Policy Brief: Regional Climate Cooperation – Challenges and Perspectives

Dec 2020; CAREC Institute

This policy brief is derived from the CAREC Institute’s research titled “Climate Insurance, Infrastructure and Governance in CAREC” and the namesake virtual workshop delivered in collaboration with the Asian Development Bank Institute (ADBI) and the Xinjiang Institute of Ecology and Geography (XIEG) of the Chinese Academy of Sciences on 18-19 June 2020.

It argues that in the view of exponential increase in climate change impact across CAREC and economic hurdles stemming from the COVID-19 pandemic, CAREC members shall draw particular attention to joint actions against ongoing and upcoming challenges. Now, regional cooperation is not only a priority, it became a necessity, which shall help unlock new opportunities, optimize resources and build on lessons and successful practices of the past.

This brief attempts to highlight key niches to frame additional research around climate change agenda in the CAREC region. The challenges touch upon the lack of coordination among different regional and national players, peculiarities of institutional arrangements and legal frameworks, limitations in mainstreaming direct climate change objectives in large regional infrastructure projects, while different languages, which the region speaks, add to the constraints.

Meanwhile, opportunities exist to focus on a certain niche (e.g., water-agriculture-energy nexus). CAREC countries can enhance cooperation with existing regional organizations to deal with the climate agenda as well as seek innovative solutions in a post-COVID-19 world. Focusing on new climate studies in times of new realities could supplement the region’s policies with a strong evidence-based component.

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