no acceptable state inventory system for waste in Georgia. Waste management (municipal solid waste and waste water treatment) is an important environmental challenge especially in the cities.
The GHG emissions in the waste sector are coming from solid waste disposal, wastewater handling, waste incineration and other waste. Emission from the waste sector was 8% of total emissions in 2011. Comparing with the base year, 1990, emissions in this sector were 8% less in 2011 and 9% more than in 2000. In 2013 GHG emissions was about 1,265 Gg CO2 eq. (8% of total national emissions), from which solid waste disposal sites counted for 5.2% and domestic waste water handling for 1.4%. The main GHG emitter of this sector is methane which share was 95.3% in 2011 while share of nitrous oxide was 4.7% in the same year. The biggest part of the emissions in this sector comes from the solid waste management (around 75%).
Mitigation measures in Waste sector:
- Agreed amounts of degradable waste (paper) in four big cities should be recycled (70% of paper by 2030);
- Agreed amounts of food and wood (yard waste) should be composted (30% of food and wood by 2030);
- Reducing the amount of solid waste disposed (up to 101.000 t by 2030);
- Methane capture at landfills;
- Wastewater treatment (Anaerobic biological digestion);
Three main subsectors in LULUCF are forest lands, arable lands and grassland-pastures. Over a 20 years period, from 1992 to 2011, 87 000 Gg of carbon dioxide emissions were generated in this sector, while 146 576 Gg were absorbed. Therefore, this sector still remains the source of CO2 removals.
Mitigation measures in LULUCF sector:
- Reforestation measures, sustainable management and preservation of forest;
- Increased carbon sequestration in existing woodlands and carbon storage;
- Forest fires’ prevention and prompt response;
- Assessment of available wetland resources, their management and preservation;
- Support for Protected Areas in Georgia to preserve natural landscape;
- Activities to prevent soil erosion, caused by natural (desertification) or human (i.e. intensive grazing) factors, recreation of windbreaks;
- Management of mines, mine deposits and restoration of soil cover;
- Development of green zones in large cities;
Sources of information:
- GHGs National Inventory Report of Georgia
- Georgia’s Third National Communication to the UNFCCC
- First and Second Biennial Update Report on Climate Change of Georgia
- Georgia’s Intended Nationally Determined Contribution submission to the UNFCCC
- Technology needs assessment and technology action plans for climate change mitigation in Georgia
Photo credit: Levan Gokadze