Germany launches ‘Green Central Asia’ initiative

(EurActiv, 28 Jan 2020) A high-level ministerial conference in Berlin launched on Tuesday (28 January) the ‘Green Central Asia’ initiative, intended to support regional integration between the five Central Asian countries and Afghanistan.

German Foreign Minister Heiko Maas, who hosted the conference, stressed that the states of Central Asia and Afghanistan were particularly affected by climate change. High officials from Afghanistan, Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan, Turkmenistan, Tajikistan and Uzbekistan took part in the conference.

“If climate change knows no borders, then our answer to it also must not know any borders”, he said. The security impact of climate change, he said, was a priority of the German stint as the non-permanent member of the UN Security Council, and Berlin had already gathered a “group of friends” of 48 nations, among them Afghanistan.

“I would be delighted to see the nations of Central Asia joining this group of nations on climate and security too. Your experience of the region would be very valuable”, Maas said.

He argued that the foundation for such an endeavour could be found in the EU-Central Asia Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation, which is now 10-years old.

The issue of water, which had been a bone of contention, has been turned into a potential for cross-border cooperation, he said, commending the first summit of the Central Asian leaders in 2018.

External link

EurActiv, 28 Jan 2020: Germany launches ‘Green Central Asia’ initiative