*[Enwl-eng] 🌏CAN EECCA Newsletter: Natural disaster in Georgia, fierce Moldova’s youth and increase of RES in Kazakhstan

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Feb 12, 2024, 12:26:00 PMFeb 12
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Regional Climate News 

Natural Disasters Hit Western Georgia, Killing Eleven

Natural disasters in Georgia's Adjara and Imereti regions have resulted in eleven deaths, with landslides and avalanches claiming lives on February 6 and 7. Landslides in Tsoniarisi village and Nergeti village, as well as an avalanche in Tkhilvana village, have caused casualties, with one citizen transferred to safety. The Ministry of Internal Affairs has mobilized over 200 firefighters and rescuers, along with drones and K-9 units, while Georgian leaders including President Zurabishvili and Mayor Kaladze have expressed condolences for the victims and their families.

#WorldWeWant: Vulnerable but Fierce: Moldova’s Youth Fight for a Climate Future

Moldova, facing significant challenges from climate change, is actively engaged in combating the crisis and developing strategies for adaptation and mitigation. Despite expressing determination at COP28 to address climate issues, there are concerns about translating ambitious plans into concrete action, particularly involving young people who are increasingly feeling disconnected from climate activism. However, the #WorldWeWant campaign demonstrate how engaging youth in climate protection efforts can lead to impactful solutions, exemplified by activities like summer climate camps and environmental campaign creation.

Kazakhstan Wants to Reduce Water Dependency on Other Countries by 25 Per Cent. Is It Possible?

Kazakhstan aims to reduce its water dependency on neighboring states by 25%, with 46% of its water currently sourced from outside its borders. To achieve this, the Ministry of Water Resources and Irrigation has initiated the construction of nine new reservoirs as part of the Comprehensive Plan for Water Industry Development (2024-2030). However, experts caution against overreliance on reservoirs, advocating for domestic solutions such as efficient water usage, infrastructure upgrades, and embracing digital technologies, while also suggesting diplomatic negotiations for mutual resource exchange to address water scarcity concerns in Central Asia.

Azerbaijan makes initial missteps as it prepares to put on a “green-friendly” show

Azerbaijan, heavily reliant on fossil fuel exports, is set to host the United Nations Climate Change Conference, COP29, raising concerns among activists about the nation's commitment to climate-friendly policies amidst its economic dependence. Criticism intensified when Azerbaijan appointed a COP29 president with ties to the state oil company and initially formed an all-male organizing committee. While hosting COP29 could enhance Azerbaijan's global standing, questions linger about its dedication to human rights and climate justice, especially as it seeks to position itself as a major energy exporter to Europe in the face of dwindling oil reserves.

Uzbekistan seeks to introduce new technologies for irrigation of agricultural lands

Uzbekistan is grappling with water scarcity issues, exacerbated by climate change, prompting the government to incentivize farmers to adopt water-saving technologies. Despite initial reluctance among some farmers to abandon traditional irrigation methods, the shift towards modern techniques is gradually gaining momentum. The adoption of water-saving technologies not only enhances crop yields but also conserves precious water resources, offering a sustainable solution to the pressing challenge of water scarcity in the region.

Renewable energy accounted for 5.92% of electricity generation in Kazakhstan in 2023

The Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan has reported a significant increase in renewable energy sources (RES) electricity generation in 2023, totaling 6,675.5 million kWh, a 30% rise from the previous year. Wind power plants led the contribution with 3,824.99 million kWh, while biopower plants produced the least at 2.71 million kWh. RES accounted for 5.92% of the total electricity generated in the first half of 2023, with an installed capacity of 2,868.6 MW across various sources including wind, solar, small hydropower, and bioelectric power plants.

