Law No. 293-Z on energy saving ( 2015 )

This law requires the president of Belarus to create a comprehensive energy efficiency policy and requires the Council of Ministers to implement that policy, set a target for energy efficiency, define efficiency indicators, approve energy conservation programs, determine procedures for fuel efficiency standards, determine procedures for energy efficiency inspections, and conduct energy audits.…read more

Act No. 204 on renewable energy sources ( 2010 )

Act No.204 creates the legislative basis for economic support for renewables (RES), including solar, wind, geothermal, hydro, fuel wood, and other types of biomass, biogas, and other renewable sources. The law defines rights and responsibilities of RES producers and list of authorities responsible for control over the sector. It also guarantees connection of renewable energy…read more

Act No. 426-N on the use of nuclear power ( 2008 )

The law sets out rules concerning construction, operation and decommissioning of nuclear installations and storage sites, handling of nuclear materials during operation and storage of radioactive wastes, and other issues related to nuclear energy use. It sets the goal of supplying 14-16% of energy from nuclear fuel by 2020, thus contributing to reduction of energy…read more

Act No. 190-Z of 1998 on energy savings ( 1998 )

The Law aims to increase fuel and energy efficiency. Energy efficiency is the state priority policy tool to reduce energy dependence. The provisions of the present law concern legal and physical persons that carry out ‘energy production, transformation, transport, storage and use of fuel and energy resources, and development and use of non-traditional and renewable…read more

Law No. 141-Z on protection of the population and territory against natural and technological disasters ( 1998 )

This law requires the government of Belarus to create and operate an emergency warning and response system, develop standards for emergency management, implement emergency management plans and programs, create reserves of resources for emergency management, and forecast emergency situations. It also allows the president to define the government's disaster policy and declare a state of…read more

Law No. 29-Z on protection of atmospheric air ( 1997 )

This law outlines the general procedures for regulating air pollution in Belarus, including carbon dioxide emissions. Among its many functions, it requires the government to create a unified clean air policy, adopt laws and regulations for clean air, develop and implement scientific programs for clean air, establish restrictions and standards for air pollution, and determine…read more

National Programme on climate change mitigation measures for 2013-2020 (Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 510) ( 2013 / Mitigation Framework )

The aim of the Programme is to implement measures to mitigate the effects of climate change, while ensuring sustainable development of the economy. It aims to cut GHG emissions by 12% by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, implement adaptation measures in various economic sectors, taking into account the socio-economic development of the country; develop recommendations…read more

Decree No. 625 on “Some GHG Emission Reduction Issues” ( 2010 )

The decree confirms and updates the rules for carbon pricing through a voluntary GHG emissions reduction scheme under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol, including reductions by non-nationals. It allows for non-nationals to buy carbon credits from voluntary GHG emission reduction projects. The revenues from the sale of GHG emissions reduction units are allocated to the…read more

State Building Sector Development Concept for 2011-2020 (Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 1589) ( 2010 )

The main purpose of the Concept is development of the building sector to provide modern energy and resource efficient buildings, and building materials of EU-level quality competitive on domestic and foreign markets. To achieve this goal, the following measures are to be adopted: • Introduction of innovative technologies for producing resources-saving construction materials • Achieve…read more

Strategy of technological development of Belarus up to 2015 (Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 1420) ( 2010 )

The Strategy aims to reduce the energy intensity of different industrial sectors by 10-30% (textile and clothing industry: 25-30%; production of building materials and construction 30%; wood, wood products and paper industry 10-15%; agriculture 10-12%). It lays down the objectives for energy efficiency improvements in the ‘electricity, gas and water’ sectors. Among others, the targets…read more

Tax relief for renewable energy investors (Decree No 10 of 6 August 2009 on additional conditions for investment activities as amended; Tax Code of Belarus of 29 December 2009, No 71-W) ( 2009 )

The Decree sets additional conditions for foreign investment and provides financial incentives for foreign businesses investing in the country. Financial support is not strictly limited to renewable energy projects but they are eligible. Incentives include: • Right for investors to deduct full amount of VAT paid on the purchase of goods and property rights •…read more

Concept of Energy Security of the Republic of Belarus (Decree of the President of the Republic of Belarus No.433) ( 2007 )

The Concept provides for: • Reducing energy intensity of GDP by at least 31% by 2010, 50 % by 2015 and 60% by 2020 compared to 2005 • Production by 2012 of no less than 25 % of electricity and heat from local fuels and alternative energy sources • Diversification of oil, natural gas, electricity,…read more

Directive No.3 on the Economy and Savings as the Main Factors of the Economic Security of the State ( 2007 )

