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News / President Serdar Berdimuhamedov Attends the Conference of th...

President Serdar Berdimuhamedov Attends the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change

The President of Turkmenistan Serdar Berdimuhamedov was on a working visit to the United Arab Emirates to participate in the 28th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP 28).
During the conversation between President Serdar Berdimuhamedov and a representative of the UAE Embassy to Turkmenistan at the airport, the traditionally friendly and fruitful nature of the interstate relations, dynamically developing across their entire spectrum, was noted with satisfaction. It was emphasised that our countries effectively interacted both in bilateral and multilateral formats, within the framework of authoritative international organisations. In this regard, the importance of the Global Forum held in Dubai under the auspices of the UN and devoted to issues of vital concern to modern humankind, was noted.
Highlighting the significant contribution of Turkmenistan to consolidating the efforts of the world community to develop balanced solutions to pressing global problems, including those related to environmental issues, the representative of the UAE Embassy to Turkmenistan wished the Head of Turkmenistan a successful visit and participation in the COP 28 Conference.
After making a flight to Dubai, the presidential airliner landed at Sheikh Maktoum International Airport.
The Head of Turkmenistan was met at the airport by officials.
The next, 28th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change is being held in Dubai from November 30 and will end on December 12 this year. The major Forum brings together numerous delegates from different countries of the planet, including heads of state and government, specialised government agencies and international organisations, experts, representatives of civil society, business circles, youth, the media and others. At the site of the COP 28 Conference, whose venue is Dubai Expo City, various events devoted to combatting climate change are being organised. In this case, the high-level segment is of particular importance. So, Dubai hosted the World Climate Summit on December 1–2.
During the Global Forum, it is planned to sum up the implementation of the Paris Climate Agreement and to outline a further action plan that would guide the international community to achieve its goals. The subject of interesting discussion was issues related to adaptation to climate change, the overcoming of its consequences and such interrelated topics as the ensuring of environmental and food security, health care, “green” energy, the rational use of natural resources, waste processing and disposal and others. In this context, one of the key aspects is the reduction of emissions that have a negative impact on the environment. The Global Methane Pledge (GMP) is intended to help address this challenge.
In this regard, it should be noted that the environmental component is identified as one of the priorities of the state policy of Turkmenistan. All large-scale transformation programmes in the economic sector and social sphere, initiated by the National Leader of the Turkmen people, Chairman of the Halk Maslahaty Gurbanguly Berdimuhamedov and now being successfully implemented under the leadership of President Serdar Berdimuhamedov, are closely linked to this factor.
The fulfilment of environmental and nature-conservative requirements is also an indispensable condition for the implementation of large infrastructure and urban-planning projects in our country. Here, as an illustrative example, we can cite the new “smart” city of Arkadag, built at the picturesque foothills of the Kopetdag Mountains.
Taking an active part in international initiatives and agreements to coordinate global efforts to combat climate change, our country supported the Paris Agreement and ratified it in October 2016. To achieve the goals of the climate agenda, Turkmenistan is systematically improving the relevant legislative and legal framework.
Thus, in recent years, the National Strategy on Climate Change, the National Strategy on the Development of Renewable Energy until 2030 and the Law “On Renewable Energy Sources” have been adopted. In 2020, our state joined the UNECE Trees in Cities Challenge. Turkmenistan also developed and approved the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) to the Paris Climate Agreement.
At the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, our country supported the initiative of the Global Methane Pledge. Since then, relevant targeted work has been carried out. On June 2 of the current year, by the Resolution of the President of Turkmenistan, a high-level Intersectoral Commission to reduce methane emissions was established. In addition, a Roadmap for the development of international cooperation, aimed at studying the issue of our country’s accession to GMP for 2023–2024, was approved.
