Why is the UNFCCC COP28 a landmark event for the future of Central Asian countries?

Publication date: 30 November 2023

On November 30, 2023, the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC COP28) will begin its work in the UAE, Dubai.

At this global climate summit engaged almost all countries of the world, the states of Central Asia - Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan - will be presented as a single region with a common position on the most pressing climate problems of the world scale.

Halving greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to limit global warming to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels by 2050 is one of the main issues in which the Central Asian states will take part.

Thus, Kazakhstan plans to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060, and Kyrgyzstan by 2050.

Despite the fact that Tajikistan's share in global greenhouse gas emissions is very low, as more than 98% of electricity is generated from renewable energy sources, the country intends to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 60-70% by 2030 from 1990 levels.

Turkmenistan is making significant practical efforts to implement mitigation and adaptation measures.  In 2022, by the Decree of the President of Turkmenistan, the country adopted a Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Uzbekistan plans to reduce greenhouse gas emissions per unit of GDP by 35% by 2030 and double the energy efficiency of the economy.

“Given that climate change mitigation is an important effort to reduce or prevent greenhouse gas emissions, countries can revise their climate plans and work programmes in line with new realities to achieve maximum impact. In other words, Central Asia is ready to use new technologies and renewable energy sources, improve the energy efficiency of old equipment, or change management practices or consumer behavior,” said Zafar Makhmudov, Executive Director of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia.

The organizers of COP28 also regard the UN Global Climate Forum as an opportunity to rethink and reset the global climate agenda. For the countries of Central Asia, the UNFCCC COP28 can become a landmark event that will address issues that determine the future of the entire Central Asian region.

Accordingly, the governments of the Central Asian countries, together with international partners and CAREC, will organize a single dialogue platform at COP-28 - the joint Pavilion of the Central Asian countries “5 countries - 1 region - 1 voice”.

The thematic content of the Pavilion is organized according to the principle of parity of the participating countries following the theme of COP-28 of the UNFCCC: decarbonization of the economy, development of the green finance system, carbon markets, biodiversity conservation, and adaptation to climate change.

At the venues provided by the Central Asian Pavilion, the countries of the region will hold meetings with their direct partners – representatives of international organizations, development banks, and investors in green energy projects.

Two regional statements will be made in Dubai: on behalf of the governments of Central Asian countries and behalf of NGOs and youth of Central Asia. In addition, the Central Asian countries will present the Regional Strategy for Adaptation to Climate Change until 2030. The strategy is aimed at developing a mechanism for cooperation between the countries of Central Asia to overcome the negative effects of climate change and implement adaptation measures at the regional level.

The draft regional statements for COP28 of the UNFCCC primarily note the extreme vulnerability of the Central Asian region to climate change, which entails serious consequences for the state of ecosystems, national economies and public health. At the same time, the region has a high potential for testing innovative technologies, methods and approaches to increase resilience to climate change and implement the stated goals of the Paris Agreement.

Central Asia Pavilion “5 countries – 1 region – 1 voice” is organized by the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) in cooperation with the Governments of Central Asian countries under financial support of the GIZ, OSCE, the World Bank, USAID, the European Union, and the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO).

The link to the program of the Central Asia Pavilion with links for online participation - https://carececo.org/en/main/activity/mettings/cop28/?agenda

Contact person: Irina Bubenko, Knowledge Management Specialist of the Climate Adaptation and Mitigation Program for the Aral Sea Basin (CAMP4ASB), CAREC, ibubenko@carececo.org

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