Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan – Sixth Eurasian Business Forum “Green Energy & Waste Recycling Forum” (GEWR) kicked off today gathering over 150 government officials from Central Asia (CA), representatives of the European Union (EU), international organizations, non-governmental organizations and business.
GEWR is the largest forum in Central Asia on waste management and renewable energy, which has been held annually since 2016. It brings together decision-makers and experts to share knowledge, experience, successful cases and the best technologies for the disposal and recycling of waste.
This year, GEWR was organized by the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan and the KazWaste Association in partnership with the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP), UN Environment, UNDP, Green Finance Centre, Green Technology Hub, WestDala, ArcelorMittal, CocaCola, PlastNet, and Bausano.
In the EU, the traditional approach to waste management has been replaced with the concept of circular economy, which defines all types of waste as a resource rather than a material that has to be disposed of. This new concept is based on the strict hierarchy of waste management, that sees avoiding waste generation, reuse of materials and waste recycling as a priority. Furthermore, according to recent statistics, the EU is a global leader in renewables and its leading position is expected to even strengthen in the years to come. Under the new REPowerEU plan to shift away from fossil fuels and fast forward the green transition, the EU is planning to increase the share of renewables up to 45 % by 2030.
Addressing the participants at the Opening Ceremony, Mr Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, stated: “Under the European Green Deal, we aim to become the first climate-neutral continent by 2050. The promotion of circular economy and green energy together with energy savings and energy efficiency represent the core instruments to achieve this main goal. The majority of concepts and approaches in these fields developed and implemented within the EU are applicable in other countries, including Central Asia. At present, the EU has 15 ongoing regional programmes covering the sustainable use of water, energy, environment and the water-food-energy nexus in Central Asia for a total amount of about EUR 100 million. In line with the EU Strategy on Central Asia, we will continue working with the partners in the region supporting them on their green transition, including through targeted investments.”
At the session “Prospects for Cooperation between the Central Asia countries in green energy and waste management”, co-financed by the WECOOP Project, the participants discussed the development of renewable energy and waste management sectors in the region, ways to improve the national legislations, joint implementation of projects, establishment of the Central Asian Hub of Climate Projects and Green Financing, as well as the EU–Central Asia cooperation in these fields.
Background: The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (the third phase from October 2019 to April 2023) aims to enhance the environment, climate change and water policies at national levels in Central Asia through approximation to EU standards and to promote investments in relevant sectors with the aim of contributing to measurable reductions in man-made pollution, including CO2 emission. The project activities include support to the EU–CA Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation and its Working Group on Environment and Climate Change, as well as the implementation of the EU Green Deal’s international dimension in Central Asia to advance climate action.
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