Georgia, a country with 4.5 million inhabitants, is currently developing a national low emission development strategy. At the local level, Covenant of Mayor signatory cities are planning to make significant contributions to this strategy and Georgia’s national mitigation efforts. Of the seven current signatories to the EU Covenant of Mayors (CoM) in Georgia, four have already submitted and have begun implementing Sustainable Energy Action Plans (SEAP). The SEAPs outline plans to achieve the commitment outlined in the CoM to reach GHG emission reductions of at least 20% by 2020.
The development of the SEAPs involved a variety of stakeholders, including local and national public sector, private actors, international donors and experts. A variety of barriers were faced, including a lack of data (and access to existing data), difficulty engaging the private sector, political issues, capacity constraints, definition of baselines, adapting an EU process to a transition country context, donor coordination, national and local level coordination, and limited financial resources.
Critical to the success of the development of the SEAPS were political commitment on national and local level, international financial support, technical assistance to local level & national coordinators, access to funds, motivated personnel and capacity building programs externally financed by the CoM.