Representatives of the European Union (EU) and International Financial Institutions (IFIs) met online to coordinate actions to promote investments in clean air projects in Central Asia (CA). The EU Delegations in CA and the World Bank, European Investment Bank (EIB), European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), French Development Agency (AFD) and the Green Climate Fund were represented.

According to OECD, “urban air pollution is set to become the top environmental cause of mortality worldwide by 2050, ahead of dirty water and lack of sanitation”. In addition to human health, air pollution poses risks to the environment, economy and food security. 

The EU and IFIs play important role in municipal and private investments in CA. At the meeting, the parties discussed the current and future pipelines of environmental investment projects and analysed the main barriers and potential ways to unlock more investments in the sector.

Mr Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation, EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, stated: “Clean air is essential for human health, the environment and our economy. Air pollution knows no borders and cannot be addressed effectively in isolation – it is closely linked to our new Green Deal and policies for energy, climate, transport and other sectors and requires a coordinated action at local, regional and international levels. Accordingly, the EU is committed to promote a more rational use of natural resources and green investments in the relevant sectors with the ultimate goal of contributing to measurable reductions in man-made pollution.”

In Central Asia, the main sources of air pollution in cities are industry, transport and heating. Thus, providers of municipal services and businesses need to make significant investments to upgrade the existing infrastructure in order to reduce the main sources of air pollution.

To help the region to better identify and support environmental projects, the EU and IFIs also reviewed their experience with the design and implementation of relevant IFI-supported investment projects in CA and identified key lessons and potential challenges to project implementation.

The meeting was organised by the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia: Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) as part of the EU’s support to Central Asia in investment project identification and preparation.

Background: 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.

For additional information, please contact:

Mrs Yelena Serebrennikova
WECOOP Senior Communication Expert
mobile/WhatsApp +77019814020

Ms Nurgul Smagulova
WECOOP Event and Communication Officer
mobile/WhatsApp +77012066760

Ms Yerkezhan Amriyeva
Political, Press and Information Section
EU Delegation to Kazakhstan