Address by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28)

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December 1, 2023

Address by the President of the Republic of Uzbekistan Shavkat Mirziyoyev at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28)

Distinguished heads of delegations!

I echo the words of sincere gratitude to the President of the United Arab Emirates, His Highness Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan for the invitation to this implicitly historic summit and the exceptional organization of the forum.

We commend the global initiatives of the United Arab Emirates in combating climate change and its significant contribution to “green” development.

I take this opportunity to extend my heartfelt congratulations to the United Arab Emirates on the National Day and wish continued prosperity to its people.

Dear participants of the summit!

Climate change has already turned into a core challenge to sustainable development. It is even affecting the global geopolitical landscape.

The adverse effects of climate change are particularly evident in Central Asia due to the Aral Sea catastrophe. In our region, the increase in temperature is twice as high as that of the global average. The number of extremely hot days has extended two times, and one-third of the glaciers have completely melted.

Soil erosion is impacting the livelihoods of over 30 million people. Strong sand and dust storms are becoming the new normal. Water scarcity, air pollution, loss of biodiversity, and a sharp decrease in agriculture yield are ever-growing.

These global challenges are reaching their critical peak in our vast region.

Esteemed participants of the summit!

Transition to a green economy and achieving carbon neutrality are the key strategic objectives of New Uzbekistan.

In recent years, the share of alternative energy in our country has doubled. We are establishing 25 gigawatts of renewable capacities by 2030. We have made the first practical steps in “green” hydrogen production.

As part of the “Yashil Makon” (Green Space) initiative, we are planting one billion trees all over the country. We have afforested over 2 million hectares on the desiccated seabed of the Aral Sea.

We can effectively fight against climate change only by uniting our efforts and broad international cooperation.

In this regard, I would like to make the following proposals.

First. We call for finalizing the Global Climate Change Adaptation Framework as part of the Paris Agreement.

We are developing the Adaptation Strategy within the Central Asian Climate Dialogue Platform. We highly commend the important decision to create the “Loss and Damage” Fund, which was adopted yesterday.

Second. Global transition to a low-carbon economy must be fair, transparent, and inclusive. The interests of developing countries must be taken into consideration.

It would be expedient to address this urgent problem as part of the “G7” and “G20” agendas.

Third. In accordance with the resolution of the United Nations General Assembly, we are keen on transforming the Aral Sea region from an environmental disaster zone to a “hub of innovations, technology, and new opportunities”.

In this regard I invite you all to close cooperation to set up an international Climate Technology Expo Hub.

Fourth. It is critical to extensively use scientific knowledge to actively fight climate change.

I invite leading and renowned scholars and experts from your respective countries to participate in the “Climate Scientific Residence” to be organized under the auspices of the “Green University” in Tashkent.

I believe that the prevention of land degradation, sustainable water use, and ensuring food security issues will be included on the agenda of the Residence.

Fifth. We aim to organize a conference in Uzbekistan in 2024 on “Climate Migration” in cooperation with the United Nations.

Moreover, in collaboration with the International Labour Organization, we propose to develop the “Green Jobs Initiative” and establish a Center for Modeling.

We stand ready to organize a COP Youth Conference in our country at a high level.

Esteemed friends!

Uzbekistan remains committed to universal notions in fighting against climate change.

For this instance, I call for support for our initiative to hold the Samarkand International Climate Forum next year and adopt a special resolution of the United Nations.

I am convinced that the outcomes of today’s summit will bring our friendly states and people closer to ensuring a more sustainable, prosperous, and secure future for our planet.

Thank you for your attention.