Central Asian countries call for international cooperation to promote access to clean and efficient energy

Kimpo, South Korea- Solar panels installed on a farmhouse in Kimpo, Kyungki Province.

High-level officials from Central Asian and neighbouring countries meeting this week at a sustainable energy forum organized here by the United Nations, have affirmed the critical role of international cooperation in improving access to clean and efficient power vital for sustainable and inclusive growth.

A resolution adopted at the conclusion of the 12-14 September International Forum “Energy for Sustainable Development”, chaired by the Deputy Minister of Energy and Industry of the Kyrgyz Republic, H.E. Aibek Kaliev, underlined that sustainable use of energy, improved energy efficiency and wider access to cleaner energy are an important component of energy security and the participants of the Forum expressed confidence that widening a continued international dialogue in Central Asia and neighbouring regions would facilitate solution of common problems in energy sector and related areas.

The third of a series of International Energy Efficiency Forums held in Central Asia since 2010, the Forum at Lake IssykKul in Kyrgyzstan is organized by the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic, the United Nations Economic and Social Commission for Asia and the Pacific (ESCAP), the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE) and the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP)/Global Environment Facility (GEF).

Asserting that energy has a vital role in the development process, the Forum called upon all stakeholders to strengthen international cooperation in the energy field in Central Asia and neighbouring regions in accordance with the outcome of the landmark United Nations-convened Rio+20 Conference on Sustainable Development held in June this year.

“We express confidence that widening a continued international dialogue in Central Asia and neighbouring regions will facilitate solution of common problems in energy sector and related areas,” says the resolution.

It also urges ESCAP Member States to “actively participate” in the Asian and Pacific Energy Forum (APEF) to be held at the ministerial level in Vladivostok, Russia next year with the aim of “establishing a comprehensive and holistic Asia-Pacific region-wide energy agenda for the future”.

With the theme “Capacity building for energy efficiency and access to cleaner energy in Central Asia and neighbouring regions”, the forum, like its forerunners in Astana, Kazakhstan in 2010 and in Dushanbe, Tajikistan in 2011, is discussing the key elements of a strategy to improve energy efficiency and access to cleaner energy in Central Asia and neighboring countries, including policy, investment and market conditions.

Discussions are focused on (i) barriers to and opportunities for sustainable energy promotion in the region, including the role of Governments and public sector in creating a favourable environment for this; (ii) energy efficiency in buildings and the housing sector; (iii) financing of energy efficiency and cleaner energy projects; and (iv) the role of the private sector in promoting cleaner energy options in Central Asia and neighbouring regions.

Taking place in the “International Year of Sustainable Energy for All” declared by the UN General Assembly, the forum supports the United Nations Secretary General’s “Sustainable Energy for All initiative”, which aims to universalise access to modern energy services, double the global rate of improvement in energy efficiency and double the share of renewable energy in the global energy mix by 2030.