The Asian Development Bank established the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program in 1997 to encourage economic cooperation among countries in Central Asia and South Asia, the Caucasus, Mongolia, and the People’s Republic of China.
It is also a regional partnership to help accelerate the shift to low-carbon energy sources and build resilience from climate change.
The region is also feeling the impacts of climate change, and countries must work together for effective climate change adaptation and mitigation.
The ADB list important figures that illustrate the climate change impacts in the CAREC region:
- 30% – the figure represents the decrease of glacier surface area in Central Asia over the past 50-60 years due to climate change. The melting of snowcaps has increased the frequency of floods and landslides in the region.
- Thirty-three million people were affected by the 2022 catastrophic floods in Pakistan. In July, when the massive flooding came, the country received more than 60% of its average monsoon rainfall in just three weeks.
- $16.3 billion is needed to rebuild and rehabilitate Pakistan’s infrastructure and agriculture after the floods that submerged a third of the country.
- 10-15% is the estimated reduction of the water volumes in the Syr Darya and Amu Darya basins by mid-century. These two large rivers are crucial water sources for the countries in Central Asia. By 2050 to 2100, water volumes could drop 30% and 40% in the Syr Darya basin and Amy Darya basin, respectively.
- Three billion cubic meters is Uzbekistan’s current water deficit. The deficit could rise to 7 billion up to 17 billion cubic meters by 2030 and 2050, respectively, given the drop in the water volumes in the Syr Darya and Amu Darya basins.
- 5% – the figure represents the added solar and wind energy capacity in the CAREC region despite its vast renewable energy potential. Some countries in the region are also highly dependent on fossil fuels for their economy.
- $339 billion is needed for green energy growth by 2030 in the CAREC region. the current investment is only a quarter of this amount.
ADB also unveiled initiatives from the CAREC program to boost the region’s green economic recovery, food security, and clean energy uptake as the area recovers from the pandemic and copes with climate change impacts and geopolitical conflicts.
“The initiatives endorsed by ministers from Azerbaijan, the People’s Republic of China (PRC), Georgia, Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyz Republic, Mongolia, Pakistan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Uzbekistan are:
The CAREC Post-Pandemic Framework for a Green, Sustainable, and Inclusive Recovery, outlines areas where CAREC countries can collaborate to boost the region’s recovery from the economic impacts of the pandemic and geopolitical conflicts, among other shocks.
The Cooperation Framework for Agricultural Development and Food Security in the CAREC Region focuses on international cooperation to modernize agriculture, strengthen policies, and develop food value chains. The framework also emphasizes international trade in food products and enhancing information sharing on food security.
The CAREC Green Energy Alliance will be the region’s first financing vehicle for renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Endorsed by the ministers, work will begin on establishing the vehicle to provide access to investment-ready green energy projects and match financiers with project developers to fast-track the low-carbon transition.”
By the Numbers: Climate Change in Central Asia (2022 November 23). ADB. Retrieved from https://www.adb.org/news/features/numbers-climate-change-central-asia
CAREC Ministers Endorse New Green Recovery, Food Security, and Clean Energy Cooperation Initiatives. (2022 November 24). ADB. Retrieved from https://www.adb.org/news/carec-ministers-endorse-new-green-recovery-food-security-and-clean-energy-cooperation