The Ministry of Environmental Protection, together with the United Nations Development Programme in Serbia has organized a virtual presentation of the Draft Second Biennial Updated Report to the UNFCCC on 1 June 2020. Members of the project working group composed out of governmental and non-governmental organizations and other sectors of the economy, were participating in this presentation. The ongoing pandemic of the COVID 19 virus has prolonged the development process of the Report but all hopes are that it will be adopted by the Government of Serbia and submitted to the Secreteriat of the Framework Convention by the end of the year.
The Representatives of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and the UNDP praised the fact that a lot of effort has been invested in the preparation of this report despite the COVID 19 pandemic. The current pandemic gives a special aspect to fight against the climate change. The global GHG emissions were reduced up to 17% during the pandemic, which is a good thing, but will be short-lived and as soon as the humanity returns to its usual economic models of production, the pollution will return as well. In any case, the climate change represents a paradigm of our development and our economic recovery should be based on the green economy principles.
In the continuation of the event, the obtained results and basic conclusions were presented by the representatives of the expert team working on the preparation of the Report. These conclusions include scenarios and mitigation measures to the changed climate conditions. They emphasized that by applying a different scenario, which were presented in details in the Report, the GHG emissions could be reduced by 45% in 2030 compared to 1990 as a baseline year. This would be the most optimistic scenario with applied additional measures which would also be the most expensive from the economic perspective.
The GHG Inventory was presented as well. The Serbian Environmental Protection Agency is in charge of its preparation. Despite the challenges of gathering data (lack of the legal framework) as well as the lack of the administrative capacities, a huge progress was made last year when it comes to advancement of the Inventory and especially in the AFOLU (Agriculture, Forestry and Other Land Use) sector.
Within the discussion, the participants were interested in the integration of the nature based solutions and specially protected natural areas within the Nationally determined contributions. Also, the mentioned the harmonization of the Serbian legislation with the EU climate acquis which itself still evolves in this area. It was mentioned that an effort should be invested in raising awareness about these issues among the small in middle size enterprises.
The event was concluded with the remark that in parallel to this process the establishing transparency process for the Republic of Serbia is also ongoing. This is also one of the obligations that the state took over by ratifying the Paris Agreement. Within the transparency framework establishment a monitoring, reporting and verification system will become operational as well. The fact was emphasized that we are individually within our jurisdictions responsible for the climate change policy, as well as for the reporting process.
The process of submitting the Report to the Convention will be finished when the working group delivers its comments on this Draft, after which the document will be sent to inter-ministerial consultations and upon its approval will be sent to the Government for the final approval.
Presentations from the event could be found bellow: