Climate change is a global challenge and everyone’s responsibility. It affects every country and every person. To overcome this challenge and to decouple economic growth from environmental degradation, we all need to take concrete actions to change the way we produce and consume. 

The European Union (EU) is a global leader on climate action and green transition. In line with the EU Green Deal – a new growth strategy to transform the EU into a modern, resource-efficient and competitive economy – the EU countries are committed to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. 

Carbon neutrality is a global objective. It is also on the agenda of sustainable development of Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan. At the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26), the five countries of Central Asia (CA) voiced their consolidated approach to decarbonisation and their common strive to create new opportunities for sustainable growth and the wellbeing of future generations. To maximize climate action in the region and beyond, the five countries developed, inter alia, a common approach to switching to renewable energy. 

The CA countries have committed to be part of the global energy transition from fossil-based energy sources including oil, natural gas, and coal — to renewable energy sources (RES) like solar energy, wind energy, geothermal energy, hydropower, and bioenergy. Use of RES decreases environmental impacts and greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, produces minimum secondary waste, and mitigates climate change through substituting fossil fuels.

The CA region has abundant renewable energy resources; it possesses an estimated 5 % of the world’s natural capacity for wind and solar energy capture. The five countries of CA undertake efforts for scaling up clean and renewable energy that can help satisfy a growing energy demand and avoid the negative environmental impacts of using fossil fuels. 

Under the EU Strategy on Central Asia, the EU is committed to support our partner countries in CA in their efforts to decarbonise the national economies and to fulfil their commitments to reduce GHG emissions under the Paris Agreement. 

The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) is pleased to launch a media contest among Central Asian journalists for the best journalistic materials to address the theme “Switching to renewable energy sources – our contribution to carbon neutrality”.

The purpose of this contest is to increase public awareness on the need of switching to renewable energy sources to reduce the environmental impact of fossil fuels, meet the rapidly growing energy demand, and tackle the challenges related to the energy security.

As a result of the contest, 6 winners will be selected (one I prize, two II prizes, three III prizes). The winners will take part in an international study tour to learn about available EU technologies and expertise in renewable energy and energy efficiency, and to study the best practices of the EU as a key stakeholder and leader of sustainable energy transition and introduction of low carbon economy. The trip will be organized by the WECOOP project and is tentatively scheduled for September 2022. Considering the ongoing COVID-19 pandemic situation, the trip may be postponed to a later date. It will be organized in compliance with all safety measures to prevent the spread of the virus and recommendations for personal protection.


In the EU, share of renewable energy more than doubled between 2004 and 2020. Under the European Green Deal, all 27 EU Member States committed to turning the EU into the first climate neutral continent by 2050. To get there, they pledged to reduce emissions by at least 55 % by 2030, compared to 1990 levels, which requires higher shares of renewable energy and greater energy efficiency. In 2021, the European Commission presented the revised Renewable Energy Directive and proposed to increase the binding target of renewable sources in the EU’s energy mix up to 40 % by 2030. 

In line with the Green Deal and the EU Strategy on Central Asia, the EU is committed to support CA countries in their current energy transition efforts by “building upon the region’s potential in solar, wind and hydroelectric energy” in order to “contribute to strengthening the region’s energy resilience, helping to meet its climate objectives, and creating jobs and business opportunities on both sides.” 


To participate in the contest, the applicants should meet the following criteria:

  • Be a citizen of one of the five Central Asian countries (Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan or Uzbekistan);
  • Age 18+;
  • Be an employee of a media outlet duly registered in one of the Central Asian countries.

The languages of the contest materials – Russian, English, or Kazakh, Kyrgyz, Tajik, Turkmen, Uzbek with the translation into Russian or English. 

The materials of individual authors on the topic of renewable energy sources published in print or electronic media or aired/broadcast on TV/radio during the period from 1 June 2021 to 27 May 2022, in the amount of no more than 3 materials from one applicant are accepted for participation in the contest.

To take part in the contest, an applicant shall fill in the application form (see the attachment) and attach to it the contest materials (article, feature story, interview, photo spread*, TV/radio story line/programme) with indication of hyperlinks to the materials, and in case of a print media also attach a scanned PDF copy with the name of the media outlet, date, and number of the issue. The application and all attached materials shall be sent to the e-mail address:

Deadline for submission of application: 27 May 2022 (23:59 UTC+6). Late applications will not be considered.   

The Evaluation Committee will be established to evaluate the journalistic contest materials. The Evaluation Committee shall include representatives of the Cooperation and/or Political, Press and Information Sections of the EU Delegations to Central Asian countries, as well as the WECOOP project management team. 

The main evaluation criteria are the following:

  1. compliance with the theme
  2. understanding and in-depth elucidation of the subject
  3. accuracy and reliability of information
  4. professional level of presenting the material, style of presentation
  5. compliance with ethical principles of journalism.

The contest results shall be announced on 6 June 2022 at the Award Ceremony that will be held online, as well as on the WECOOP project website ( and official social media pages of the Delegation of the European Union to the Republic of Kazakhstan and the WECOOP project (Facebook, Instagram, Twitter, LinkedIn – @EuinKazakhstan and @wecoopproject).

* The authors of the photo spreads grant to the organizers the right to display these photographs during the online Award Ceremony and to post them on the official social media pages of the WECOOP project.