On November 30, the COP28 climate conference started in Dubai, attended by dozens of world leaders and hundreds of NGO representatives and experts from all over the world. Before the start of the conference, the EECCA Climate Action Network, which includes 48 environmental organizations, prepared a common coordinated position addressed to the authorities of the countries of the region and the international community.
We present you also the national and sub-regional positions of NGOs from the EECCA region.
Statement of civil society and youth of Central Asian countries
Central Asia, with more than 70% of desert areas, is facing catastrophic water scarcity due to climate change, resulting in glaciers shrinking by 1% per year. The threat of glaciers disappearing by 90% by the end of the 21st century will create irreversible damage to the economy and living conditions of the population. The problems caused by the Aral Sea crisis, as well as regular dust storms and loss of natural resources, impose a heavy burden on vulnerable rural communities, demanding the inclusion of Central Asia in regions of high vulnerability and international support to compensate for the damages.
“We call on the global community, international organizations and financial institutions to assist in the implementation of the initiatives put forward by the countries of Central Asia and enshrined in the UN General Assembly resolutions: declaring the Aral Sea region a zone of environmental innovation and technology (May 2021), on sustainable development of mountain regions, proclaiming 2023-2027 as the “Five Years of Action for Mountain Development” (December 2022) and on declaring 2025 as the International Year of Glacier Conservation (December 2022).”
Kyrgyzstan. Position of the National Climate Forum
Resolution, contains key proposals of the Forum participants to COP-28 and can be considered for possible formation of the position of the official delegation of the country on the most important issues on the agenda of COP28.
“Realizing the impact of climate change on the health of the country’s population and the importance of adhering to the principles of sustainable development, we recommend to express the position of the Kyrgyz Republic within the framework of COP28 on the “Health and Climate Day” and join the relevant Declaration. Climate change, including extreme weather events, as well as deterioration of air and water quality, have a serious impact on public health. We see a direct link between climate change and increased disease incidence, including heat stroke, respiratory and cardiovascular diseases, infectious diseases and the spread of vector-borne diseases.”
Regional Youth Position for Eastern Europe
Participants of the Regional Conference of Youth (RCOY) of Eastern Europe have developed a separate common position. The document will be presented during COP28.
“We affirm that mandatory and meaningful youth participation in the development and implementation of key climate policy documents is of paramount importance in line with the Glasgow Climate Pact.
We affirm that climate education should be universally available in educational institutions and local communities, as recognized in the Sharm el Shaikh implementation plan.
We demand the revision of activism laws, recognizing peaceful protest as an expression of active citizenship, ensuring respect for human rights in accordance with Article 12 of the Paris Agreement and paragraph 91 of the Glasgow Climate Pact.”
Statement of the Youth Climate Council of Belarus
Belarus is experiencing a significant increase in temperature (the highest in winter), which leads to an imbalance in the water regime and an increase in the frequency of abnormal weather events. Without adaptation to such conditions, Belarus’ potential in health care, social infrastructure, and economic activity is already experiencing problems and the situation will only worsen.
In this regard, we:
“Call on the Belarusan authorities to fulfill their commitments under the current ONUA, and to specify a more ambitious target for reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 2025. Include young people in the process of shaping the 2025 ONUA at all stages, giving them the same rights as other experts;
Call for the real implementation of the provisions stipulated by the state Development Strategies (National Strategy for Sustainable Socio-Economic Development until 2030, National Plan for Green Economy, National Strategy for the Development of the Closed Cycle Economy (Circular Economy) of the Republic of Belarus until 2035);
Call for the creation of a national adaptation plan in accordance with the provisions of the Paris Agreement, ensuring the participation of women and young people in decision-making processes at all levels, including building their leadership capacity through various youth platforms, including immediate action in line with national and regional commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, improve energy efficiency, implement climate-smart agricultural practices, water-saving and water-efficient agricultural practices, as well as the adoption of a national adaptation plan.”
Position of the Ukrainian Climate Network
The position of the Ukrainian Climate Network is a vision of the decisions that should be taken at the international and national level in Ukraine to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement. It takes into account the recommendations of the Global Stocktake report as well as important recommendations from previous negotiations:
“In addition to the challenges posed by the climate crisis, Ukraine also faces an urgent challenge: a full-scale invasion by Russia. The war that has been going on since 2014 has a direct impact on the climate crisis and thus on the world. The climate crisis and war have a direct connection and one root: fossil fuels.
A significant part of Russia’s federal budget is formed precisely by the export of fossil fuels. Therefore, climate negotiations, among other things, are also a lever to influence the aggressor’s actions and an indirect tool to prevent future financing of aggression at the expense of fossil fuels. Thus, the main leitmotif of the delegation should be to promote the phase-out of fossil fuels.
It is important that during COP28 the parties reaffirm the need to divest from fossil fuels and their subsidies to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement, and that the global energy system should be ‘fully or largely decarbonized’ by the 2030s, leaving no room for coal power.”
Statement by Russian NGOs
Russian NGOs emphasize that based on scientific evidence, including the latest IPCC (IPCC) reports, the 3rd assessment report of Roshydromet and reports of other states, all countries have recognized the dominant role of humans in modern climate change and the need for urgent action to radically reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions, adaptation to climate change.
“To date, pledges and agreements by countries are critically insufficient. Despite the fact that almost all major emitting countries have declared their intention to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050-2060, these statements are not backed by concrete actions. The world is on a trajectory of a 3-3.50 C global temperature rise by the end of the century, which is not in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement (PA). Urgent action is needed and it is important to ensure dialog and decision-making during the negotiations of the COP parties – together and with the participation of representatives of civil society and vulnerable groups.
The international mechanism to systematically track global progress towards the Paris Agreement goals (Global Stocktake (GST) should not be interrupted at COP-28. Identified backlogs and gaps in mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage, and the provision of funds to support climate action by developing countries, must be addressed through clear measures that integrate GST results into concrete actions.“