Central Asia is vulnerable to global warming, and it needs to develop and implement sound climate policies, Kalin Tintchev, Economist in Middle East and Central Asia Department of International Monetary Fund (IMF) told Trend.
In his words, although the region’s contribution to global carbon emissions is small, all Central Asian countries have committed under the Paris Agreement to reducing their carbon footprints.
“Beyond these mitigation pledges, adaption to climate change is a priority for all countries in the region, but oil exporters, in addition, will face a transition challenge to diversify away from fossil fuels as demand for oil and gas declines with global greening,” he said.
He pointed out that addressing climate-related risks and delivering on these commitments will require effective climate policies supported by capacity building and adequate financing, including from the international community. Early and proactive engagement with the population and key stakeholders would also be important to build public support for the needed structural reforms and policy adjustment.
“Green transitioning is a medium to long term problem, which requires gradual and persistent implementation of climate policies along three pillars – mitigation, adaptation and transition. The current difficult global environment and the uncertainty about the impact of the Ukraine war on the region is an added challenge, but this should not distract policymakers from advancing their climate agenda. In fact, the elevated global oil prices could be seen as an added incentive, at least for oil importers, to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels by switching to renewables,” he said.
Tintchev also added that IMF has developed a comprehensive strategy to help member countries, including in Central Asia, to address climate-related challenges.
Under this strategy the IMF provides
1. policy advice on macro-critical climate issues, supported by its in-house research;
2. technical assistance to help countries incorporate climate-related issues in their macro-policy frameworks; and
3. financing for green transitioning to qualifying members under its recently approved Resilience and Sustainability Trust.