*[Enwl-eng] 🌏CAN EECCA Newsletter: Gambling with nuclear, solar energy in Kyrgyzstan and plastic ban works

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Jan 30, 2024, 8:11:35 AMJan 30
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Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia

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Regional Climate News 

Gambling with nuclear in Central Asia?

The recent earthquake in Almaty and Kyrgyzstan, with a magnitude of 6.7, revealed a lack of timely notification and evacuation plans for residents. Despite this seismic activity, both Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan are considering nuclear power plant construction, raising concerns about the safety of such projects, especially in earthquake-prone regions like the Zhambyl region. Recent examples from Japan and Turkey highlight the potential risks and environmental dangers associated with nuclear power plants, leading activists and experts to advocate for a shift towards safer renewable energy alternatives, given Kazakhstan's low reliance on renewable sources (5% in its energy sector) and Kyrgyzstan's significant renewable energy potential.

Applications open for Climate Camp for journalists in Kyrgyzstan (rus)

Movegreen is organizing Climate Camp on February 26-29, for which 15 journalists from media editorial offices and social media representatives from 7 provinces of Kyrgyzstan will be selected. The goal of the event is to develop climate journalism in Kyrgyzstan by improving the professional skills of media representatives in covering climate change, environmental protection and climate policy in the country.

Creeping Death: Uzbek Capital's Extremely Poor Air Quality Worries Residents

Tashkent, the capital of Uzbekistan, faces severe air pollution, exacerbated by coal use, a high number of vehicles, and dwindling trees. On January 19, the particle pollution (PM2.5) in Tashkent surpassed the World Health Organization's safe limit by 15.8 times. The government's reliance on coal for energy and the prevalence of vehicles using low-quality fuel contribute to hazardous air quality, prompting the Environment Ministry to propose bans on coal for industrial use, low-quality fuel, and old cars made before 2010, while promoting electric vehicles and imposing stricter penalties for illegal tree cutting.

Working meeting for journalists in Georgia

"Green Alternative invites journalists interested in urban planning issues in Tbilisi and Batumi to participate in a working meeting. During the working meeting journalists will receive information about key principles of sustainable urban development, discuss issues related to the planning of Tbilisi and Batumi, including issues such as development regulation, mobility and transportation. In addition, the working meeting will discuss sustainable development goals and objectives, urban climate adaptation and mitigation practices, energy efficiency, the role of international financial institutions and their investments in urban projects, and other issues. Deadline: February 1

Tajikistan enacts mandatory vehicle recycling fee

Tajikistan has introduced a vehicle-scrapping tax, termed a recycling fee, to generate additional revenue. The one-time tax will be collected during vehicle registration or mandatory technical inspections and is intended to cover the cost of environmentally friendly vehicle scrapping. The amount varies based on the vehicle type, ranging from $32 to $261, and is seen as a measure to enhance ecological safety, public health, waste impact reduction, and state revenue boost, although concerns have been raised about potential mismanagement and corruption similar to experiences in other countries like Kazakhstan.

Kyrgyzstan, A Country of Water Resources, Still Fails to Provide Drinking Water to Population

In Kyrgyzstan, nearly 65% of villages lack sufficient clean drinking water, prompting authorities to aim for a solution by 2026. However, skepticism arises as past promises have gone unfulfilled, and one-third of the required funding for the program remains to be raised. Some proactive villages, such as Ak-Suu in the Leilek district, have taken matters into their own hands, successfully solving their drinking water problem through community efforts, highlighting challenges in the state's slow and sometimes inefficient response to the issue.

Gifts We Give to the Sea - story by Dinara Tengri

Short story by Dinara Tengri, a Kazakh-Swedish author, podcaster, and digital creator who lives in Malmö. “Six years ago, Madina’s daughter left their home aul, Zholaman, by the North Aral Sea and never came back. In her stead, came a son. Madina had always known that Aizhan was different. From the moment she had said her first word, she didn’t speak like any girl Madina had known. God plays funny tricks sometimes, doesn’t He? If God had made Aizhan this way, who was Madina to oppose His will?”

Research Competition among young scientist from Central Asia

Research Competition among young scientists from Central Asia to design and implement research on water, environment, and other related areas, including Integrated Water Resources Management (IWRM) and (WEFE) water-energy-food-environment nexus issues.

Donkeys Bring Solar Power To Remote Kyrgyz Village 

Until recently, the remote Kyrgyz village of Zardaly was completely off the grid. Now, solar power is changing the lives of the local community, which has long been isolated deep in the mountainous Ferghana Valley. With the help of a herd of donkeys, ambitious villagers braved hazardous terrain to bring green energy and the Internet to their settlement.

World Climate News

AFCON: TotalEnergies plays dirty on the soccer field

Oil giant TotalEnergies' sponsorship of the Africa Cup of Nations (AFCON) has been criticized as a greenwashing tactic to clean up its image while contributing to environmental devastation in Africa. TotalEnergies, a major fossil fuel company, sponsors major sporting events with its significant profits, generating concern about the real impact of its oil and gas projects in Africa. The company's involvement in projects like the East African Crude Oil Pipeline (EACOP) and gas development in Mozambique raises issues of displacement, environmental degradation, and conflicts, prompting calls to remove TotalEnergies' sponsorship from AFCON.  

Capturing climate change in Qinghai-Tibet Plateau through the eyes of its pastoralists

Two local photographers and pastoralist representatives from the Qinghai-Tibet Plateau, a region often overlooked in climate change discussions, share their firsthand experiences and concerns about the impact of climate change on the distinctive ecosystem. Ba De, a Tibetan herder and photographer from Nianbao Yuze, captures the region's rugged grandeur and the nomadic lifestyle affected by climate change through his lens. Ba De's images aim to document the changes in the plateau's landscapes, particularly the shrinking grasslands and receding glaciers, hoping to raise awareness and inspire others to appreciate and preserve the unique environment of Nianbao Yuze.

The Investigative Agenda for Climate Change Journalism

This webinar, offering interpretation in Arabic, French, and Spanish, discusses the persistent rise in global greenhouse gas emissions despite progress in affordable green energy development, as reported by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Fossil fuels, contributing over 75% of global greenhouse gases, are still being expanded by major producers despite widespread net-zero and climate mitigation pledges. The Global Investigative Journalism Network (GIJN) has played a role in shaping the investigative agenda for climate change journalism, sharing insights from a meeting of 80 climate change journalists and experts across 35 countries, with this panel featuring perspectives on investigative priorities from leading figures in the field, including Matthew Green, Sunita Narain, and Amy Westervelt.

Green, sustainable, net-zero: Study finds majority of Brits don’t understand key climate terminology

A new study reveals that three-quarters of the British public struggle to understand commonly-used climate terminology such as 'environmentally friendly' and 'locally grown.' The survey, conducted by Trajectory and Fleet Street, indicates a lack of clarity around key climate change and environmental policy language. The findings suggest a need for improved communication to engage consumers, particularly as companies prioritize sustainability, and show that younger age groups and those with higher education levels tend to have a better understanding of climate-related terminology.

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