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Belarusian nuclear power plant expected to help reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030

Tatiana Kononchuk

MINSK, 23 January (BelTA) – The reduction of greenhouse gas emissions in accordance with the Paris Climate Agreement will be one of the positive effects the launch of the Belarusian nuclear power plant will produce, BelTA learned from Tatiana Kononchuk, Head of the Central Office for Ecological Policy, International Cooperation, and Science of the Belarusian Natural Resources and Environmental Protection Ministry.

In September 2019 the UN secretary general called a UN Climate Action Summit, during which Belarus declared its intention to unconditionally reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at least 35% by 2030 in comparison with 1990 (the target was set at 28% back then) using its own resources. Tatiana Kononchuk said: “It is not a pretentious goal, but quite an achievable figure because the goals we set out to achieve in order to reduce emissions by 2030 have been actually fulfilled today. Thanks to government programs and the plan to develop green economy. Emissions are not getting larger despite the emergence of new enterprises. The work of the nuclear power plant will have a great effect on efforts to reduce emissions by 35%. It will be a good addition to other measures within the framework of the Paris Agreement.”

Certainly, a lot has yet to be done to adapt branches of the national economy, primarily agriculture, to requirements of modern day and age and new climate conditions. It is necessary to try and reduce emissions and revise business practices of Belarusian enterprises. Belarus intends to pass a set of documents by the end of 2022 to adapt various branches of the national economy to climate change. Decisions will be based on green economy principles.

“Green branches are getting stronger. Homes consume 45% of electricity today. This is why modernization and construction of energy-effective houses also produce a great effect,” Tatiana Kononchuk added.

The implementation of three pilot initiatives of the UNDP project designed to support green urban development in Belarusian towns and medium cities in 2016-2021 will also allow reducing CO2 emissions by more than 90,000 tonnes. There are plans to reduce emissions by 77,800 tonnes using the mobile component (better urban transport and more widespread bicycle usage). The rest will be achieved through energy-effective measures.