10 March 2020
Moldova Becomes Fourth Country to Submit 2020 NDC under Paris Agreement
Photo by IISD/ENB | Kiara Worth
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Moldova has become the fourth country that submitted its 2020 Nationally Determined Contribution, joining the Marshall Islands, Norway and Suriname.

The country enhanced its NDC to 70% (unconditional) and up to 88% (conditional) reductions in GHG emissions in 2030 compared to 1990.

Implementation of Moldova’s NDC requires meeting its technology, capacity building, and finance needs, with estimated mitigation costs of USD 5 billion and USD 0.2 billion for adaptation.

Moldova has become the fourth country to submit its 2020 Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) in accordance with the 2015 Paris Agreement on climate change. In addition to Moldova, the Marshall IslandsSuriname and Norway have submitted their 2020 NDCs in line with the relevant Paris Agreement provisions.

In the Paris Agreement, Parties established five-year cycles to increase ambition, including through NDCs that would grow more ambitious over time. Countries requested that in 2020, Parties with an NDC time frame up to 2025 communicate new NDCs, and Parties with a time frame up to 2030 communicate or update their NDCs by 2020. 

According to Article 2.1 of the Paris Agreement, the treaty aims to “strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change, in the context of sustainable development and efforts to eradicate poverty” by, inter alia:

  • holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2 °C above preindustrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels;
  • increasing the ability to adapt to the adverse impacts of climate change and foster climate resilience and low greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions development, in a manner that does not threaten food production; and
  • making finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low GHG emissions and climate-resilient development.

Paris Agreement Article 7.1 establishes the global goal on adaptation of enhancing adaptive capacity, strengthening resilience and reducing vulnerability to climate change, with a view to contributing to sustainable development and ensuring an adequate adaptation response in the context of the Agreement’s temperature goal.

In its updated NDC of 4 March 2020, Moldova outlines national priorities spanning cross-sectoral socioeconomic areas and sector-specific development in the agriculture, water resources, human health, forestry, energy and transport sectors. It highlights adaptation priorities, which derive from the country’s Climate Change Adaptation Strategy and the Action Plan for its implementation, and from its Fourth National Communication to the UNFCCC, which includes vulnerability assessment and climate change impacts. The NDC illustrates how the country is affected by temperature increases, changes in precipitation regimes and increased climate aridity, which are associated with the frequency and intensity amplification of extreme weather events. On the most pressing capacity needs until 2025, the NDC informs of associated interventions, responsible agencies and estimated financial resources. Total adaptation costs are estimated at USD 0.2 billion.

With regard to mitigation, in its updated NDC, Moldova commits to reduce its net GHG emissions under the unconditional scenario, from 43.4 Mt in 1990 to 12.8 Mt in 2030, which is 3.4 times less during a 40-year timespan. Additionally:

  • The country’s new economy-wide unconditional target is to reduce its GHG emissions by 70% below its 1990 level in 2030, instead of 64-67% previously committed;
  • Its new conditional target suggests that the previous 78% reduction commitment could be increased up to 88% below 1990 level, “provided a global agreement addressing important topics including low-cost financial resources, technology transfer, and technical cooperation, accessible to all at a scale commensurate to the challenge of global climate change, is insured”; and
  • The NDC is presented as being well in line with the emissions pathways towards 2050 that correspond to keeping global warming below 2 °C compared to preindustrial levels.

Moldova intends to account for 100% of national GHG emissions and removals for the base year as published in its Inventory of Greenhouse Gas Emissions and Sinks, on a net-net basis.

In its reflection on “fairness or the globally equitable distribution of countries’ efforts,” Moldova considers its responsibility in terms of GHG emissions as “low,” less than 0.026% of current world’s emissions, with historic emissions of about 0.04-0.05% of the world’s emissions since 1990. Regarding its mitigation investment capacity, the country notes that over the 1990-2016 period, the country experienced a decrease of 27.7% in gross domestic product (GDP) and of 17.9% in GDP per capita.

Moldova further reports that carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per GDP (GHG intensity) have decreased over the 1990-2016 period, from over 4 to under 2 kg CO2 per real GDP 2010 USD or by 55.1-56.5%. Noting that these values are still among the highest among economies in transition (EITs) in Central and Eastern Europe, the country highlights “a high mitigation potential … to reach its GHG emission reduction targets.” In order to reach the conditional target of up to 88% reduction of its GHG emissions by 2030 as compared to 1990 levels, the NDC explains, appropriate international financial support equal to about USD 5 billion, or about USD 500 million per year until 2030, is needed. The support needed includes finance, in addition to the domestic allocations, to cover required abatement costs, as well as assistance in the form of technology transfer and capacity building.

The overall effect of Parties’ NDCs will be considered in 2023 at the first global stocktake (GST) of implementation of the Paris Agreement. The stocktake will assess collective progress towards achieving the Agreement’s purpose and long-term goals, addressing adaptation, finance and mitigation in light of equity and best available science. The first global stocktake will also be informed by inputs from the UNFCCC subsidiary bodies and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), including its 2018 Special Report on Global Warming of 1.5°C (SR15), which finds that, under emissions in line with current NDCs, “global warming is expected to surpass 1.5°C above preindustrial levels, even if these pledges are supplemented with very challenging increases in the scale and ambition of mitigation after 2030.” [Moldova’s Updated NDC] [Interim NDC Registry]

By Beate Antonich, Thematic Expert for Climate Change and Sustainable Energy

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