Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan – During May 18-20, 2021, UNDP in the Kyrgyz Republic held a three-day online regional technical workshop on climate change and energy sustainability in Central Asia. The workshop was conducted under the "Policy Action for Climate Security in Central Asia" project funded by the UK government and implemented by UNDP in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan.
Central Asia is already experiencing the effects of climate change and will be affected even more in the future. Expected climate impacts in Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, and Uzbekistan include rising temperatures, extreme weather events, and shrinking glaciers, while likely impacts include continued desertification and increased aridity. Such stressors and impacts will increase pressure on already stressed and exploited natural resources, increasing the vulnerability of poor and rural areas that largely lack the financial or political capacity to cope with these growing challenges. In addition, climate change is likely to affect local and regional economies, as overexploitation and resource scarcity are projected to affect key industries such as agriculture, energy, and other water-dependent activities.
The three-day event included a discussion on topics that are key to today's climate change issues and form the basis of energy sustainability:
· The impact of climate change and its implications for development in general and the energy sector in particular;
· Increasing the resilience of the energy sector to climate change and the role of governments;
· The role of renewable energy in reducing regional energy instability;
· Decentralized energy solutions; and
· Clean energy financing opportunities.
To date, mitigation and adaptation plans in the energy sector are a potential means to stimulate sustainable development and will form an important part of the nationally determined contributions (NDCs) of the countries, just as regional cooperation among Central Asian countries is critical to addressing the water-energy nexus, which is an extension of transboundary environmental and climate challenges. Coordinated, cooperative regional approaches will be key to ensure holistic and effective solutions that cannot be achieved unilaterally.
Power and fuel systems must become more resilient to extreme weather and increasing pressure on water resources. Private businesses are key players in developing and implementing resilience measures and adaptive practices, while governments will play a key role in encouraging and supporting resilience actions, both in supporting emergency response and in managing their own energy assets.
A range of renewable energy sources must be harnessed to reduce energy instability. For Central Asian economies, renewable energy appears to be a rational choice, but the use of renewable energy is limited and varies greatly from country to country. Measures are needed in Central Asia to address gender issues, as women and children, especially girls, suffer from a lack of energy sustainability and a lack of sustainable energy sources, especially in rural areas.
The "Policy Action for Climate Security in Central Asia" project promotes regional cooperation on climate policy and effective climate diplomacy, positioning countries on a climate agenda based on science-based commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, and enhancing the negotiating skills of national delegations to the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
The 26th session of the UN Climate Change Conference will take place from November 1 to 12 this year in Glasgow, UK. This conference is by far the highest negotiating body for the implementation of the provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol (KP), and the Paris Agreement.
For any questions or any other information regarding the online workshop, please contact Pakiza Shirinova at email@example.com.