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Republic of Moldova: new report shows green economy policies trump business-as-usual

When farmer earnings are included, economic gains from organic agriculture could immediately trump those from conventional farming even if crop yields are up to 20% lower, reveals a new UNEP study on green economy in Moldova published in June.

The report titled ‘Green Economy Scoping Study for the Republic of Moldova’ was launched by UNEP on 18 June 2015 in the country’s capital Chisinau. It lays out the costs and benefits to different green economy scenarios focusing on organic agriculture, energy demand (energy efficiency) and energy supply (renewable energies).

The report was prepared in the framework of the “‘Greening Economies in the EU’s Eastern Neighbourhood” programme (EaP GREEN ). EaP GREEN is funded by the European Union and implemented jointly by four international organisations – UNEP, OECD, UNECE and UNIDO. The launch took place in the margins of a Special Session on Organic Agriculture which was organised by UNEP during the 4th Annual Steering Committee Meeting of EaP GREEN.

The UNEP study finds that Moldovan farmers can expect to profit from expanding organic agriculture in the medium and long-term thanks to premium market prices for organic products, lower production costs and increasing demand from EU countries. Under the 30% lower-yields scenario, it would cost €176 million in economic incentives to farmers for the conversion from conventional farming and ensure Moldova has 5.8% of its agriculture land under organic production by 2030.

Among other policy options sounded, Moldova can further expect to earn back investments in renewable energy within ten years, while investments in energy efficiency could secure savings in energy consumption of more than €100 million by 2020. Benefits would consist of reduced energy demand and related costs, diversification of the energy supply and lower emission rates, on top of the additional impacts stemming from a green economy such as economic growth and reduced greenhouse gas emissions.

The report – which aims to help Moldova meet its National Development Strategy - recommends several policy interventions to help the country achieve the examined benefits, such as designing the right network of economic incentives across policy tools (e.g. regulation, fiscal instruments and informational tools) and developing a green economy policy package to balance government expenditure and revenues (e.g. targeted subsidies and taxation).

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