On December 1, by the invitation of President Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan of the United Arab Emirates, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev of the Republic of Uzbekistan participated in the main plenary session of the 28th United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP28) being held in Dubai.
The event is attended by heads of state and government from over 170 countries, as well as leaders of authoritative international organizations and financial institutions.
At the beginning of his speech, the Head of our State sincerely congratulated the leadership and people of the United Arab Emirates on their national holiday and the successful organization of this historic summit. He particularly highlighted the global initiatives of the Emirates in combating climate change and their contribution to "green" development.
As President of Uzbekistan emphasized, climate change has become the most critical challenge to sustainable development today. This is particularly acute in Central Asia and neighboring regions against the backdrop of the Aral Sea tragedy, one of the most devastating environmental crises of our time.
The Leader of our country drew the attention of those present to several facts. For example, the rise in air temperature in Central Asia is twice the global average, the number of extremely hot days has doubled, and a third of the glaciers have melted.
Soil degradation, regular dust and sandstorms, water scarcity, air pollution, loss of biodiversity, sharp decline in agricultural productivity, and many other factors have a negative impact on the quality of life for millions of people in the region.
The President emphasized that the transition to a "green" economy and achieving carbon neutrality are the top strategic priorities of the New Uzbekistan.
In recent years, the share of alternative energy generation in our country has doubled. According to the President's statement, by 2030, capacity for generating 25 gigawatts of renewable electricity will be established. The first practical steps have already been taken to implement the production of "green" hydrogen.
Furthermore, as part of the "Yashil Makon" (Green Zone) initiative, Uzbekistan is planting 1 billion tree seedlings. Thanks to afforestation covering a total area of 2 million hectares on the Aral Sea bed, air pollution in the Aral Sea region is decreasing.
Transitioning to the main agenda of the event, the Leader of Uzbekistan put forward a number of proposals.
In particular, our country's President advocated for the expeditious agreement on the Global Framework for Climate Adaptation within the framework of the Paris Agreement.
In this context, the President highlighted the ongoing development of the Adaptation Strategy on the Central Asian Climate Dialogue platform.
The Head of State highly appreciated the decision made the day before on the establishment of the Global Fund for Loss and Damage.
The active support of these mechanisms by the World Bank and international financial institutions will provide significant assistance, primarily to countries suffering from climate change.
It was emphasized that the global transition to a low-carbon economy must be fair, transparent, and inclusive, taking into account the interests of developing countries.
It was proposed to address this pressing issue on a permanent basis, including within the framework of the G7 and G20 summits.
In order to transform the Aral Sea region into a Zone of Innovation, Technology and New Opportunities, the President of our country invited everyone to close cooperation in creating an International Expo-Hub of Climate Technologies in the region. The aim is to apply advanced knowledge, experience and solutions.
Furthermore, the President proposed establishing close scientific exchange and conducting joint research on the platform of the Climate Science Forum, which will be created based on the "Green University" and involve leading scientists and experts from foreign countries.
The agenda of the forum will include relevant issues such as preventing soil degradation, rational water use, ensuring food security and others.
Alongside this, a conference on "Climate Migration" is planned to be held in Uzbekistan jointly with the United Nations in 2024.
The Head of our State also voiced initiatives on the development of a "Green Jobs" program jointly with the International Labour Organization and the creation of a Climate Change Impact Modeling Center on Employment.
In order to actively involve youth in effectively addressing climate issues, readiness was expressed to organize the COP Youth Conference in our country.
Reaffirming Uzbekistan's commitment to the universal idea of humanity's fight against climate change, the President called for support for the holding of the Samarkand International Climate Forum next year and the adoption of a special resolution by the United Nations General Assembly reflecting the common approaches of Central Asian countries.
In conclusion, President Shavkat Mirziyoyev expressed confidence that the outcomes of the summit in Dubai would further bring all countries and people closer to a sustainable, prosperous and secure future for the planet.