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Rockström speaks to Central Asian Ministers at German Foreign Office

29/02/2020 – Tackling climate change through increased regional cooperation – that is the goal of the “Green Central Asia Initiative” now launched by the German Federal Foreign office. It grounds on the conviction that climate protection and security are two sides of the same coin. PIK director Johan Rockström delivered the keynote speech on the vulnerability of Central Asia and namely Afghanistan to climate change, and the importance of science in deepening our understanding of it.
Rockström speaks to Central Asian Ministers at German Foreign Office

“One of the biggest issues for Central Asian countries is water", Johan Rockström at the Foreign Office. Photo: Jan Rottler

“One of the biggest issues for Central Asian countries is water", explains Rockström. The current and future state of the Tienshan Mountain glaciers, which are known as the ‘water tower’ of Central Asia, will be crucial for the countries’ future development. That’s also because they generate significant shares of their electricity through hydropower. However, the mountain glaciers are regressing due to changes in temperature and precipitation in the region.

The Conference was opened by Foreign Minister of the Federal Republic of Germany, H.E. Heiko Maas, and the High Representative of the European Union, H.E. Josep Borrell. The German Foreign Office held the high-level event in order to launch “Green Central Asia”, a regional initiative on climate and security in Central Asia and Afghanistan. The aim of the initiative is to support a dialogue in the region on climate change and associated risks in order to foster regional cooperation between the six countries involved. In addition, Green Central Asia will create better access to information and risk analyses, enabling countries to more accurately assess the impact of climate change and take preventive measures.

During the conference, Germany, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Tajikistan, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan and Afghanistan signed a Joint Declaration of Intent on cooperation in the field of climate and security in Central Asia and Afghanistan within the framework of Green Central Asia.

Both PIK directors, Johan Rockström and Ottmar Edenhofer, already spoke at the first Climate Berlin Climate and Security Conference in June 2019 which had also been held by the German Foreign Office.

Weblink to Green Asia homepage: https://green-central-asia.net/

More information on the pages of the German Foreign Office: https://www.auswaertiges-amt.de/en/aussenpolitik/themen/klima/conference-green-central-asia/2296630

Weblink to information on the 2019 Climate and Security Conference: https://www.pik-potsdam.de/news/in-short/climate-protection-and-peace-are-two-sides-of-the-same-coin-berlin-climate-and-security-conference 

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