Climate policy leaders of the Republic of Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, the Republic of Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and the Republic of Uzbekistan and U.S. Special Presidential Envoy for Climate John Kerry convened virtually for a C5+1 Ministerial to discuss their collective and country commitments to act to address the climate crisis on September 16, 2021.
The C5+1 governments affirmed the critical nature of the climate crisis faced by the world today. Climate change has already reduced snowfalls in C5 countries, negatively impacts the availability of water for food security and energy generation, accelerates desertification and land degradation, and undermines biodiversity. It is imperative that all countries demonstrate their commitment to act with urgency by submitting ambitious nationally determined contributions (NDCs) ahead of the 26th UN Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) in Glasgow. All C5 countries pledged their NDCs would include specific targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and concrete actions to reach those targets in line with the goal of keeping a 1.5 degree Celsius above pre-industrial levels temperature limit within reach.
The C5+1 governments acknowledged the critical need for the world to work together to advance the transition to a net-zero, clean-energy future by mid-century. Participants noted the significant potential for regional collaboration toward advancing that objective, in areas such as the development of the use of renewable energy and methane abatement, as well as through support of the social transition for segments of the population vulnerable to climate change. At the same time, the C5+1 countries recognized accelerated action to address climate change can be an engine for economic growth, and acknowledged opportunities provided by enhanced regional energy connectivity and energy performance.
The C5+1 governments expressed concern about the large-scale consequences of the drying up of the Aral Sea and stressed the importance of efforts aimed at improving the ecological, social, economic, and demographic situation in the Aral Sea region. The C5+1 governments stressed the importance of a special resolution of the UN General Assembly declaring the Aral Sea region a zone of ecological innovations and technologies, adopted in May 2021.
The C5+1 governments confirmed their interest in mitigating consequences of climate change in Central Asia through high-tech innovations; environmentally friendly, energy, and water-saving technologies; preventing further desertification and potential climate migration; as well as the development of ecotourism.
The C5+1 partners reaffirmed their commitment to increase environmental cooperation within the framework of the C5+1 regional diplomatic platform. Accordingly, the C5+1 governments will plan for the Energy and Environment Working Group to meet ahead of COP26 to strengthen the regional dialogue to support science-based and climate-sustainable actions, including:
- Submitting ambitious NDCs by COP26;
- Developing science-based and climate-resilient solutions;
- Cooperating on projects to reduce emissions, particularly carbon- and methane-related emissions;
- Collaborating on developing the use of renewable energy, energy efficiency, regulatory reform, and regional energy integration;
- Improving water resource management and water quality, including through water resource agreements and strengthened water diplomacy;
- Collaboration on disaster risk reduction and climate resilience;
- Conserving, sustainably managing, and restoring natural ecosystems, including through afforestation and reforestation;
- Jointly addressing the ecological and socioeconomic situation of the Aral Sea Basin;
- Mobilizing climate-aligned private sector investment in Central Asia, including through the Multi-Partner Trust Fund for Human Security for the Aral Sea Region;
- At this point, C5+1 countries have made the following commitments to showcase their increased ambition to address climate change:
- Republic of Kazakhstan: Kazakhstan has committed to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060 and reach 15 percent share of renewables by 2030.
- Kyrgyz Republic: The Kyrgyz Republic is in the final stages of considering a revised NDC of 16 percent reduction in greenhouse gas emissions below business-as-usual levels and 44 percent reduction conditional on international support
- Republic of Uzbekistan: Uzbekistan intends to submit an enhanced and ambitious NDC aligned with 1.5 degrees Celsius by COP26. Uzbekistan will include its renewable energy target of 25 percent by 2030, enshrined in Uzbekistan national law, in its future enhanced NDC.
- United States of America: the NDC of the United States is to achieve an economy-wide target of reducing its net greenhouse gas emissions by 50-52 percent below 2005 levels in 2030. The United States also aims to decarbonize its electricity system by 2035.