President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov led the Turkmen delegation at the Annual Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP28), which was held in Dubai. The forum exploded with diverse opinions from numerous representatives of states, international organisations and business elite and environmental experts, but all of them were united by the alarming condition of the Earth’s climate. Chairperson Ekodurmush Public Organisation Ainabat Atayeva commented on the outcomes of the event in an interview with CentralAsia.news.
The main topics of the Conference included the first phase of the Paris Agreement, the launch of the Loss and Damage Fund and the role of fossil fuels in the future. Last year, the developed countries supported the idea of setting up the above-mentioned financial institution and agreed to launch it at COP27 in the Egyptian city of Sharm el-Sheikh after several years of intense negotiations under the auspices of the UN. It will enable developing countries to cope with the effects of extreme weather events such as droughts, floods and rising sea levels.
Unity of the international community
The COP28 agenda included a phase-out of fossil fuels. The Conference aimed to limit the global temperature increase to 1.5 Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Article 14 of the Paris Agreement states that the world must undertake its first global stocktake in 2023 and every five years thereafter. The main technical conclusions emerging from this stocktake are disappointing: unless we step up our efforts to reduce emissions, the goals of the Paris Agreement will not be achieved. “The window of opportunity is rapidly closing. Much more ambitious action is needed to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 43 percent by 2030 and 60 percent by 2035 and achieve net zero CO2 emissions by 2050,” the document says.
The culmination of processes
At the beginning of the Conference, UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres presented the national reports on actions being taken by the Member States to respond to the global climate crisis.
COP28 provided a platform for hundreds of events on climate change. The key one was the World Climate Action Summit, at which the heads of state and government made the national position statements on climate change.
The Summit approved specific expert conclusions, which all the Member States will use to update their national emission reduction plans by 2025.
President Serdar Berdimuhamedov presented the approaches and proposals to address global climate and environmental security issues. One of the major vectors of the foreign policy of Turkmenistan is to bolster constructive international relations in matters concerning climate change, environmental protection, sustainable environmental management and security. Turkmenistan pays special attention to adopting eco-friendly technologies and developing a green economy.
Speaking at the 78th session of the UN General Assembly in September this year, President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov called on the world community to establish a Regional Centre for Climate Change Technologies in Central Asia and develop the Caspian Sea Environment Initiative. The President emphasised that the Caspian Sea is significant in the context of the global environmental agenda. In his opinion, the above Initiative will be an effective discussion platform on environmental protection, biodiversity conservation and solutions to existing problems.
Global Methane Pledge
Drastic methane emissions cuts were one of the main themes at COP28. For many decades now, scientists, governments and public in nearly all countries of the world have been concerned about ongoing and projected global climate change, as well as its impacts on the economy, quality of life and health of the people in different regions of the planet. Turkmenistan officially announced its accession to the Global Methane Pledge at COP28.
The Global Methane Pledge envisages developing measures to reduce methane emissions. It was developed by experts ahead of COP26 in Glasgow in 2021. Through this international initiative, actions to reduce methane emissions can slow the rate of global warming. By joining the Global Methane Pledge, Turkmenistan thereby continues cooperation with international organisations and partner countries not only in addressing climate change, but also in saving the planet for the current and future generations of humanity.