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Climate change

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Climate change
What is climate change?

We hear about the climate change problem nearly every day from different mass media. And it is not for nothing.

Climate change means changes in established global climatic processes due to excessive accumulation of greenhouse gases in atmosphere. The list of greenhouse gases can be found here.

This unnatural over saturation of atmosphere with greenhouse gases takes place because of the human activities: oil, gas, and coal consumption for energy production, in chemical and other industries. The main greenhouse gases whose contents in atmosphere grow from year to year are carbonic acid gas and methane, which is the main natural component of natural gas.

Accumulated in atmosphere, greenhouse gases do not let excessive heat radiating from the heated surface of our planet be released in space, and, as consequence, atmosphere becomes hotter. Because of the higher temperatures, the glaciers melt. Melting glaciers change temperature and physical characteristics of oceanic water, ocean streams, and climate in countries that depend on these streams, as well as global hydrological cycle and global climate-forming processes. As the result we face with significant amplitude of change in precipitates level – at times there are no precipitates at all, and at times there is too much water; this causes increase in droughts and floods; more often we face with extreme natural cataclysms – tornado, typhoons, mudflows, landslides, etc.

It might seem not that serious. But if our planet temperature increases by 5 more degrees all the processes will become irreversible and life as a whole will be under serious threat. It is the issue of human survival as of biological species. Therefore, this is a global problem.

What are our actions that cause climate change?

This problem becomes global not only because the consequences will be common for all the people – potential extinction – but also because we contribute in this problem. It does not matter at which point of the globe the greenhouse gases are released into atmosphere: in Uzbekistan, Philippines, China, or England – the effect from every new portion of greenhouse gasses will influence the entire planet’ climatic system. Therefore the quantity of released gasses and not the location matters.Any energy consumption – be it switching the lights on, heating our homes, driving cars, burning timber to cook food, etc. – causes release of greenhouse gases into atmosphere.

Does this mean that we need to stop doing all this? Of course, not. The issue is whether we are energy saving enough. According to some data, we can cut our energy consumption twice and this will not affect our comfort in any way. You will agree that often the light is on for no purpose. You can turn it off, when nobody needs it. What bulbs do we use? Are they economical? Currently there are energy-saving bulbs that are affordable to all and consume by several times less energy. We heat our homes. Are our heating systems efficient? If we have single-glass windows and chinks in ceiling, doors, and windows, no matter how much we heat our home, it will never be warm enough. And how much fuel is consumed at this? And it does not matter whether it is burned nearby or in a centralized boiler-house. Do we really need to drive to a shop that is only a few meters from home? Probably, we could walk or ride a bike there?

That is why we want everybody to ask themselves whether they use the energy in the right way.

What does the GEF SGP do to prevent climate change?

The Outcome 2 of the GEF SGP is dedicated to climate change issues:

Outcome 2:

Greenhouse gasses emissions caused by energy consumption of local population decreased

This outcome is aimed at mitigation of the pressures on global climatic system by decreasing emissions caused by local population’s energy consumption. SGP is not aimed at decrease of emissions in industries, in energy-distribution networks etc., where government interference and deliberate regulation are required. The GEF SGP niche in this regard is to try to decrease emissions on the level of direct energy consumption by people. The objective under this outcome is to increase efficiency of the available energy sources. This can be achieved by developing the following two directions: 1) increase local efficiency of energy consumption; and 2) implement alternative sources of energy generation by local population.

Objective 2.1:

To demonstrate and disseminate energy-efficient practices/approaches to energy consumption by local population.
Often the population is simply not aware of the possible methods to cut energy consumption. Besides, prices for energy carriers in Uzbekistan are rather sparing, subsided by the government, and many people are not motivated enough to cut energy consumption as their energy cost is distributed in time. To increase energy efficiency significant investments are needed that are, at the first sight, much higher than every-day energy costs. Nevertheless, it is very important to demonstrate that energy efficiency is important not only from the environment point of view, but also from the economic one.

Therefore, this objective assumes development and implementation of projects on energy efficiency by improving energy efficiency of homes, home appliances, heating systems, cooking devices, etc.

It is crucial that the GEF SGP supports projects that will be easily accepted and disseminated among people demonstrating clear benefits from implementing energy-saving technologies in everyday economic practices.

Objective 2.2:

To demonstrate and disseminate alternative practices/approaches to energy production to satisfy every-day needs of local population.
Currently Uzbekistan’s citizens have practically no necessary knowledge, experience and skills on alternative energy sources use. At the same time, there are numerous options of alternative energy sources that are simple in terms of technical realization and exploitation and affordable in terms of financial resources.

UNDP, other international organizations, and local initiatives of various embassies have conducted series of pilot projects on demonstration and implementation of alternative energy sources. Local population already has sufficient experience in using alternative sources. However, this experience remains single instance and is not disseminated widely enough. Taking into consideration this fact, the GEF SGP niche is to consolidate all the gained experience and to disseminate it through SGP projects.

Besides, the GEF SGP will assist in development and implementation of the projects of Clear Development Mechanism (CDM) under Kyoto protocol. Such projects are not attractive for large investors but have great potential on the way to achieving social and economic benefits for local people. Small CDM projects can be combined in CDM programs. The GEF SGP niche is to assist in development and implementation of CDM programs with greater social focus.

Greenhouse gases that cause climate change

For information on successful projects in our and other countries please see Projects section.