Climate Change in the Republic of Uzbekistan

By Nicholas Martin ‘23 & Robert Zabin ‘23 — Roxbury Latin

Climate change is a critical issue in Uzbekistan as well as an international issue that the countries of the world need to resolve together. One of Uzbekistan’s on-going national objectives has been to balance the resources of our planet with the requirements of economic and industrial development. Uzbekistan aims to respond to global climate change by keeping a rise in temperature this century far below 2°C.

Climate change is a growing concern in Uzbekistan because of the country’s agrarian economy. Climate change will hurt Uzbekistan’s economy and its people. Over the next 50 years, if current trends continue, Uzbekistan’s average temperature will increase by 2-3°C. Drier conditions will lead to a more rapid increase of desertification in the already extremely arid country. Crop yields are expected to drop by 20-50% by 2060. This decrease can be catastrophic for Uzbekistan, a developing country whose economy is built on agriculture. So far, Uzbekistan has passed documents outlining regulations of greenhouse gas emissions to try and mitigate global climate change. One of these documents includes the National Strategy on Sustainable Development which delineates economic goals in solving the growing threat of climate change. Some of these goals include placing environmental protection as an essential component of the development process and supporting ecosystem integrity through efficient natural resource management. Uzbekistan is planning to be the first Central Asian country to invest and subsidize solar energy, an energy source which emits zero greenhouse gases. Uzbekistan also plans to build off of great hydroelectricity potential and create a country utilizing natural, renewable resources.

Uzbekistan is part of many international agreements to try and reduce greenhouse gas emission and subsequently reduce the threat of climate change. Uzbekistan is part of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement as well as participating at the Rio de Janeiro Earth Summit. Uzbekistan is a member of many Central Asian cooperation agreements to create a more energy efficient Asia.

Uzbekistan is attempting to convert to less environmentally damaging energy sources, such as switching from coal to hydroelectric systems. Uzbekistan hopes to be a leader in Central Asia as an environmentally sustainable nation, with very few greenhouse gas emission. However, Uzbekistan hopes for more economically stable nations to help its movement towards a more environmentally conscious nation.

Sources:

1) World Bank Group. “Uzbekistan: Overview of Climate Change Activites.” World Bank Document, World Bank Group, Oct. 2013, openknowledge.worldbank.org/bitstream/handle/10986/17550/855660WP0Uzbek0Box382161B00PUBLIC0.pdf?sequence=1.

2) UNDP. “Climate and Disaster Resilience | UNDP in Uzbekistan.” Climate and Disaster Resilience , United Nations Development Programme, www.uz.undp.org/content/uzbekistan/en/home/climate-and-disaster-reslience.html

3) Bank, World. “Uzbekistan: Climate Change and Agriculture Country Note.” Open Knowledge Repository, Washington, DC, 1 Sept. 2010, openknowledge.worldbank.org/handle/10986/21833