ADB Urges Cross-Border Collaboration for Greener Trade in Central Asia

ASTANA – At the Asian Development Bank’s (ADB) 57th annual meeting, officials stated that closer cross-border collaboration and trade policy reforms in Central Asia and its neighbors could reduce the carbon footprint of trade and value chains, the ADB’s press service reported on May 2.

Photo credit: Asian Development Bank

ADB Director General for Central and West Asia Yevgeniy Zhukov noted that harmonizing policies and standards through the ADB-supported Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) Program could enhance trade while making supply chains less carbon-intensive and more resilient.

Worldwide, around 20%-30% of carbon dioxide emissions are linked to global trade and supply chains. In CAREC countries, specialization in emission-intensive sectors such as electricity, chemicals, and mining has resulted in one of the highest shares of carbon dioxide emissions in value-added manufacturing.

With vast reserves of critical minerals vital for the energy transition, CAREC countries have the potential to shift away from fossil fuels and take advantage of the market opportunities arising from this transition.

However, CAREC needs a regional approach to developing green standards to ensure competitiveness amid growing environmental standards and carbon pricing policies.

Coordinated regional decarbonization policies and carbon pricing could optimize the use of regional resources, enhance economic integration, reduce carbon leakage, and facilitate technology transfer.

CAREC also engaged in activities to increase climate financing that will help accelerate member countries’ transition to clean energy and enhance their resilience against climate change impacts.

The CAREC Program, a partnership of countries in Central Asia, the Caucasus, and East Asia, along with development partners, aims to promote sustainable development, accelerate economic growth, and alleviate poverty.

As the host of the CAREC Secretariat, ADB remains committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific while continuing efforts to eradicate extreme poverty since its establishment in 1966.

Get The Astana Times stories sent directly to you! Sign up via the website or subscribe to our Twitter, Facebook, Instagram, Telegram, YouTube and Tiktok!