Turkmenistan also initiated the opening of the Regional Centre for Climate Technologies for the Countries of Central Asia in Ashgabat under the auspices of the UN. In this regard, a Memorandum of Understanding was signed last month between the Ministry of Environment Protection of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP). And at the sitting of the Cabinet of Ministers held on November 24, it was proposed to announce Turkmenistan’s accession to the Global Methane Pledge during the COP 28 Conference.
As President Serdar Berdimuhamedov noted in his speech at the 78th session of the United Nations General Assembly, with accession to the Paris Agreement, a number of relevant national programmes had been adopted in our country. National measures are being implemented to reduce and eradicate the negative consequences of methane emissions into the atmosphere. What is at issue is, first of all, a phased transition to the introduction and use of modern environmentally friendly and resource-saving technologies, especially in the fields of energy, industry and transport.
Methane is known to be the third most important greenhouse gas in the Earth’s atmosphere. It is the second largest source of global warming after carbon dioxide. An increase in the concentration of methane in the atmosphere leads to an increase in temperature and an increase in the greenhouse effect.
Based on the fact that the topic of climate change is at the top of the international agenda, Turkmenistan fully supports the efforts of the world community in this direction, taking steps to introduce low-carbon technologies. Among the promising vectors within the framework of the “green” economy, the implementation in our country of projects for the production of hydrogen from natural gas is also being considered.
All this eloquently testifies to the most serious and responsible approach of Turkmenistan to solving the problems of ensuring environmental wellbeing, which is an integral factor in global sustainable development.
Then President Serdar Berdimuhamedov proceeded to Dubai Expo City.
It is noteworthy that this innovative mini-city was built on the site of the World Exhibition Expo-2020. The exposition of Turkmenistan was also presented at the universal review, which became a concentrated embodiment of the modern achievements of the Motherland, the priorities of its socioeconomic development, the course towards multi-format international cooperation and the rich historical and cultural heritage of the Turkmen people. Our country’s pavilion aroused great interest among Expo-2020 visitors. In this regard, it is appropriate to note that the exposition of Turkmenistan also reflected the environmental aspect.
Upon arrival at Dubai Expo City, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov was warmly welcomed by the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan and the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres.
After taking the official joint photograph of the COP 28 participants, the opening ceremony of the World Climate Summit took place.
In his welcoming speech, the President of the United Arab Emirates Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan thanked the distinguished guests for participating in the Summit, the agenda of which included issues of particular importance for all humankind. Expressing confidence that COP 28 would serve to unite efforts in countering one of the main challenges of our time, the UAE President also announced the establishment of a new fund intended to implement global climate solutions.
Then the United Nations Secretary-General Antonio Guterres addressed the Summit participants and called upon the world community to accelerate collective actions to combat climate change. At the same time, the importance of the COP 28 Conference was stressed in the context of intensifying international cooperation to overcome the climate crisis affecting all states and peoples of the planet.
At the Forum, the President of Turkmenistan outlined the positions of our country.
At the beginning of his speech, addressing the participants of the Summit, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov expressed gratitude to the leadership and Government of the United Arab Emirates for the warm hospitality and the conditions created for productive work.
As the President noted, Turkmenistan considered participation in the Conference as a milestone event in promoting its international strategy on climate change. The determining factor in it is to ensure continuity and consistency in the implementation of the initiatives put forward by our country, starting with the UN Conference on Sustainable Development RIO+20, subsequent major forums, and today’s efforts of Turkmenistan.
The National Climate Change Strategy, adopted in 2012, is the starting point towards our country’s full involvement in the global climate agenda.
The next logical step was Turkmenistan’s accession to the Paris Climate Agreement. In 2019, in this regard, a new version of the National Climate Change Strategy was approved. The document is inclusive and contains an expanded list of measures to adapt almost all key sectors of the economy and social sphere to new requirements. Particular attention was paid to the fuel and energy complex, where great work was being done to reduce emissions by increasing the volume of utilisation of associated petroleum gas and reducing losses of natural gas during its transportation, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov said.
