HBF plans energy/environmental project in Georgia
Georgia is dependent on imported energy. While energy consumption per person is less than the average of developed nations, this is not achieved through energy efficiency. Georgia's energy intensity is twice as high as the world average. High energy prices and increasing demand for fuel and wood negatively impact Georgia's energy balance and also have grave environmental consequences.
Climate change and adaptation to its consequences may be one of Georgia's most challenging national priorities over the next decade. Nevertheless, transition to a low-carbon economy can bring benefits, including increased social cohesion and economic development. Reducing energy bills for households and providing new employment and business opportunities, especially for small and medium enterprises, could also be potential positive results.
The wider public - as well as decision-makers - in Georgia, have limited awareness about the impact of economic activities on the environment. It is necessary to raise the awareness of the general public, as well as state actors, in order to develop long-term sustainable strategies for the country.
In 2011, the Heinrich Boell Foundation plans to reinvigorate its energy/environmental programme by implementing a small-scale pilot project in Georgia. On 8 December 2010, the HBF hosted a roundtable meeting of experts on the issue to collect ideas and recommendations for the planning and design of its energy/environmental strategy for Georgia and projects for 2011.
The meeting was attended by Mr. Giorgi Abulashvili from the Energy Efficiency Georgia organization, Mr. Murman Margvelashvili from World Experience for Georgia and Ms. Manana Kochladze of Green Alternative.
Incorporating the energy/environmental component in its regional scholarship program, sharing expertise of selected German specialists with their Georgian colleagues, and strengthening the environmental component inside the EU Eastern Partnership Civil Society Forum could be some of the directions of the HBF's energy/environmental project in 2011.
Ecology and sustainability are among the main global tenets for the Heinrich Boell Foundation, which is part of Germany's Green Political Movement and the global Green network. At present the Foundation focuses mainly on the areas of global energy and climate policy, i.e. discussions about opportunities for renewable energy and the problems of nuclear power. Promoting green economics is one of the priority areas of the Foundation.
More about HBF's energy priorities can be found at: