TBILISI, GEORGIA (30 November 2023) — Member countries of the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program today committed to work together to cut greenhouse gas emissions and build resilience to climate change.
“We endorse the Regional Action on Climate Change: A Vision for CAREC to help countries implement their commitments under the Paris Agreement,” said the joint ministerial statement issued at the 22nd CAREC Ministerial Conference held today, for the first time, in Tbilisi.
The statement was endorsed by ministers and high-level officials from Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China, Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan.
“I am confident this shared Vision will enhance the CAREC Program’s impact on this most critical climate challenge facing the subregion,” said Asian Development Bank (ADB) President Masatsugu Asakawa. “I look forward to concrete progress on bringing forward more climate projects—including in renewable energy, sustainable agriculture, efficient water use, economic diversification, and strengthening supply chains—to improve the region’s climate resilience and adaptation.”
The Vision emphasizes the importance of the energy transition and improved use of renewable energy sources, strengthening regional electricity trade, deploying innovative financing solutions, and investing in climate-resilient infrastructure and policies. It calls for strengthened collaboration and coordination with the program’s development partners in supporting the region’s climate agenda.
A scoping study published earlier this year showed climate change is expected to have severe impacts in the CAREC region, including higher-than-average temperature rises, greater water scarcity, expanded desertification, and glacial melting.
To address water issues in the region, CAREC will support the countries to improve their expertise and capacities in transboundary water management, water productivity, and to invest in more efficient irrigation systems to boost agricultural productivity.
CAREC will also support efforts to decarbonize transport and continue deepening regional connectivity with efficient transport technologies and infrastructure. Other priority areas include developing climate-smart cities with electrified mass transit systems and promoting climate and disaster resilience through regional risk management and financing initiatives.
The CAREC Program is a partnership of countries and development partners working together to promote sustainable development, accelerate economic growth and reduce poverty. ADB hosts the CAREC secretariat.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.