COP27 and Its Outcomes for Kyrgyzstan
Last yr, I attended COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt as an observer on behalf of the Climate Motion Network Eastern Europe, Caucasus, and Central Asia. One predominant topic of the conference was “loss and damage,” and the outcomes of the negotiations ended with an agreement on the creation of a loss and damage fund. Time will tell whether this fund will really help less developed countries like Kyrgyzstan which might be vulnerable to climate change.
War in Ukraine and Kyrgyz Renewable Energy
The war in Ukraine was on everyone’s lips. Conversations focused on the negative impacts of the war on climate, energy and food. In discussions that I discovered fascinating, representatives from the governments of Ukraine, Georgia, and Moldova, and researchers from various organizations discussed how war-related emissions, which have to this point been ignored, will be handled under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 2015 Paris Agreement.
On the focal point was a recently released report by the Initiative on GHG accounting of war. It’s estimated that in only 7 months, the Russian invasion of Ukraine released around 33 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions.
I attended a side event on the Ukraine pavilion (at COP27, Ukraine had its own pavilion for the primary time within the history of COP) and made a presentation about renewable energy solutions during war, specializing in the instance of volunteers who made portable solar panel stations during Kyrgyz-Tajik border clashes in September 2022.
When the border conflict between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan began, the predominant аttacks were on power lines. Dozens of Kyrgyz villages within the Batken region within the southwest of Kyrgyzstan lost electricity, leaving about 10,000 houses and public facilities without light. The best vulnerabilities were border checkpoints and troops protecting the border, which were continually in need of charging facilities. Between September 14 and 16, Kyrgyz residents began collecting humanitarian aid for the people of Batken. The group fundraised for five solar panel stations, and knowledge technology and engineering civil activists helped them construct small-portable solar panel stations for border guards.
This case may be very just like Ukraine’s Ecoaction NGO movement, which can be fundraising for portable solar energy stations for the military. Ukrainian colleagues asked me to affix their side event at COP27, and I used to be comfortable to share how powerful Kyrgyz civil society is in crisis.
Meanwhile, the top of the official delegation of Kyrgyzstan, Deputy Minister of Natural Resources, Environment and Technical Supervision, Beksultan Ibraimov, spoke on the COP27 high-level segment. He said that 6.3 billion dollars might be required for Kyrgyzstan’s adaptation to climate change.
He emphasized that within the last 20 years, Kyrgyzstan has seen a 60% increase within the variety of avalanches, mudflows, and floods that cause lots of of thousands and thousands of US dollars of harm. He continued: “Being emitters of 0.03% of world greenhouse gases, Kyrgyzstan is looking for climate justice… The time has come for a typical decision to acknowledge that mountain ecosystems, with all available water, mineral and biological resources, and, in fact, ambassadors of high mountain snow peaks—snow leopards—are extremely sensitive to climate change and, at the identical time, are of paramount importance for the current and the long run of humanity.”
Kyrgyzstan also had a lot of representatives from environmental NGOs and the youth community. They attended the People’s Plenary, in addition to side events related to water, glacier, health, and air pollution issues.
Tajikistan and Glaciers
The president of Tajikistan, Emomali Rahmon, was the one Central Asian representative to attend the UNFCCC’s predominant event, and spoke on the opening of COP27. He noted that Tajikistan is a mountainous country, vulnerable to climate change, and glaciers within the country are melting rapidly. He identified that “Tajikistan is some of the vulnerable countries when it comes to climate in all the region of Europe and Central Asia. Ninety-three percent of Tajikistan’s territory consists of mountains.”
“It’s assumed that by 2050 up to at least one third of the glaciers in Central Asia will completely disappear, which is able to dramatically increase the danger of flash floods from the breakout of glacial lakes.”
It’s value emphasizing that Tajikistan had its own pavilion at COP27, where it organized side events related to water security, glacier issues and mountain policy of the region. Previously, at COP26 in Glasgow, five Central Asia countries had a joint pavilion, but on the 2022 conference, I didn’t witness a joint position or representative events from the region.
Overall, this COP was historic due to decision to create a loss and damage fund. This decision is step one in opening a source of economic support to the billions of individuals within the Global East who’ve contributed little to the climate crisis but are suffering enormously from it. Amongst them are the people of Kyrgyzstan. To assert finance from this fund, Kyrgyzstan might want to conduct more evidence-based research, like data evaluation of melting glaciers, loss and damage, and climate change impacts within the country. It’s going to also must create an adaptation strategy.
Baktygul Chynybaeva is a climate journalist based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Climate Motion Network Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia communication manager.