Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan – Representatives of the European Union (EU) Delegations in Central Asia (CA) and journalists participating in the EU contest “Switching to renewable energy sources ‒ our contribution to carbon neutrality” gathered online for an Award Ceremony to recognise the participants and announce the winners.

The CA region has abundant potential to develop the renewable energy sector. At the 2021 UN Climate Change Conference (COP 26), the five countries of CA voiced their consolidated approach to decarbonisation and their common strive to create new opportunities for sustainable growth and the wellbeing of future generations. The CA countries have committed to be part of the global energy transition from fossil-based energy sources such as oil, natural gas and coal to renewable energy sources (RES) such as solar, wind and biomass energy. 

In the EU, renewable energy is considered priority. The share of renewable energy more than doubled between 2004 and 2020 in the EU countries. In May 2022, the European Commission presented the REPowerEU Plan in response to the hardships and global energy disruption caused by Russia’s invasion of Ukraine. A massive scaling-up and speeding-up of renewable energy in power generation, industry, buildings and transport will accelerate independence, give a boost to the green transition, and reduce prices over time. The European Commission proposed to increase the headline 2030 target for renewables from 40 % to 45 % under the ‘Fit for 55’ package.

Addressing the journalists, Mr Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, noted: “Considering negative environmental impacts of using fossil fuels, water shortages and other challenges caused by the climate change, it is absolutely obvious the countries of the region urgently need to diversify their energy mixes and switch to sustainable energy sources. In line with the Green Deal and the EU Strategy on Central Asia, the EU is committed to support CA countries in their energy transition efforts. Mass media plays an important role in raising awareness and shaping attitudes. I encourage you to continue researching and reporting on climate, sustainable energy, circular economy and other pressing environmental issues.”

In total, 52 journalists took part in the contest and submitted 86 entries, of which 25 were selected for the final round of evaluation. As a result, 6 winners were announced: 

I prize: Mr Sabyr Abdumomunov of Radio “Azattyk” (Kyrgyzstan) with the video story “People who found the path to green energy”.

II prize: Ms Yana Karimova of “Manshuq Media” online media (Kazakhstan) with the interview “Expert opinion: Why does Kazakhstan need green economy?” and Ms Nargiza Umarova of “Oila va Tabiat” newspaper (Uzbekistan) with the article “Diversification of energy source: politics or need?”

III prize: Ms Kanyshay Yrysbek kyzy of information-analytical service (Kyrgyzstan) with the video story “How does entrepreneur Sergey Frants supply Kyrgyzstanis with electricity?”; Ms Mariya Indina of financial service (Kyrgyzstan) with the article “Kyrgyzstan can take its niche in the production of hydrogen energy”; and Mr Albert Akhmetov of information service (Kazakhstan) with the article “How Kazakhstan plans to produce half of the electricity without coal and gas”.

The winners will participate in the study tour to the Netherlands to learn about the best practices in development and implementation of renewable energy projects. 

The contest and the ceremony were organised by the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) with a purpose to increase public awareness on the urgent need to switch to renewable energy sources in order to meet the rapidly growing energy demand and tackle the energy security challenges.

Background: The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (third phase from October 2019 to April 2023) 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, Senior Communication Expert, WECOOP, e-mail:, mobile/WhatsApp +77019814020, Ms Nurgul Smagulova, Event and Communication Officer, WECOOP, e-mail:, mobile/WhatsApp: +77012066760, or EU Delegation to Kazakhstan: