Association Green Alternative has published the policy brief – Agreement against the environment – which is the review of the Georgian Law on Making Amendments to Some Legislative Acts of Georgia enacted on March 20, 2012 by the Parliament of Georgia.
The law allows concluding an agreement of unlimited duration between an interested party and the Ministry of Energy and Natural Resources of Georgia, which, in exchange for paying compensation in favor of the state, will exempt the interested person from liability for the violations committed in the sphere of environmental protection and natural resources. At the same time, a signatory interested person will be released from any obligation, fines and/or compensation for damage, including the obligation to pay fee for the usage of natural resources. The law also forbids inspection of the activities of an interested person by enforcement authorities.
The policy brief reviews the provisions of the law, their compliance with the key principles and approaches of environmental protection and sustainable development recognized internationally, including in Georgia; it also identifies threats posed by the enactment of the law to the environment and human health.
Green Alternative’s position is that the law contains significant risks of environmental, corrupt, economic, social and political nature. Moreover, the law contradicts the Constitution of Georgia, international commitments of Georgia, as well as fundamental principles of environmental protection and sustainable development recognized by both the national and international environmental law.
“The law does not comply with a number of EU directives to which Georgia is committed to harmonize with its legislation. Such incompliance will have an influence on the progress of ongoing negotiations between Georgia and the European Union on the Associated Agreement and Deep and Comprehensive Free Trade Agreement; it will significantly hamper the fulfillment of obligations undertaken by Georgia under EU-Georgia Action Plan of European Neighborhood Policy”, says Kety Gujaraidze, policy analyst at Green Alternative.