Central Asian countries are often characterised by considerable natural resources, but these are unevenly distributed throughout the region. Some countries, such as Kazakhstan, are rich in fossil fuel resources, while others, such as Tajikistan, have limited fossil fuel reserves but boast considerable hydro resources.
One of the legacies of the region is the large, and in some cases outdated, infrastructure which tends to be inefficient and has resulted in considerable wastage of energy resources that could be used for development purposes. While other large funding agencies are working with countries to update their supply infrastructure, ESCAP, as a regional Commission, is focusing on building the capacity of policy makers to create an environment that supports energy efficiency and demand side management.
In this regard, ESCAP in association with ECE held a workshop on energy efficiency opportunities in Central Asia including SPECA countries which focused on sustainable building design and appliance labeling and standards. The meeting ran from 18 to 21 November 2008, back to back with the Project Working Group on water and energy resources, which was held on 18 November 2008. The Workshop included participants from Azerbaijan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, the Russian Federation, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan.
The meeting provided valuable information to enable ESCAP and Central Asian countries to develop further work in the area of energy efficiency. The report from the Workshop and presentations are available below: