“In 2017, we introduced a higher fuel standard, Euro 5. At the end of last year, the Government adopted new regulations and, on January 1, 2019, the quality of diesel matched Euro 4, while on January 1, 2020, Georgia will switch to Euro 5. Along with improving diesel standards, in 2019, control for sulfur content compliance with norms will be launched. Next year, we will start large-scale inspections.In cooperation with the Tbilisi City Hall, the Government has developed a 40-point plan for bettering air quality. The plan defines concrete effective measures actively pursued by every agency.
As you know, since August 1, 2018, air quality is assessed based on modern European standards, and the monitoring and evaluation systems are being actively upgraded. In the same vein, new regulations involving the introduction of modern European norms have been developed for large manufacturing sites.
As you know, vehicle inspection will come into full force this year, and the vehicle fleet will be gradually rejuvenated, as it were. It is especially important to improve public transport, which involves overhauling the municipal bus fleet. We welcome the Tbilisi City Hall’s interesting and important projects in this regard, and we fully support their initiatives.
Equally noteworthy is the fact that air pollution is largely due to construction. Unfortunately, our legislative framework is not flawless in this regard, which is why it is necessary to adopt norms regulating this area. New regulations on construction standards have already been developed and submitted as bills to the Parliament of Georgia.
Our Government Program also seeks to create as many green areas as possible and to expand existing ones. The Tbilisi City Hall will identify locations for future green areas in the city’s central districts, and I am convinced that this new initiative will grow further in scope.
We believe that deep cultural shifts must take place in our society in relation to environmental protection. Better education and greater awareness are required for citizens to focus on the big picture when it comes to the importance of environmental protection. We must provide the public with timely information about both air quality and ways and planned initiatives to protect it. Raising awareness is a decisive factor in overcoming this serious challenge, because each of us can contribute to the cause of improving air quality. The Ministry of Environment Protection and Agriculture has put in place an atmospheric air awareness portal, an excellent source of information on air quality and other interesting issues.”- notes Bakhtadze.