On September 8, CAREC Institute Senior Research Specialist Dr. Asif Razzaq presented the issues and prospects for regional energy cooperation between the PRC and Central Asian countries at the Sixth China (Karamay) International Petroleum, Natural Gas and Petrochemical Technology and Equipment Exhibition & Trade and Investment Forum.
Dr. Asif Razzaq noted that the PRC and Central Asia have been connected for centuries by the ancient Silk Road, which facilitated trade, cultural exchange, and the movement of ideas. And today’s connection is reignited with renewed vigor and purpose, paving the way for sustainable development. To achieve sustainable economic growth, CAREC countries need more energy, but climate change means they must significantly reduce carbon emissions and accelerate the transition to green energy. The CAREC study “Sustainable Pathways to Energy Transition in the CAREC Region– A Governance Perspective” finds that the region’s energy transition is slow due to the abundance of fossil fuels, dependence on low marginal cost hydropower, and the need for large investments to upgrade infrastructure. Central Asia’s economy is already struggling with energy shortages, aging infrastructure, and increasingly inefficient and unreliable energy production facilities.
The report provides recommendations to CAREC countries. Countries of the Central Asian region should develop long-term strategies along with complementary short-term policies, introduce an appropriate energy governance structure, as well as a specific regulatory framework. Regional coordination is needed to implement a market-based emissions control system and a more favorable investment climate in the region, to create necessary regional institutions, such as a regional load sharing center, to ensure that regional supply and demand are matched in real time. “Such regional organization could facilitate and implement renewable energy procurement and contracting processes, as well as implement emission reduction contracts. This organization could then distribute revenues from emissions reductions to help support the vulnerable groups of the population throughout the region,” said Dr. Asif Razzaq.
He also participated in the launch of the Karamay Initiative for Investment and Long-Term Growth. In addition to this, he discussed regional integration in a media interview conducted during the event.