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Eastern Europe

SCP in Eastern Europe

The growing affluence of Eastern European countries is moving consumption patterns beyond the regenerative capacity of environmental systems.

Although the region’s consumption of primary materials has fallen during the 1990’s (as has emission- and energy intensity per unit of output), today improvements in resource efficiency are often being offset by changes in per capita wealth and the growing domestic consumption of goods and services.

Central to this phenomenon is the region’s expanding export base and associated demand for primary materials, as well as the public’s perception of welfare being directly correlated to a high level of material consumption. Changing household consumption patterns towards more energy intensive categories of goods and services are causing increased environmental impacts. In this way, food consumption and the use of housing and transport services are alone responsible for 70-80% of Eastern Europe’s environmental impacts.  Several efforts are underway to promote a shift on both the consumption and production sides. 

Strategies and Roadmaps

Many East European countries have indeed developed strategic, macro-economic political programmes towards a circular, green economy. 

Azerbaijan, Armenia, Belarus, Georgia, Moldova and Ukraine have all integrated green economy elements/objectives into their wider strategies on environmental protection and sustainable development (see below for some highlights).  A set of specific sustainable development indicators is underway in all six countries (albeit to varying degrees), while environmental  monitoring/information systems are increasingly being used to inform and evaluate policy making in the region. 

Eastern European EU member states are subject to the EU Action Plan for the Circular Economy that aims to "close the loop" of product lifecycles through extracting the maximum value/use from raw materials, products and waste, as well as fostering energy savings, and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

Despite this, further regional action is needed to address the above-mentioned policy gaps, further harmonise political processes, promote regular exchange of best practices, and to develop a common framework for monitoring progress on SCP throughout the region

Past Meetings and Webinars

  • 2nd Multi-Stakeholder Meeting of the 10YFP for Eastern Europe, 9-10 February 2016, Bucharest, Romania.  The outcome statement can be seen here
  • 1st 10YFP multi-stakeholder regional meeting for Eastern Europe, 27 October 2014, Geneva, Switzerland.  The meeting report can be seen here


To have a more complete look at the different activities happening around the region, check out the
Global database of SCP Initiatives

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