Dubai – UAE – COP28 Central Asia Pavilion hosted the side event “Team Europe Initiative on Water, Energy and Climate Change in Central Asia” on December 5, 2023.
Opening the event, Zafar Makhmudov, Executive Director of the Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia, noted the crucial role of the cooperation between the European Union and Central Asian countries in propelling the green and blue transition in the region.
The side event brought together the key stakeholders, including representatives of the European Union, the European Investment Bank, the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development, and EU members.
The event was organized by Team Europe Initiative on Water, Energy and Climate Change in Central Asia.
The initiative of Team Europe Initiative on Water, Energy and Climate Change in Central Asia under the Global Gateway Strategy builds on the joint efforts of the European Union (EU) and the countries of Central Asia (CA) to promote a sustainable blue and green transition.
The side event discussed improving the regionally integrated water and energy management system to strengthen the transition to a green economy and promote food security, jobs, growth and sustainable development in Central Asia. Attention was also paid to the issue of increasing “green” investments.
Stefano Signore, European Commission, Head of Unit on Sustainable Energy and Climate Change, DG INTPA, noted that within the framework of the Global Gateway strategy, the countries of Central Asia are important as a region with the potential for sustainable use of resources.
Tatiana Proskuryakova, the World Bank’s Regional Director for the Central Asia region, noted that the Team Europe Initiative will help the Central Asian region solve water and energy problems caused by climate change. According to her, the Central Asian Pavilion at UNFCCC COP28 is an example of how countries were able to unite to achieve common climate goals for the entire region.
Joachim Flasbarth, Secretary of State, German Ministry for Economic Development and Cooperation, stressed that the Central Asian countries sent an outstanding message to the UNFCCC COP28 about their desire for unification and demonstrated the successful resolution of cross-border issues. Joachim Flasbarth expressed confidence that the Central Asian countries will be able to overcome climate challenges and ensure a climate-resilient future for the region only based on regional cooperation.
Chairman of the Executive Committee of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea (IFAS), Sulton Rakhimzoda, stressed that water resources are the core of the ongoing climate change in the region. In addition, water resources play a crucial role in achieving climate resilience in the Central Asian region. He believes that regional cooperation requires strong institutions and strong instruments.
During the side event, a thematic discussion was held on new opportunities for EU support in confronting the challenges associated with climate change in Central Asia.
Video recording of the discussion is at https://www.youtube.com/watch?v=VhhXzSLZ-hg