New policies needed to steer Central Asia, Eastern Europe to green future

How can countries in Central Asia and Eastern Europe transition successfully from being among the world’s most carbon-intensive states to having greener economies?

An official of the U.N. Development Program in the region makes the case for better policies on fuel subsidy and social protection, among other issues. Effective policies that address social, environmental and economic challenges are needed to jump-start the region’s transformation, says Balazs Horvath, UNDP poverty reduction adviser for Europe and the Commonwealth of Independent States.

New policies, such as the removal of existing subsidies on fossil fuels and the establishment of social protection programs for the poor could encourage more efficient production, investments and consumption patterns, Horvath argues on AltertNet Insight. Increased competitiveness is another potential reward, she adds.

Citing a joint U.N. report released in March, Horvath also proposes the following policy-level steps:

  • Increased investment in green job creation in the sustainable transport, energy-efficient housing, recycling and renewables sectors.

  • Integration of sustainability in all major national and local-level decisions. This can be accomplished through detailed assessments of new energy and environmental policies, among other measures.

  • Launch of awareness campaigns for consumers, producers and the political, scientific and cultural communities.

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About the author

  • Ivy Mungcal

    As former senior staff writer, Ivy Mungcal contributed to several Devex publications. Her focus is on breaking news, and in particular on global aid reform and trends in the United States, Europe, the Caribbean, and the Americas. Before joining Devex in 2009, Ivy produced specialized content for U.S. and U.K.-based business websites.