Climate Change: EU & Central Asia Shape Their Cooperation on Environment

Written by | Friday, June 7th, 2019

European Council President Donald Tusk went recently on a tour in three Central Asia countries of Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Uzbekistan to strengthen the partnership between the EU and the region. The Commission tabled a new vision of the countries’ relationships and strategy towards the tackling climate change that aims to help to turn environmental challenges of these Central Asian countries into opportunities. The region experiences increasing water flows feeding its rivers as a consequence of glaciers’ meltdown.
In combination with a growing population, the situation could negatively influence the region’s economic development, security, and migration. The cooperation was introduced three weeks ago between Kazakhstan, the Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, Uzbekistan and the EU. Tusk is the first Council President to visit Tajikistan as well as the country’s famous Pamir Glaciers that gradually melt away as a result of global warming. The Council President said to be impressed by the beauty, yet he also recognized the impact of climate change.
“This is not only a major concern for your country, but for the region and the whole world. The EU remains committed to fighting climate change. And I am sure Tajikistan will be the best partner in this,” said Tusk. The cooperation has not been easy in all the countries, with, for example, the former leader of Uzbekistan having blocked the strategy for a while, but the situation has changed under the new leader of Shavkat Mirziyoyev. In Kazakhstan, the political transition that started after the resignation of Nursultan Nazarbayev last March resulted in the Enhanced Partnership and Cooperation Agreement with the EU. The pact is to be ratified soon.

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