The Directive No. 3 sets out a range of measures in order to strengthen the economic security of the state, especially the energy security and energy independence. The Directive aims to: 1. Ensure energy security and energy independence by mandating: • Creation of the ‘National Inter-agency commission to monitor the conservation and rational use of…read more

Regulation of the National Greenhouse Gas Inventory System (Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 585) ( 2006 )

This Resolution sets procedures for organising and operating the national GHG inventory system established in line with Belarus’ commitments under Article 5 of the Kyoto Protocol. In addition, the Resolution of the Council of Ministers of October, 4, 2006 No. 1301 on the Statement on the National Climate Inventory determines the technical characteristics of data…read more

State Commission for Climate Change Problems (Resolution of the Council of Ministers of the Republic of Belarus No. 1145) ( 2006 )

This Resolution lays down the composition, objectives and powers of the Commission, established to coordinate action on preventing climate change and to ensure that the country meets its international commitments. In particular, the Commission, on behalf of the Government, considers and endorses measures under the Kyoto Protocol flexible mechanisms (emission trading, joint implementation and clean…read more

Economy-wide

NDC Laws and National Policies

At least 28% reduction in GHG emissions by 2030 compared to 1990 (excluding LULUCF) without any conditions.

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2030 | Base year: 1990

Source: NDC

10 million tonne CO2e reduction by 2020 cagainst a 2013 baseline

Economy Wide | Fixed Level Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2013 | Source(s): National P... (2013 / Executive)

8% cut in GHG emissions by 2020 compared with a 1990

Economy Wide | Base Year Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 1990 | Source(s): National P... (2013 / Executive)

Industry

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

30% decrease in energy intensity of construction by 2015 against a 2009 baseline

Energy Intensity | Intensity Target | Target year: 2015 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): Strategy o... (2010 / Executive)

1,015 thousand TCE fuel and energy resources saved annual by 2015 against a 2009 baseline

Fuels | Intensity Target | Target year: 2015 | Base year: 2009 | Source(s): Strategy o... (2010 / Executive)

10-15% reduction energy intensity of wood products and pulp by 2015 against a 2008 baseline

Energy Intensity | Intensity Target | Target year: 2015 | Base year: 2008 | Source(s): Strategy o... (2010 / Executive)

Energy

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.

50% energy intensity reduction, then 60% by 2015, 2020 against a 2005 baseline

Energy Intensity | Intensity Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2005 | Source(s): National P... (2013 / Executive)

31% energy intensity of GDP reduction, then 50%, then 60% by 2010, 2015, 2020 against a 2005 baseline

Energy Intensity | Intensity Target | Target year: 2020 | Base year: 2005 | Source(s): Directive ... (2007 / Executive)

Agriculture

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Buildings

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Coastal Zones

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Cross-Cutting Area

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Disaster Risk Management (DRM)

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environment

NDC Laws and National Policies

Conserve the main habitats of the populations of rare and endangered wild animals and plant species living or growing in wetlands, involving an area of at least 30,000 ha of open fen mires, 40,000 ha of floodplain meadows, and 160,000 ha of raised bogs and transitional mires; | Ensure further conservation of natural ecosystems, biological and natural diversity, ensuring ecological balance of natural systems and sustainable use of protected areas covering at least 8.8% of the territory of the country.

Ecosystem And Biodiversity

Source: NDC

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Health

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

LULUCF

NDC Laws and National Policies

Reducing the area of degraded reclaimed land with peat soils up to 190,000 ha by 2030

Land Degradation | Target year: 2030

There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Environmental rehabilitation of at least 10,000 ha of damaged bogs, thus increasing the area of restored peatlands to at least 60,000 ha by 2030

Wetlands | Target year: 2030

Increase the area under forest from 39.4% in 2013 up to 41% in 2030

Sustainable Forest Management | Target year: 2030

Increase area of restored peatlands to at least 60,000 ha by 2030 and reduce area of degraded reclaimed land with peat soils up to 190,000 ha by 2030

Peatlands | Target year: 2030

Protect 8.8% of land by 2030

Conservation | Target year: 2030

Increase foreast area from 39.1% in 2013 to 41% in 2030

LULUCF/Forestry: General | Target year: 2030

Source: NDC

Social Development

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Tourism

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Transportation

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Urban

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Waste

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Water

NDC Laws and National Policies
There are no quantifiable targets found in the NDC.There are no quantifiable targets found in the laws and policies.

Belarus ratified the UNFCCC in 2000 and the Kyoto Protocol in 2005. It submitted its first National Communication to the UNFCCC in 2003, followed by communications in 2006, 2009 and 2013. The next communication is being prepared. For the second Kyoto Protocol commitment period (2012-2020), Belarus committed to cut emissions by 8% compared to 1990, which was later increased to 12%. It has also initiated a process to join the Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol in order to become eligible for carbon emission trading.

