COP27 and its Kyrgyz achievements
Last year, I attended COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt as an observer representing the Climate Action Network for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia. One of the main topics of the conference was “Loss and Damage”, and negotiations ended with an agreement on the creation of a Loss and Damage Fund. Only time will tell if the fund will really help climate-vulnerable developing countries like Kyrgyzstan.
War on Renewable Energy in Ukraine and Kyrgyzstan
Everyone talked about the war in Ukraine. Conversations focused on the negative effects of war on climate, energy and food. In a discussion that I found fascinating, representatives of the governments of Ukraine, Georgia and Moldova, and researchers from various organizations, argued that the hitherto neglected war-related emissions are the United Nations on Climate Change. Discussed how it could be addressed under the Framework Convention (UNFCCC) and the 2015 Paris Agreement.
A highlight was the recently released report of the Initiative on GHG Accounting for War. It is estimated that the Russian invasion of Ukraine released about 33 million tons of greenhouse gases in just seven months.
Attended a side event at the Ukraine Pavilion (At COP27, Ukraine had its own pavilion for the first time in COP history), focusing on the example of volunteers making portable solar panels for renewable energy solutions during the war made a presentation about the station during clashes on the Kyrgyzstan-Tajik border in September 2022.
When the border dispute between Tajikistan and Kyrgyzstan began, the main attacks were against power lines. Power outages hit dozens of Kyrgyz villages in the Batken region of southwestern Kyrgyzstan, leaving about 10,000 homes and public facilities without power. The biggest vulnerabilities were the border crossings and the military guarding the border, which were in constant need of charging facilities. Between 14 and 16 September, Kyrgyz citizens began collecting humanitarian aid for the Batken people. The group has funded five of his solar panel stations, and information technology and engineering citizen activists have helped build small, portable solar panel stations for border guards.
This case is very similar to the EcoAction NGO movement in Ukraine. The movement is also funding portable solar power stations for the military. A Ukrainian colleague asked me to attend a side event at COP27. I was happy to share how civil society in Kyrgyzstan is in crisis.
Meanwhile, Beksultan Ibraimov, Head of Kyrgyzstan’s Official Delegation and Deputy Minister for Natural Resources, Environment and Technology Supervision, spoke at the high-level segment of COP27. He said Kyrgyzstan’s adaptation to climate change would require $6.3 billion.
He highlighted a 60% increase in the number of avalanches, mudslides and floods causing hundreds of millions of dollars in damage in Kyrgyzstan over the past two decades. He continued: Ambassadors of the alpine snow peaks, snow leopards are highly sensitive to climate change and at the same time of utmost importance to the present and future of humanity. ”
There were also many representatives from environmental NGOs and youth communities in Kyrgyzstan. They attended the People’s Plenary as well as side events related to water, glacier, health and air pollution issues.
Tajikistan and glaciers
Tajikistan President Emomali Rahmon, the only Central Asian delegate to attend the main event of the UNFCCC, spoke at the opening ceremony of COP27. He noted that Tajikistan is a mountainous country susceptible to climate change and the country’s glaciers are melting rapidly. His 93% of the territory of Tajikistan is mountainous. ”
“One-third of Central Asia’s glaciers are projected to disappear completely by 2050, dramatically increasing the risk of flash flooding from glacial lake outbursts.”
It is worth highlighting that Tajikistan had its own pavilion at COP27, where it hosted side events related to water security, glacier issues and regional mountain policy. Previously, at her COP26 in Glasgow, the five Central Asian countries had a joint pavilion, but the 2022 conference will not witness joint positions or representative events from the region. There was not.
Overall, this COP was historic. This was due to the decision to create a loss and damage fund. The decision is the first step to open up sources of financial support to the billions of people in the Global East who have contributed little to the climate change crisis but are suffering so much. There are also people In order to seek funding from this fund, Kyrgyzstan needs to conduct more evidence-based research, including data analysis on glacier melting, loss and damage, and impacts of climate change in the country. We also need to create an adaptation strategy.
Bakhtigul Tinybaeva I am a climate journalist based in Bishkek, Kyrgyzstan and Communications Manager for Eastern Europe, the Caucasus and Central Asia for the Climate Action Network.