On December 1, the President of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev took part in the world’s largest climate conference, COP28, in Dubai and voiced support for global initiatives to combat climate change, highlighting the importance of “green” initiatives in Central Asia.
The annual UN Climate Change conference, known as COP, commenced in the UAE on Nov. 30 and has brought together more than 70,000 delegates from around the globe, including the member states of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Shavkat Mirziyoyev’s message at COP28
Addressing the world’s main climate event, Shavkat Mirziyoyev noted that global climate change has become a challenging issue for sustainable development, even affecting the global geopolitical landscape.
“We can effectively fight against climate change only by uniting our efforts and promoting broad international cooperation,” Mirziyoyev said.
The President of Uzbekistan stressed that the adverse effects of climate change are particularly evident in Central Asia, where the increase in temperature is twice as high as the global average.
Mirziyoyev stated that soil erosion in parts of Central Asia is impacting the livelihoods of over 30 million people and leading to more frequent sand and dust storms. Additionally, he underscored the growing concerns of water scarcity, air pollution, loss of biodiversity, and a significant decrease in agricultural yields.
“These global challenges are reaching their critical peak in our vast region… Uzbekistan remains committed to universal notions in fighting against climate change,” the president said.
Transition to “green” energy
Uzbekistan joined the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in 1993 and ratified the Kyoto Protocol in 1999. However, significant and visible changes in its efforts to curb its carbon footprint and transition towards “green” energy technologies only gained momentum after Shavkat Mirziyoyev became President of Uzbekistan in 2016.
In 2017, upon signing the Paris Agreement, Tashkent committed to a series of measures aimed at reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 to combat climate change.
Over the past few years, under the leadership of Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan has improved its international relations with major countries, facilitating the attraction of billions of dollars in investments into “green” energy projects, such as solar and wind power plants.
“Transition to a green economy and achieving carbon neutrality are the key strategic objectives of New Uzbekistan,” said the President of Uzbekistan at the COP28.
Speaking in Dubai, Mirziyoyev stated that the share of alternative energy in Uzbekistan has doubled, as the country is actively working to increase its renewable energy capacities by 2030 and has taken steps in “green” hydrogen production.
Reforms of Shavkat Mirziyoyev
Under the leadership of Shavkat Mirziyoyev, Uzbekistan has experienced impressive economic growth in recent years thanks to its mining, manufacturing, and resource extraction industries.
This became possible as Mirziyoyev, upon becoming president, launched a wide range of ambitious reforms aimed at improving living standards, enhancing the business climate, and securing freedom of speech and women's rights.
Mirziyoyev’s reelection in July 2023 is widely viewed as a guarantee that Uzbekistan will persist in its transformation. This continued change is expected to further boost its economic growth and enhance the country’s role on the international political and economic stage.
Attending the COP28 conference, which convened business leaders, climate scientists, journalists, and other experts, Mirziyoyev stated that Uzbekistan is planning to organize a conference on “Climate Migration” in 2024, in cooperation with the United Nations.
“Moreover, in collaboration with the International Labor Organization, we propose to develop the “Green Jobs Initiative” and establish a Centre for Modelling. We stand ready to organize a COP Youth Conference in our country at a high level,” Mirziyoyev said.