So far, meeting international commitments for emissions reductions has not been particularly challenging. In 2011, total GHG emissions were 37.3% lower than in 1990 (base year). GHG emissions are reported annually in the National GHG Inventory, which is being progressively improved following recommendations by the UNFCCC Secretariat.

The Ministry of Natural Resources and Environmental Protection is responsible for implementing the UNFCCC. The State Commission on Climate Change co-ordinates the work of other state administration bodies (Department for Energy Efficiency of the State Standardisation Committee, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Housing and Communal Services, Ministry of Forestry, Ministry of Agriculture and Food, Ministry of Economy, National Statistical Committee) and other state organisations.

Climate change is only one among many environmental challenges that Belarus faces, including water quality, soil degradation, waste management, nature protection, industrial pollution and radioactive contamination from the Chernobyl nuclear accident in 1986. Climate change is mainly considered from the energy savings and security perspective, and adaptation measures are starting to be discussed, with forecasts predicting climate change impacts increasing risks in agriculture, forestry and water resources management.

To respond to international obligations under the UNFCCC and the Kyoto Protocol, Belarus has been updating its National programme on climate change mitigation measures (latest for 2013-2020). Furthermore, a ‘Climate Protection Act’ is currently under consideration (since 2010). The Act should aggregate different provisions for control and accounting of GHG emissions, economic incentives for GHG emissions reduction and investment in low-carbon technologies, determination of ownership rights in regard to carbon credits, and legal framework for carbon emissions trading. Belarus is also expected to adopt an integrated environmental permitting scheme starting 2016, which should also reflect GHG emissions.

International development assistance plays an important role in providing support for green growth and facilitating green investments. The EU, UN bodies, the World Bank and the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) support measures related to energy efficiency, renewable energy and sustainable agriculture/land management. Several climate change related international projects are currently being implemented, such as the ‘Social Infrastructure Retrofitting’ project funded through a World Bank loan aimed at increasing energy efficiency of 550 public sites (schools, preschools, hospitals, homes for elderly); the World Bank ‘Belarus Biomass District Heating Project’ (2014-2019; USD 90 million) aimed at scaling up the efficient use of renewable biomass in heat and electricity generation in selected towns.

On the local level, municipal authorities are responsible for energy management (e.g. energy efficient refurbishment of buildings and introduction of energy-efficient public lighting). They are also mandated by the Law on Energy Savings to prepare municipal energy efficiency plans.

Finally, the Strategy of Technological Development to 2015 (2010) defines energy, energy efficiency, transport and the development of green and eco-technologies as the main priority areas for scientific research.

Energy supply

The economy has high energy intensity. The primary energy mix is mainly fossil fuels (natural gas – 63%, oil – 29%, coal and peat <10%). Between 1990 and 2012, natural gas became the dominant source of energy, replacing oil residue and decreasing coal use. Wood and wood waste are the main local energy sources, with a considerable volume of peat and peat bricks used for energy supply. Since 2000, Belarus has been developing renewable energy sources (solar, hydro, wind, biomass; around 7% in 2013, compared to 6.6% in 2005). In 2013, Belarus had 277 renewable energy plants in operation, including 14 biogas, 14 solar, 3 geothermal, 199 wood and other types of biomass, 40 hydro and 7 wind power plants with a total installed capacity of 397.6 MW.

Despite the increasingly diverse domestic primary energy production, Belarus produces only 14% of its total primary energy demand, and around 15% of its oil and gas consumption. It is  heavily dependent on fossil fuels imports from Russia. Before escalation of conflict with Russia over gas transit, most of the demand was satisfied by Russian imports at discounted prices, often viewed as an implicit subsidy for the economy. Since 2004, Russia has been reducing this implicit subsidy by narrowing the gap between prices charged to Belarus and the EU.

The main energy supply targets are formulated in the Energy Security Concept (2007), the Law on Renewable Energy Sources (2010) and the Law on Use of Nuclear Power (2008). The key targets relate to energy independence and development of renewable energy. The National Program of Local and Renewable Energy Sources Development (2011) sets out the target of no less than 30% of domestic energy production by 2015, with an almost twofold increase by 2015 in the use of local and renewable energy sources compared to 2010 (to 5.7 million toe) and substitution of up to 2.4 billion cubic meters of imported natural gas. This target is to be reached by installing by 2015 heat and power generation facilities using wood/straw/municipal waste fuel (49 MW- electrical, 1063 MW – thermal), biogas (90 MW), wind (460MW), solar (172 solar water heater and solar power plants), and heat pumps (8.9 MW), as well as construction and rehabilitation of hydropower plants (102 MW).

