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Bulgaria

Bulgaria is a Southeast European country, famous for bringing us yoghurt and being the biggest lavender producer in the world (that magical herb which makes you sleep like a baby). It shares borders with Romania, Serbia, North Macedonia, Greece and Turkey. As expressed by this vast collection of neighbours, Bulgaria is at a crossroads between different people, cultures and civilisations. 


The size of Bulgaria (first a kingdom, then an empire, now a republic) has varied considerably over time. At its height in the 13th century, it linked the Black Sea to the Mediterranean and dominated in battle with the Byzantine Roman Empire. Today, it is as large as Iceland or Cuba. For 482 years, Bulgarians maintained their way of life despite the assimilationist ambitions of their occupant, keeping their Christian religion and national traditions (although often having to practice them in secret during the period).


Towards the end of the Second World War, a Communist guerilla took control of the country supported by the USSR and the Red Army. Bulgaria was never officially part of the USSR but remained aligned to the Communist agenda around the Soviet Block. The established Soviet-style regime lasted until 1989 and the fall of the Berlin wall. 


Bulgaria joined the EU in 2007 and is planning to tighten its relationship with the member states. Bulgaria extracts and sells petroleum goods, coal, copper and other metals. It has become a solid service economy based on technology, research and development. Yet the country is still struggling with corruption and corresponding distrust in public institutions. 


The recent protests to defend its pristine mountains and countryside, which led to the blocking of a controversial law to deforest a vast mountainous area, shows that the ecological cause is on the rise in the country. After all, the green of the flag represents the fertility and beauty of the Bulgarian land.

TOTAL POPULATION

7.2 million YEAR 2014

CO2 EMISSIONS

42,400 kt COUNTRY, YEAR 2014

3,241,800 kt European Union, YEAR 2014

“a 40% domestic reduction in greenhouse gases by 2030 compared to 1990 levels”

PARIS AGREEMENT TARGET

Created by potrace 1.10, written by Peter Selinger 2001-2011

BULGARIA | ALL PROJECTS

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john gaffey donated € 12 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Adi Lazos donated € 22 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Juliana Medaglia donated € 20 to Fighting the Silent Disappearance of the Great Brazilian Savannah. FREDERIC ACHARD donated € 50 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Thalita Medaglia donated € 15 to Fighting the Silent Disappearance of the Great Brazilian Savannah. Katie Hereing donated € 25 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Angelica Seminara donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Nevena Vlaykova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Melanie Bitto donated € 40 to Application of satellite telemetry data to better understand the breeding strategies of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Cristiano Rocco Marra donated € 30 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Ro Leaver donated € 30 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Phili Denning donated € 25 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Isabel gregory donated € 20 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Akshay Pai donated € 50 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Emma Burnett donated € 50 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Boyan Mihaylov donated € 50 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. François Leclerc donated € 40 to Application of satellite telemetry data to better understand the breeding strategies of humpback whales in the Southern Hemisphere. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Clara Hermansson donated € 40 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Peter Thompson donated € 10 to Environmental Protection through Greenery and Awareness Interventions in Kabul and Wardak. Vihra Dincheva donated € 30 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Kris Bertens donated € 50 to Educating Montenegro's New Generation to Break Free from Litter and Plastic. Anna Lupanova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Simona Dakova donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Neicho Rahnev donated € 10 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Pavel Boev donated € 20 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Francesco Zanetto donated € 60 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Hind Alsalloom donated € 50 to Iraqi Youth Climate Change Movement. Francesca Cardani donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Michele Frison donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Fabio Sai donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Paola Tresca donated € 27 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Andrea Mongiello donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Matteo Masi donated € 15 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Massimo Sacco donated € 10 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Ananda Nidhi donated € 20 to Toranam: Strengthening Agroforestry in Andhra Pradesh. andrea borsetto donated € 15 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. ALESSIO GIANNONI donated € 25 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Yordan Yordanov donated € 25 to The Bedechka Case: Fighting the Neglect of Green Urban Areas. Laura Zorzetto donated € 15 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Rossana Mattachini donated € 20 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Elsa De Grandi donated € 5 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Empowering Mangrove Women for a Healthy & Resilient Ecosystem. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Expanding Sesi’s Bottle Refill Scheme to Make Zero Plastic Waste Shopping Mainstream in the UK. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Agro Eco Village Project in Ri-Bhoi District. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Building an Efficient Technology for Women's Economic Empowerment. Noah Silver donated € 15 to Strengthening Malian Forest Management to Protect Biodiversity and Alleviate Poverty. Noah Silver donated € 30 to Toxic Chemicals and Waste Sensitization for Vulnerable Communities. Stefania Butera donated € 25 to CROWDFOREST: Making Reforestation Faster and Free through Unmanned Aerial Vehicles.

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CLIMATE SIGNIFICANCE

Bulgaria is not a big country, but it has a very varied and complex climate due to its mountainous relief, connection to various climatic zones, and diverse geology and hydrology. These conditions also mean it has some of the highest biological diversity in Europe. The mountains, grasslands and forests are home to over 100 different mammal species, including the stunning Eurasian lynx, brown bears and wolves. Bulgaria has 426 bird species and can show off the mighty eastern imperial eagle and imposing cinereous vulture (both of which are threatened species). 

Bulgaria still bears marks from its lightning-fast industrialisation and position as one of the communist block’s most intensive powerhouses. Air pollution is the highest in the EU, and industrial development has led to problems such as pollution from chemicals and heavy metals, deforestation, and sewage in waterways.

