Ashgabat, 10 March 2021: A National workshop (online) was held on preparation of the Fourth National Communication on Climate Change and Initial Biennial Update Report of Turkmenistan under the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and on development of Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) under the Paris Climate Agreement. These strategic national documents in the field of climate change are being developed with the support of the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP) in cooperation with the United Nations Environment Program (UNEP) and coordinated by the UNDP project "Sustainable Cities in Turkmenistan: Integrated Green Urban Development in Ashgabat and Avaza".
The workshop was attended by the representatives of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Ministry of Agriculture and Environment Protection, Ministry of Energy, Ministry of Health and Medical Industry, Ministry of Construction and Architecture, Ministry of Finance and Economy, State Committee of Turkmenistan on Statistics, State Concerns “Turkmengaz” and “Turkmennebit”, Agencies “Turkmenhowayollary", “Turkmenavtoulaglary", “Turkmendemiryollary", as well as representatives of the international organizations and projects working in Turkmenistan.
Turkmenistan ratified the UNFCCC in 1995 and the Paris Agreement in 2016 and continuously takes relevant measures on addressing a wide range of tasks set forth in those documents.
From 1999 to 2015, the country has prepared and submitted to the UNFCCC Secretariat three National Communications on Climate Change, which included in-detail measures taken by Turkmenistan to prevent global climate change and adaptation to climate change.
The Fourth National Communication, which is currently being developed is a logical continuation of the previous three National Communications.
During the workshop, the UNDP project specialists have pointed out that consistent efforts are being made at the national level in order to implement obligations under the UNFCCC, including strategic, legislative and institutional measures to mitigate climate change. One of the key steps in this direction is the adoption of the updated National Strategy of Turkmenistan on Climate Change in September 2019, which was also developed with active support of UNDP.
It was noted during the workshop that the participation of key ministries and agencies of Turkmenistan in developing the National Communication report, whose activities are related to the contribution to climate change will significantly add value to the preparation of a quality report and strengthen the sense of national ownership.
During the meeting, the content and specific features of the Fourth National Communication on Climate Change and Biennial Update Report of Turkmenistan to the UNFCCC have been presented in detail. These documents will be prepared taking into account results of previous studies and assessments following the new UNFCCC Guidelines. Moreover, the emphasis will be given to the development and strengthening national capacities and facilitating the process of integrating climate change issues into national environmental planning and strategies.
During the workshop, presentations were made by the project specialists on the main directions of the National Communication such as inventory of greenhouse gases, adaptation to climate change and mitigation (reduction of greenhouse gas emissions).
With regard to the inventory of greenhouse gases, a useful information was provided on the New Guidelines for National Greenhouse Gas Inventory, which will be used in conducting the national inventory. The results of previous inventories will be recalculated for all categories and sectors based on new methodology and the inventory results will facilitate to determine priority areas for reducing emissions and increasing sinks of greenhouse gases, as well as attracting new technologies and investments in this area.
In the field of mitigation, information was provided on Policies and Measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, including an assessment of the key macroeconomic parameters, potential to reduce greenhouse gases and the cost of certain measures.
As for the adaptation to climate change, information on vulnerability assessment and measures to adapt to climate change was described in detail, including an assessment of risks associated with climate change and development of a list of specific adaptation measures with an aggregated assessment of costs and benefits of their implementation in various sectors of the economy of Turkmenistan.
The preparation of the Fourth National Communication will promote to:
- develop a national strategy to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, assess vulnerability and adaptation to climate change, as well as draft a strategy to mitigate climate change;
- increase public awareness, improve education and disseminate information on climate change issues;
- promote scientific research in all areas related to climate change, systematic observation and exchange of information;
- build and strengthen the institutional, scientific-technical, informational and human capacities.
Another important issue of the meeting was the presentation and discussion of the Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), the development of which is a key element of the implementation of the commitments under the Paris Climate Agreement and will reflect Turkmenistan's efforts to reduce emissions at the national level and to adaptation to climate change. During the event the process of developing of NDC, which is based on the consideration of the types and amounts of possible national contributions corresponding to the plans of sustainable development of Turkmenistan in the future was looked at in some detail.