Louise Chamberlain, Resident Representative of UNDP Kyrgyzstan

February 7, 2020 – 09.30

Your excellencies Ms. Rada Tumanbaeva, Mr. Almaz Jeenaliev and Mr. Mirslav Amankulov!

Distinguished guests and mass media representatives!

On behalf of the United Nations Development Programme it is my honor and privilege to welcome you to this National Workshop on the NDC Update Process for the Kyrgyz Republic. I would like to thank our longstanding partner the State Agency on Environment Protection and Forestry for organizing today’s workshop.

I would also like to welcome participants from across Government and civil society, and particularly the Ministry of Economy which has a key role in promoting action towards a green economy in Kyrgyzstan, and the Ministry of Foreign Affairs which has recently been appointed as a National Focal Point to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.   

With the ratification of the Paris Agreement in 2019, the Kyrgyz Republic joined the 184 countries that have committed to keeping global warming to below the safe level of 1.5 degrees Celsius.

Keeping global warming to safe levels, requires global action. Signatories have committed to reviewing, updating, and exploring options to raise their climate change ambition, and to report those actions in their so-called Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs), within 2020. 

So today is an important milestone for Kyrgyzstan, as it launches its national consultations on this process. Today’s meeting is a valuable opportunity to build cross-agency collaboration, to strengthen the application of scientific research, to learn from global good practice and to ensure that climate change action becomes part of wider sustainable development efforts.

Adopting and implementing a more ambitious NDC should include transparent, economy-wide targets and adaptation measures. Only such action can achieve both steep carbon reductions and sustainable development. And collaboration is essential. Indeed, a key principle of the Paris Agreement is that while no country should backslide on its intentions in their revised NDCs, actions should also be well suited to local conditions and should promote achievement of the sustainable development goals, so that women, men and future generations will benefit.

And action is essential, as IPCC data shows that without stepped up action, temperatures in the country are likely to increase by +2.6 to +4.8°C by the end of the century (2081 to 2100). Such rapid changes would have widespread negative impacts across ecosystems and economies. Consider that between 2007-2015, the cost of infrastructure damage alone caused by climate related disasters in Batken province totaled more than 1.5 billion KGS, or 22 million USD. Unchecked, climate change will increase the frequency and intensity of such disasters- and future losses in lives and money would be far higher. 

But concerted climate change action now can contribute to sustainable development, better jobs, and the development of a more modern, innovative economy. It will also have benefits such as reducing air pollution and helping Kyrgyzstan to fill its substantial energy gap.

While there is not one-size-fits all solution to achieve carbon neutrality, increasingly countries that are committed to robust climate action also can benefit from sustainable global networks to help them find local solutions. They can also benefit from substantial support to build their capacity, access modern technology and apply concessional climate change finance. So, I believe by being part of this important process, and by stepping up its climate change ambition, Government of the Kyrgyz Republic can significantly benefit from new opportunities to transform into a modern green, sustainable economy. 

Kyrgyzstan’s recent establishment of the new Coordination Council on Green Economy Development and Climate Change signals of the Government’s high level of commitment to action, and this platform will be invaluable in ensuring a transparent process that involves all sectors of the society. And each of the organizations here today will have a role to play in promoting climate change action.

For our part, I am proud to say that UNDP globally is providing support for climate change action to over 140 countries. Our organization has also recently launched the Climate Promise - our commitment to support the country to develop and enhance its NDC by 2020. And, I assure you that UNDP in Kyrgyzstan will aim to build upon out local expertise, but also this significant global experience will support the Government in the NDC process. We look forward to working with the partners here today to help ensure the NDC is technically robust and to enable the Government to make informed decisions about how to step-up, and finance climate change actions.

To this end, I’d also like to thank our resource persons for today’s event. Ms. Violeta Hristova who has worked in global NDC development in several countries and Ms. Nataly Olofinskaya, from our UNDP Istanbul Regional Hub is an expert in networks and options building, so I believe they can play a key role in making sure today’s event is a success.   

Finally, I’d like to end by reaffirming our intent to further deepen our partnership with the Government of the Kyrgyz Republic in support of sustainable development agenda, and to note my firm belief that a commitment to achieving the 1.5 global climate change target will be key to these efforts.

I wish you all success and prosperity!

Chon Rahmat!

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