Energy demand

Belarus aims to reduce the consumption of fossil fuels and to promote energy efficiency, especially in the power sector (power production sites and high power consumption industries account for about 65% of CO2e emissions). Thanks to structural changes, the emissions reductions could be achieved at a lower cost than developed countries.

The main energy efficiency and savings targets are defined in the Law on Energy Savings, the Concept on Energy Security, the Law on Renewable Energy Sources and Directive No.3 on Economy and Savings as the Main Factors of the Economic Security of the State. A reduction in energy intensity of 50% by 2015 and 60% by 2020 compared to 2005 is targeted. Planned energy savings are at least 7.1 – 8.9 million tons of coal equivalent over 2011-2015 and at least 5.2 million tons of coal equivalent over 2016-2020.

Carbon pricing

In 2010, Belarus established the rules for carbon pricing through a voluntary GHG emissions reduction scheme under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol. The Decree allows for non-nationals to buy voluntary GHG emissions reduction units. The revenues from the sale of GHG emissions reduction units are allocated to the National Fund for the Protection of the Environment and are to be specifically dedicated to climate change mitigation measures, strengthening institutions, developing a national inventory and reporting system, support for low-carbon research and training and education. Organisations carrying out the projects benefit from tax exemptions equal to the value of purchased emissions reduction units.

REDD+ and LULUCF

Belarus has a high potential for carbon sequestration, as forests cover about 40% of its territory. Approaches to sustainable forestry management are stipulated in the Strategic Forestry Development Program of the Republic of Belarus for 2011-2015 (2010), but the document does not directly address climate change-related aspects. However, it provides for reforestation of land withdrawn from agricultural use because of low productivity or contamination due to the Chernobyl nuclear power plant catastrophe (originally 1.8 million ha agricultural and more than 2 million ha forest were subject to radioactive contamination).

In general, forests and land suffer from pressures such as radioactive and chemical pollution, construction, mining, forest and peat fires, flooding and waterlogging, excessive recreational loads, and water and wind erosion leading to land degradation. To deal with those risks, a Strategy for Forestry Adaptation to Climate Change until 2050 is currently being prepared.

Adaptation

Belarus has witnessed an unparalleled warming since 1989, with a sharp increase in winter temperatures and average temperatures between 1989 and 2012 1.1°C higher than the climate norm (5.8°C yearly average). Climate change is expected to affect Belarus primarily through an increase in extreme weather events such as floods and droughts. This requires disaster risk reduction measures and adaptation plans to be developed and implemented. The most vulnerable sectors to climate change are agriculture, forestry, industry, energy and housing.

Belarus has no overarching adaptation strategy although an adaptation strategy plan is under preparation, but adaptation measures are prescribed in various legal documents, such as the National Programme for the Development of Forestry of Belarus for 2011-2015, and the National Programme on climate change mitigation measures for 2013-2020.

To date, Belarus does not have any litigation listed.

The Republic of Belarus (Belarus) was established in 1990, in the aftermath of the collapse of the Soviet Union and its Constitution, the supreme source of law, was adopted in 1994. The President is both the head of state and head of government. The National Assembly is the representative and legislative body. The Supreme Court is the highest judicial body. The bicameral National Assembly consists of the Chamber of Representatives (110 seats; members elected by popular vote for four-year terms) and the Council of the Republic (64 seats; 56 members elected by regional and Minsk city councils, eight members appointed by the president, for four-year terms). The last elections were held in September 2016, and the next elections are expected for 2020.

The President, MPs, the Government, and any group of at least 50,000 citizens eligible to vote can initiate laws. Draft laws that could require net state expenses can be proposed only with the consent of the President (or the Government, upon the President’s consent). Other Acts can be enacted by the National Assembly (laws, codes), or by the President (Decrees, which have the force of law). The most important sources of legislation are Edicts, Orders of the President, Resolutions of the Government, Decisions of the ministries, state committees and other state bodies, and local legislative acts. The President further issues Directives, which have legal status.

A draft law is first considered by the House of Representatives and then sent to the Council of the Republic, where it is either approved by majority of votes, or is deemed adopted if within 20 days the Council fails to consider it. If the draft law is rejected by the Council, both chambers may form a conciliation commission to overcome differences. A draft law adopted by both Chambers of the National Assembly is submitted to the President, who either signs the draft law or returns it with objections to the House of Representatives. After both chambers have resolved the President’s objections, it is signed by the President within five days. The bill is published in the “National Register of the Legal Acts of the Republic of Belarus”.

Last modified 23 August, 2017