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Central Asia

Finance: Uzbekistan goes green

Government officials and bankers see the Covid-19 crisis as an opportunity to overhaul energy policy and expand the range of financing options available for the country’s infrastructure needs.

President Shavkat Mirziyoyev has just committed Uzbekistan to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.
Source: Getty Images.

Uzbekistan has not let a good crisis go to waste.

Governments all over the world have been forced to assert their roles and take drastic measures in response to the coronavirus pandemic, and this Central Asian country is no exception: president Shavkat Mirziyoyev has just committed the nation to achieving carbon neutrality by 2050.

Uzbekistan is now one of the very few Asian countries to publicly promise to phase out fossil fuel emissions by then, joining Japan, South Korea and Hong Kong.

China – and Kazakhstan’s president, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev – have targeted 2060.

Scott Foster, director of sustainable energy at the United Nations Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), says it is clear that politicians in Tashkent are trying to make the best of a terrible year.

“When we think about this pivot and we see what Covid has done in terms of economic implosions and the opportunity that creates for some kind of a shift to a different outcome,” Foster says, “we want to think about not only restarting an economy but restarting it in a way that provides sustainable outcomes.”

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