More than 35% of the land area is covered by forests. Bulgarian wilderness struck a massive victory when a project to infringe on the Pirin mountain protected site for a ski resort development project was cancelled following public pressure. 

It was an environmental protest in October of 1989 that sparked the transition to democracy. In 2013 again, protests that started in defence of the environment spiralled into much larger political protest and changed again the political system in place. The attachment of Bulgarians to their beautiful countryside is neither faint nor fake. The civil society is pushing for change! 


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DATA INSIGHTS

Bulgaria is an upper-middle-income country according to the World Bank classification. The history of carbon emissions and exposure to climate risk provides useful insights into Bulgaria's position in the fight against climate change.  The following plots provide an overview of Bulgaria’s historic greenhouse gas emissions in perspective with global emission levels, as well as the country’s climate action and sustainability performance.

Bulgaria Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Bulgaria’s timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change since 1990

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the dotted line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the full line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%. 


From 1990 to 2000, Bulgaria witnessed its emissions fall by 39%, driven by its economic transition (from a centrally planned economy to a market economy), which led to a decline in power production as well as an increase in the share of renewable energy. After fluctuations, Bulgaria’s emissions reduced by 37% below its 1990 level in 2012. The energy sector is responsible for the largest share (91%) of Bulgaria’s emissions. This is primarily due to a high dependence on fossil fuel energy generation (accounting for 71% of Bulgaria’s energy supply). Yet, with the recent shift to hydropower and nuclear power (providing 20% of total electricity), Bulgaria greatly reduced its emissions. 


In 2012, Bulgaria emitted 68 million tonnes of CO2 eq. GHG emissions, which is 1.5 times less than neighbouring Greece and Romania. Although Bulgaria is well on track to cut its emissions, there is room for improvement, such as reducing emissions from the transport sector and increasing the share of renewable energy. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018)


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Bulgaria Greenhouse Gas Emissions

Bulgaria’s timeline of total GHG emissions and the percentage change since 1990

graph

This plot combines 3 pieces of information measured from 1990 - 2012: The bar chart indicates the volume of the country’s GHG emissions, the dotted line shows the variation of this volume compared to the baseline 1990, and the full line presents the same variation, but globally.


Greenhouse gases such as carbon dioxide, methane and fluorocarbons are the main drivers of global warming. Between 1990 and 2012, the world’s emissions grew by 40%. 


From 1990 to 2000, Bulgaria witnessed its emissions fall by 39%, driven by its economic transition (from a centrally planned economy to a market economy), which led to a decline in power production as well as an increase in the share of renewable energy. After fluctuations, Bulgaria’s emissions reduced by 37% below its 1990 level in 2012. The energy sector is responsible for the largest share (91%) of Bulgaria’s emissions. This is primarily due to a high dependence on fossil fuel energy generation (accounting for 71% of Bulgaria’s energy supply). Yet, with the recent shift to hydropower and nuclear power (providing 20% of total electricity), Bulgaria greatly reduced its emissions. 


In 2012, Bulgaria emitted 68 million tonnes of CO2 eq. GHG emissions, which is 1.5 times less than neighbouring Greece and Romania. Although Bulgaria is well on track to cut its emissions, there is room for improvement, such as reducing emissions from the transport sector and increasing the share of renewable energy. (Source: WRI, 2018; World Bank, 2018)


Bulgaria Sustainable Development Goals Index (SDGI)

Bulgaria's performance on sustainable development

The SDG Index describes a country’s progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGI combines indicators of climate action with other socio-economic development measures that contextualise a country’s environmental performance with the rest of its challenges and reality. 


The global SDG Index score can be interpreted as the percentage of achievement of the goals


Each dot in the plot represents a country and its score (y-axis). Countries at the bottom score lower on the index than the countries at the top. Sweden currently scores the highest at 85 and the Central African Republic scores lowest at 38.


Bulgaria’s score 73 is slightly below the average of Eastern European countries. Although Bulgaria still lags behind Northern and Western European countries, the country’s overall SDG performance shows an upward trend. Bulgaria performs well in the domain of the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. However, the country still falls short of addressing some aspects of sustainable development. This is mainly because Bulgaria performs poorly on measures like reducing energy-related CO2 emissions and production-based SO2 emissions and increasing R&D investment for further economic growth. (Source: SDGI, 2018) 


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.


TAKE ACTION

Bulgaria Sustainable Development Goals Index (SDGI)

Bulgaria's performance on sustainable development

graph

The SDG Index describes a country’s progress towards achieving the 17 Sustainable Development Goals. The SDGI combines indicators of climate action with other socio-economic development measures that contextualise a country’s environmental performance with the rest of its challenges and reality. 


The global SDG Index score can be interpreted as the percentage of achievement of the goals


Each dot in the plot represents a country and its score (y-axis). Countries at the bottom score lower on the index than the countries at the top. Sweden currently scores the highest at 85 and the Central African Republic scores lowest at 38.


Bulgaria’s score 73 is slightly below the average of Eastern European countries. Although Bulgaria still lags behind Northern and Western European countries, the country’s overall SDG performance shows an upward trend. Bulgaria performs well in the domain of the conservation and sustainable use of terrestrial ecosystems. However, the country still falls short of addressing some aspects of sustainable development. This is mainly because Bulgaria performs poorly on measures like reducing energy-related CO2 emissions and production-based SO2 emissions and increasing R&D investment for further economic growth. (Source: SDGI, 2018) 


The impacts of climate change vary by country and region. But wherever you are, local-level adaptation projects are necessary. You have all the cards in hand, now go explore our live projects and be one of the good guys.


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