Uzbekistan is contributing to international efforts to combat global warming by participating in the Global Methane Pledge (GMP) aimed at the reduction of methane emissions by 30 per cent by 2030. It has become only the second country in Central Asia, a region known for high-intensity greenhouse gas emissions, to join the agreement.
The European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) and the Ministry of Economic Development and Poverty Reduction of Uzbekistan have agreed to develop a national methane emissions programme. It will become a key planning tool for achieving the GMP’s ambitious objectives.
Jamshid Kuchkarov, Deputy Prime Minister of Uzbekistan, who conveyed the political commitment of President Shavkat Mirziyoyev recognising the dangers to the climate from methane, called for a comprehensive domestic action focusing on the energy, solid waste and agribusiness sectors. The latter will require the introduction of new technologies and closer work with the country’s farming community.
EBRD President Odile Renaud-Basso said: “Targeting methane abatement in Uzbekistan has a dual effect. It is an important step towards alignment with the Paris Agreement and an opportunity for bringing economic as well as environmental returns. It is a low-hanging fruit for Uzbekistan to cut its greenhouse gas emissions and meet its Nationally Determined Contributions target. Therefore, our support, both technical and financial, should help Uzbekistan with rapid reduction in its emissions by 2030.”
Methane is a potent greenhouse gas and also contributes to the formation of ground-level ozone, a hazardous air pollutant and itself a greenhouse gas. Its sources include landfill, oil and natural gas systems, agricultural activities, coal mining, stationary and mobile combustion, wastewater treatment and some industrial processes.
It has accounted for around 30 per cent of global warming since the pre-industrial era and is proliferating faster than at any other time since records began in the 1980s, according to the United Nations Environment Programme.
The EBRD has been at the forefront of efforts to reduce methane gas emissions. It combines investments with policy engagement and technical assistance, leading, for instance, on multi-year methane emission reduction programmes in the gas sectors of economies in which it invests, such as Kazakhstan and Ukraine. The EBRD is also working with international partners including the Food and Agriculture Organization of the United Nations (FAO) to promote best agriculture and farming practices.