Belarus' Green Economy: Opportunities for Reform and Development
The Belarusian economy is in a deep crisis, reinforced by sanctions and the detrimental effects of the Russia-Ukraine war. The future democratic government will be forced to not only solve the structural rigidities of the domestic economy but also adjust it to the new environmental policy of the EU. In particular, in order to fulfil ambitious goals of the European Green Deal in the EU and avoid so-called “carbon leakage” outside the EU, European Commission (EC) is working on establishing Carbon Border Adjustment Mechanism to collect tax/duty on selected imported goods from carbon-intensive production (in the first phase: cement, steel, aluminium, fertilisers, electricity). The new regulation is planned to be introduced in 2022 with the new taxation to be fully operated since 2026.
The current Belarussian authorities seem to have neither the will nor the capacity to implement a sustainable development policy. On the contrary, for years the state was investing in inefficient state-owned enterprises (with often outdated technology) in the oil refining, chemical manufacturing, metallurgy, automobile and cement industry.
The project aims at developing a plan of green reforms based on the principles of reduced emissions, renewable energy and circular economy which will allow the government of Belarus to effectively use resources to restore the economy, make it more sustainable and based on the human right to a favourable environment. In addition, the plan should reduce dependence on Russia. Raising awareness of the Belarusian society of the concept of green economy is another important objective of the project.
Donor: Netherlands Fund for Regional Partnerships – MATRA/Human Rights Fund
Experts involved: Aleś Alachnovič, Alexandra Mamaeva