The P4G Seoul Summit is the third of four major international conferences on the environment this year. It comes between the Leaders Summit on Climate hosted by U.S. President Joe Biden in April, and the 26th U.N. Climate Change Conference of the Parties (COP26) to be held in November in Glasgow.
The two-day forum in Seoul was attended by heads of state and government, high representatives of leading countries of the world, heads of international organizations, including the UN Secretary General Antonio Guterres, German Chancellor Angela Merkel, French President Emmanuel Macron and UK's Prime Minister Boris Johnson.
The participants discussed such issues as coping with the consequences of climate change, "green" recovery and ensuring carbon neutrality, as well as the achievement of the SDGs and the implementation of the provisions of the Paris Agreement on climate.
According to President Mirziyoyev, the pandemic has shown an inextricable link between human health and the environment, economic and social progress. "We can no longer ignore the signals that nature itself sends us," he said.
Central Asia is one of the regions most vulnerable to climate change. Over the past 30 years, the average annual temperature in Central Asia has increased by about 1 degree C.
The region is experiencing rapid melting of glaciers, a decrease in the flow of the main rivers and biodiversity in the region, problems with greenhouse gases and large-scale air pollution. The severe consequences of global climatic changes are felt in the Aral Sea region, where an ecological catastrophe of a global scale has occurred.
"No one doubts that countries' actions to achieve green development goals should be more active and more effective. We have no other choice," Shavkat Mirziyoyev said at the Seoul Summit.
At the national level, Uzbekistan is pursuing a consistent policy aimed at transitioning to a green economy, reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change.
According to its obligations under the Paris Agreement, Uzbekistan will reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 10% of GDP by 2030, and this figure may rise. The new national strategy for the transition to a "green" economy provides for an increase in the share of renewable energy sources in electricity generation to 25%. In the coming years, it is planned to build five solar and three wind power stations.
National strategies are anticipated to mitigate the effects of climate change, develop renewable and hydrogen energy, accelerate the transition to a green economy, and more.
At the same time, the Uzbekistan President emphasized the importance of joining the efforts of the international community to advance "green" and sustainable development.
Uzbekistan was the first in the region to join the Global Green Growth Institute and intends to open its office in the country. The country is also ready to join and become a full member of the P4G partnership.
President Shavkat Mirziyoyev also proposes to hold an international conference "Green Energy for Developing Countries" next year, as well as launch a special program to attract young people to create a "green" economy to form a culture of green consumption.
The President also thanked international partners for their full support of Uzbekistan's initiative, the recently adopted special resolution of the UN General Assembly on declaring the Aral Sea region a zone of environmental innovation and technology. It was proposed to continue active joint work in this direction, including within the framework of the specially created UN Trust Fund, the Global Green Growth Institute, on the platform of the P4G Partnership and other international institutions.
Uzbekistan Ambassador Said Rustamov said:
"Climate change is one of the key areas of the UK-Uzbek cooperation agenda. A high level delegation of Uzbekistan is to take part in the 26th UN Climate Summit (COP-26) in Glasgow this year. At the summit, the Uzbekistan delegation intends to share its views on climate change problems, the country's ongoing efforts to combat global warming and draw attention to the acute environmental problems it faces, primarily in the Aral Sea region."