Georgia Facing Serious Climate Change Problems

Posted on December 6, 2010

The FINANCIAL — Georgia faces serious climate change impacts. The number of floods in Georgia has doubled during the last 10 years, and drought is continuing to increase. This is according to Sophiko Akhobadze, Deputy Executive Director of Rec Caucasus, a nongovernmental organization and one of the largest environmental groups in the Caucasus.

According to Akhobadze, the Kakheti region has already seen problems in agricultural development due to climate change. High temperature affected on seed productivity by 50% in several vulnerable areas like Dedoplistkaro.

“Rec Caucasus prepared video clip Stop the Climate Change. Our main purpose was to explain to the Georgian population that climate change is our problem. 80% of the population says that they don’t pay any attention to climate change and don’t take this problem seriously,” Akhobadze said.

“Increasing natural disasters are clear example of climate change impacts. Georgia is not very important in terms of its emission and can’t be compared to China or India for example, but we have great potential to develop use of renewable energy like hydropower and become a carbon neutral country,” Akhobadze said.

“The energy sector is among one of the main polluters of the environment. If we have a clean energy source for production development, emissions decrease significantly,” Akhobadze said.

“Tree planting and aforestation is a very important tool when speaking about climate change mitigation. Tree planting can reduce impact on climate change,” Akhobadze said.

As Akhobadze says, carbon friendly approach is one of the most successful branding for many companies abroad.

“Companies are trying to become Green and use energy efficiency technology to save as much energy as possible. It’s an important way to fight against climate change. Businesses know exactly their consumers’ expectations and at the moment they are realising that if they are not environmentally friendly, it will significantly affect the company’s image,” Akhobadze said.

“It will be good if Georgian companies will start thinking the same way as European companies. Bank of Georgia had a Green Deposit, according to which many trees were planted on the territory of Georgia. It was a great initiative as green environment plays a huge role in environment protection and climate change,” Akhobadze said.

“I think one of the most important things in mitigation climate change impact is to identify the hot spots-the most vulnerable territories to climate change impact. I can emit three vulnerable districts of climate change in Georgia. This is the Black Sea coast, mountainous region of Georgia and Kakheti. Climate change is mostly reflected in these areas. We should create a mechanism of protection for fighting against this problem in more natural ways,” Akhobadze told The FINANCIAL.

According to Akhobadze, due to several reasons, like increased number of cars and different kinds of constructions, the capital city of Georgia is having the biggest problems in terms of air pollution.

“The first thing which has to be done to clean pollution and mitigate climate change is to improve air quality in Tbilisi . There should be more green areas in Tbilisi . We should have more parks and squares. Wind brake zones- wind protection areas should be created around Tbilisi especially in the windy Digomi territory. Mtkvari River pollution is another big problem,” Akhobadze said.

“The Government has some policies towards environment protection, but they will pay greater attention to them after more of the social and economic problems in the country are solved. It’s very important to have quite sharp politics and have a legal base which will explain the view of the country about environment protection,” Akhobadze said.

“No investor would invest in a country that has no law about environment protection. When a businessman invests he thinks about long term plans and problems which they might face in the future. Environment is another risk factor for businesses,” Akhobadze said.

According to Akhobadze in Europe and USA solar energy and wind energy is used actively. But this is not a tragedy,” she said. “Georgia has a lot of water resources and we should develop small hydro energy stations across the country,” Akhobadze believes.
“If we take in to consideration the culture of building houses in Georgia compared to abroad we will see a great difference between them. In Georgia they don’t pay much attention to having “Green houses” but in Europe people build green houses in terms of their very architecture and ideology,” Akhobadze said.
“The main point for developing this sphere depends on the Government. If the Government says that environment protection is prioritized everyone will pay greater attention to this issue. Time by time solar energy batteries have been appearing on the market and there are solar energy technologies for heating available in many shops in Georgia.”

Most Polluting Industries

1. Ferrous Metallurgical Industries
2. Petroleum Industries
3. Petrochemicals Industries
4. Ores/Mineral Processing Industries
5. Coal (including coke) Industries
6. Power Generating Industries
7. Payer and Pulp (including paper products) industries
8. Fertilizer Industries
9. Mining Industries
10. Cement (including cement asbestos products) Industries
11. Drugs and Pharmaceuticals Industries
12. Fermentation Industries
13. Rubber (natural and synthetic) including Rubber Products Industries
14. Leather-Tanning Industries
15. Electroplating Industries
16. Chemical Industries
17. Insecticides, Fungicides, Herbicides and other Pesticides Industries
18. Synthetic Resins and Plastics
19. Man-made Fibre (Cellulosic and Non-cellulosic industry)

read more: The FINANCIAL


Posted in: Climate Change