As a responsible state, Turkmenistan recognises the need to continue focused work at the international and national levels to ensure further progress in combatting climate change and its consequences. One of the most important aspects here is our country’s contribution to international efforts to reduce methane emissions.
As it is known, at the 26th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Glasgow, Turkmenistan announced support for the new initiative on the Global Methane Pledge and expressed interest in a detailed study of the document and participation in its implementation.
Taking into account the recommendations of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change and with the active support of the UN Development Programme, our country developed and approved the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) of Turkmenistan to the Paris Climate Agreement in May 2022. This strategic document provides for a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 20 per cent in 2030 compared to the levels of 2010.
“Today, from this high rostrum, Turkmenistan officially declares its accession to the Global Methane Pledge,” the Head of Turkmenistan emphasised. At the same time, our country will continue ongoing cooperation with international organisations and partner states within the framework of existing projects and programmes, aimed at fulfilling the conditions arising from the Global Methane Pledge.
In the context of broad international cooperation to solve climate problems in Central Asia, promoted by our country for many years, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov noted the importance of the signing on November 13 of this year of the Memorandum of Understanding between the Ministry of Environment Protection of Turkmenistan and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) for development of regional programmes, aimed at the transfer of climate technologies to Turkmenistan and Central Asian states.
The Turkmen party considers this document as the first step and a serious legal prerequisite for a substantive study of the issue of opening the UN Regional Centre for Technologies related to Climate Change in Central Asia in our country. Thus, Turkmenistan’s initiative to establish a specialised UN centre for the region with a population of almost 80 million, possessing unique natural resources and biodiversity, and at the same time located in a zone of serious environmental risks, is now gaining real prospects.
As the Head of Turkmenistan emphasised, being fully committed to continuing multilateral cooperation within the framework of global climate initiatives, Turkmenistan welcomed the proposed Declaration on Climate and Health and considered it important to support it to confirm our common resolve and unity on health issues in the implementation of the Paris Agreement.
“Given the exceptional significance of the impact of climate change in the context of ensuring global food security, Turkmenistan fully supports the UAE Declaration on Sustainable Agriculture, Resilient Food Systems and Climate Action,” President Serdar Berdimuhamedov said. Recognising the importance of coordination between national and subnational governments in combatting climate change, Turkmenistan is ready to support the Initiative to create a COP 28 Coalition for multi-level partnerships with high ambitions to combat climate change.
After confirming the readiness to further strengthen cooperation at the regional and global level in the fields of agriculture, ecology, energy, finance and health care with all interested parties to achieve the goals of the COP 28 Emirates Declaration, taking into account the national interests of Turkmenistan, at the end of his speech, the head of state thanked the participants of the Conference for their attention and wished fruitful work.
During the constructive exchange of views at the plenary sessions on issues on the agenda, covering a wide range of areas of international partnership, the participants of the Summit spoke in favour of consolidating efforts in developing coordinated approaches to solving primary problems for the sake of a safe, prosperous and healthy future for the planet.
On the same day, on the side-lines of the COP 28 Conference, President Serdar Berdimuhamedov had a meeting with the Executive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), United Nations Under-Secretary-General, Ms Inger Andersen.
Thus, the participation of the head of state in the Global Climate Forum again vividly confirms the commitment of neutral Turkmenistan to fulfil its obligations to the world community. After all, the Earth is our common home, which we must protect and preserve for future generations. In an effort to promote the optimisation of international cooperation in solving vital problems that have a multidimensional dimension, our country is making a concrete contribution to strengthening coordinated joint actions on which the future of all humankind depends.
Then the working visit of the President of Turkmenistan to the United Arab Emirates continued.
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Members of the delegation of our country took part in events held within the framework of the COP 28 Conference and devoted to such topical issues as reforming food systems, mechanisms for financing environment protection and intensifying international cooperation in the environmental field, taking into account the climate factor.