Uzbekistan’s trade balance is underwater in its “all-weather strategic partnership” with China

Uzbekistan aims to strengthen its partnership with China, as evidenced by President Shavkat Mirziyoyev's recent visit to Beijing, where various agreements were signed to enhance cooperation in diverse areas, including environmental protection and poverty reduction. However, despite the rhetoric, trade figures from 2023 indicate a significant trade deficit for Uzbekistan, exacerbating its reliance on Chinese imports, particularly in durable goods like automobiles and consumer electronics. Notably, China emerges as a major creditor, with significant investments in Uzbekistan's energy sector, indicating potential implications for water management and ecological concerns in the region.

World Climate News

Alarmed by the world breaching 1.5C for a year? Here’s how we can stop it being permanent

Global warming has exceeded 1.5C for the first time, signaling a critical moment for climate action, with 2023 marked by extreme weather events and human-induced global heating. While the Paris Agreement target remains intact, urgent measures, including phasing out fossil fuels, are imperative to prevent further escalation of global temperatures. UN Secretary-General Antonio Guterres emphasizes the pivotal role of the next few years in determining whether the world can successfully limit warming to 1.5C, highlighting the need for transformative changes in energy, agriculture, pollution reduction, and environmental stewardship to achieve this goal and avert catastrophic climate impacts.  

Developing Asia Journalism Awards (DAJA)

The Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI), with support from The Rockefeller Foundation, is relaunching the Developing Asia Journalism Awards (DAJA) to highlight journalism that accurately covers sustainable development amid escalating climate risks. Journalists from ADB member countries are encouraged to submit articles focusing on food security, health preparedness, or macrofinancial stability in relation to climate change, published between January 1, 2023, and February 29, 2024. Winners of the competition will receive a $1,000 cash prize and an invitation to a ceremony in Tokyo in May, where they'll engage in discussions with ADBI researchers and Dean Tetsushi Sonobe.

Commission invites industry to join support platform for mini nuclear

The European Commission is calling on companies to participate in the development, demonstration, and deployment of small modular nuclear reactors (SMRs) to aid in achieving the EU's goal of net-zero greenhouse gas emissions by 2030. These SMRs are seen as complementary to renewables, offering baseload energy production, heat for industries, and low-carbon hydrogen production, with the European Industrial Alliance aiming for integration into power grids or district heating systems by the early 2030s. While some EU members support nuclear power as a low-carbon solution, others oppose it, emphasizing that the deployment will occur only in countries that choose to do so, adhering to strict safety standards.

Barclays to adopt fresh curbs on oil and gas financing

Barclays, Britain's largest lender to the oil and gas sector, announced it will cease direct financing of new fossil fuel projects and restrict lending to energy companies expanding fossil fuel production, as part of its Transition Finance Framework. This decision comes amid mounting pressure from activists concerned about the environmental impact of fossil fuels, with Barclays aiming to reduce emissions linked to its lending and increase financing for greener alternatives. The bank also plans to limit financing to non-diversified companies with more than 10% of their expenditure directed towards expanding fossil fuel production, starting from 2025.

EU recommends ambitious 2040 climate target, goes light on farming

The European Commission proposed a target for the European Union to slash net greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent by 2040, although the recommendation faced political challenges ahead of EU elections. While the overall target aligns with recommendations from climate advisers, concerns from farmers led to a weakening of proposed agricultural emission cuts, highlighting the delicate balance between environmental goals and economic interests. The proposal triggers political debate, with upcoming elections potentially influencing the final adoption of ambitious climate policies amid rising discontent and competing interests within the EU.

Fossil Fuel Advertising Gets Its Tobacco Moment

Canadian doctors, supported by MP Charlie Angus and the Canadian Association of Physicians for the Environment (CAPE), are advocating for a ban on fossil fuel advertising, sparking controversy with the fossil fuel lobby and alt-right publications. The proposed bill, C-372, aims to enforce truth in advertising principles, similar to tobacco advertising bans in the 1990s, amidst concerns about the fossil fuel industry's promotion of misinformation regarding climate solutions. CAPE emphasizes the urgent need for the ban, citing the significant health impacts of fossil fuel pollution, and highlights the potential effectiveness of similar measures in addressing public health issues.

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