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COP28: Unlocking the Potential of Circular Economy and Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) for Heightened Climate Ambition in Central Asia

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COP28: Unlocking the Potential of Circular Economy and Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) for Heightened Climate Ambition in Central Asia
Type: Conference
Location: Central Asia Pa...
Organizer: EU SWITCH-Asia, Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC)
Integrating SCP into NDC goals in Central Asia

Contact: Mr. Ranga Pallawala, Key Expert, EU SWITCH-Asia PSC: [email protected] 

Date:  6 December 2023     I   Time: 13:15-14:45 (UAE Time)  I   Venue: Central Asia Pavilion, UNFCCC COP28 Venue, Dubai (in-person attendance)    I  Watch the event here: PART I and PART II

 

Introduction

The SWITCH-Asia Policy Support Component (PSC) has a primary objective of advancing Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) efforts by amplifying and integrating SCP policies across 42 countries. These countries are spread across a wide geographical region encompassing the Middle East, Central Asia, South Asia, Southeast Asia, and the Pacific, The SWITCH-Asia PSC is built upon the solid foundation of the successful SWITCH-Asia program, which has a history of providing effective technical assistance. Furthermore, it establishes crucial connections with the SWITCH-Asia grants component and aligns with the programs and priorities of European Union Delegations (EUDs). The PSC's adaptable and demand-driven interventions, coupled with its mandate to encourage cooperation, enhance networking, and create a platform for knowledge exchange, position it favourably to address the triple planetary crises and meet international commitments. These commitments encompass the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) and the Paris Agreement, underscoring the Program's commitment to a sustainable future.

Background 

Unsustainable consumption and production patterns lie at the core of the triple planetary crises encompassing climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution. The scientific community has firmly established the link between climate change and material consumption. According to the Global Resource Outlook 2019 report of the International Resource Panel (IRP), our global population has doubled, material extraction has tripled, and gross domestic product has quadrupled during the past five decades. In the last twenty years, there has been a noticeable acceleration in the extraction and utilization of natural resources, which have been responsible for about half of the effects we observe in climate change. However, it's essential to recognize that the linkages between materials and climate change remain largely uncharted territory within the realm of climate change strategies and actions.

The 6th Assessment report from the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) has once again sounded the alarm for global policymakers, emphasizing the urgent need to prevent the Earth's temperature from reaching dangerous levels. The collective global inaction in addressing the challenges posed by climate change has compelled humanity to pursue more rapid and ambitious climate actions. The recently published Global Stocktake (GST) report, as part of the Paris Agreement under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), has concluded that, based on current Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), there is a significant emissions gap of 20.3–23.9 Gt CO2 equivalent by 2030 to stay on track with limiting global warming to 1.5 °C. The trajectory of this shortfall in ambition is pointing towards a potential temperature rise of 2.8°C by the end of the century. Even if the current NDC targets are fully implemented, it can only limit the temperature increase to 2.4-2.6°C by the century's end, as highlighted in the 2022 UNEP Emission Gap Report.

The UNFCCC GST report also underscores that achieving net-zero emissions will vary from country to country, necessitating a comprehensive, nationwide effort in all countries to  to chart pathways towards net-zero CO2 or greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. While these steps are critical for GHG mitigation, it's essential to ensure a broader "social transformation" to guarantee that investments in these initial measures yield the desired results. Given the pressing need for increased ambition in climate action, it becomes crucial to leverage all available avenues without compromising sustainable development. Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and Circular Economy emerge as compelling options for harnessing climate change co-benefits.

The Side Event

The proposed side event is designed to explore the opportunities to integrate SCP/CE into climate actions in Central Asia based on the regional and global experiences. Its aim is to identify the potentials, opportunities and challenges in integrating SCP/CE aspects within the NDCs and broader climate actions.

 

The event is organized to achieve three objectives as follows:

  1. To identify and deliberate on the current global understanding on the linkages between climate change and SCP.
  2. To identify the opportunities to integrate SCP/CE into climate actions to harness synergies and co-benefits in the Central Asian context.
  3. To identify the challenges and solutions in deploying SCP/CE strategies to enhance climate ambition and actions in Central Asia.

The side event is structured, comprising two main components: key presentation and a panel discussion, each bearing profound significance in addressing the intertwined issues of resource consumption and climate change.

The key presentations will be covered the scientific aspects of resources consumption and climate change. The recent scientific findings and the projections highlighted in the Global Emissions Gap Report, the Global Resource Outlook and the first report of the Global Stock Take (GST) of the Paris Agreement will be the basis for these key presentations. It is expected to set the background for the discussion on the potential options for integrating these two aspects and finding potential synergetic solutions to tackle both crises.

The Panel discussion will build on the key presentation and bring different angles of the problems and potential solutions. It will discuss the challenges and opportunities to integrate climate actions with sustainable consumption and production, experiences in different countries, the potential for reflecting the SCP action in NDCs, other challenges and opportunities.

Central Asia faces heightened vulnerability to the adverse effects of climate change owing to its arid climate, landlocked geography, reliance on snow-fed water resources, agrarian economy, aging infrastructure, and rapid population growth. Transitioning toward a low-carbon and resilient economy is imperative for the region. Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP) and Circular Economy (CE) hold significant potential in Central Asia, promising both climate and economic benefits. Some regional countries, like Uzbekistan and Kazakhstan, have already taken steps by developing SCP Action Plans, presenting opportunities to reap these co-benefits. Kazakhstan, for example, has embedded SCP considerations in its NDC, aiming to reduce its economy's material intensity by 30% by 2030. As such, Central Asia presents a unique landscape with both challenges and opportunities for exploring the intersection of SCP, climate action, and green growth. Delving into these challenges, seizing opportunities, and learning from experiences will empower nations to raise their climate action ambitions through regional collaborations and by integrating SCP, green growth, and climate strategies.

Agenda 

 

Time: 

13:15 - 14:45 (UAE Time)

Session

 

Welcome Remarks – Zafar Mukhmudov, Executive Director, The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC) 

 

Key Presentation: The climate challenges and the way forward strategies for Central Asia and other developing countries  - Dr. Zinaida Fadeeva, Team Leader, SWITCH-Asia PSC

 

Moderated Panel Discussion by Ranga Pallawala, Key Expert, Climate hange, EU SWITCH-Asia

Dr. Achala Abeysinghe, Asia Regional Director, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

Mr. Olzhas Agabekov, CEO IGTIC, Chairman of the Management Board of the International Green Technologies and Investment Projects Center

Dr. Zinaida Fadeeva, Team Leader, EU SWITCH-Asia Policy

 

Q&A

Conclusion

 

Speakers

 

Zafar Makhmudov, Executive Director, The Regional Environmental Centre for Central Asia (CAREC)

 

 

 

 

Dr. Zinaida Fadeeva, Team Leader, SWITCH-Asia PSC

 

 

 

 

Ranga Pallawala, Key Expert, Climate hange, EU SWITCH-Asia

 

 

 

 

Dr. Achala Abeysinghe, Asia Regional Director, Global Green Growth Institute (GGGI)

 

 

 

Mr. Olzhas Agabekov, CEO IGTIC, Chairman of the Management Board of the International Green Technologies and Investment Projects Center