NUR-SULTAN — Today, officials from Central Asia (CA), the European Union (EU) and the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS) convened the second meeting of the Coordination Committee of the European Union – Central Asia Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (WGECC) to discuss cooperation as part of a post-pandemic green recovery.
The Coordination Committee meeting, co-chaired by Mr Andrzej Januszewski of the European Commission’s General Directorate for the Environment and Mr Angiolo Martinelli of IMELS, was held in preparation for the 10th WGECC meeting scheduled to take place in Almaty this year. The parties discussed possible topics to address.
The EU is at the forefront of international efforts to fight climate change and supports partner countries’ efforts to address climate change, to protect the environment and ecosystems worldwide. With its recently adopted European Green Deal, the European Union is committed to lead by example, spearhead the global transition to circular economy, halt biodiversity loss, protect human health, advance climate action on the global agenda, and to make Europe climate neutral by 2050.
Delegates considered organising specific WGECC sessions dedicated to the illustration of the recent EU initiatives on climate and their possible implications for the countries of Central Asia, and to the discussion on common grounds ahead of the 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26 UNFCCC), scheduled to take place in November 2021 in Glasgow, under the Presidency of the UK in partnership with Italy.
They also agreed to have a session dedicated to an expert overview of the biodiversity’s state of play in the CA region and to organise a debate on possible common views ahead of the 15th Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity (COP15 CBD) scheduled to take place in the second half of 2021 (tbc) in Kunming, China.
The EU reiterated its commitment to support Central Asian countries in moving to circular economy, enhancing national environment, climate change and water policies, and promoting green investments in renewable energy and cleaner air.
IMELS highlighted the importance of concentrating the efforts of the WGECC on the support to Central Asia for an integrated approach to sustainable development, in line with the UN Agenda 2030, that considers the interrelations between biodiversity, climate change and health.
The meeting was organized online by the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP).
The Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation was established at the EU–CA High Level Conference in Rome (Italy) in 2009. The Platform is a framework for the implementation of the EU–CA cooperation in water and environment, based on the EU Strategy on Central Asia agreed with the CA countries. The European Union – Central Asia Working Group on Environment and Climate Change (WGECC) chaired by the European Commission and the Italian Ministry for Environment, Land and Sea (IMELS), assists in the identification of regional cooperation priority actions and supports the Platform by strengthening policy dialogue and cooperation within the region as well as between the EU and CA.
The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (third phase from October 2019 to October 2022) aims to enhance environment, climate change and water policies at national levels in Central Asia through approximation to EU standards and to promote investments in relevant sectors with the aim of contributing to measurable reductions in man-made pollution, including CO2 emission. The project activities include support to the EU–CA Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation and its Working Group on Environment and Climate Change, as well as implementation of the EU Green Deal’s international dimension in Central Asia to advance climate action.
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Ms Yerkezhan Amriyeva
Political, Press and Information Section
EU Delegation to Kazakhstan