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Capacity building for air quality management and the application of clean coal combustion technologies in Central Asia

Background:

Regional cooperation on air pollution has proven to be successful in the ECE region, in particular within the framework of CLRTAP, a Convention that has 49 parties from a region with 55 countries. However, efforts need to be made to assist new parties to implement the convention and to make it possible for more countries to ratify and implement the convention and its protocols. Central Asia remains to be fully engaged. Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan both ratified the convention in 2000, but both have yet to accede to any of the convention’s protocols. Several countries have also ratified the Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol, and are preparing the national action plans for its implementation. Central Asia is an important area when considering long-range transport of air pollution as it is situated between Europe and East Asia. It is important that a process of intergovernmental cooperation on air pollution problems can start and be sustained in the sub-region.

This project will involve technical, policy, legal, economic and institutional analysis and reforms of air quality management in Central Asia, development of sub-regional capacity in air quality management and development of air monitoring in Central Asia as a link between monitoring systems in Europe and Asia. It will facilitate sub-regional networking and information dissemination through an internet/intranet system and promote the introduction of low cost, fast payback methods for improving the energy efficiency and environmental performance of solid fuel combustion technologies for heat and power generation. It will provide assistance with sustainable energy policy and energy pricing reforms and explore investment project finance for clean coal technology deployment.

Objective:

Strengthen the capacity of air quality management institutions in Central Asia to implement the ECE Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution and its protocols and to promote the deployment of appropriate clean coal combustion technologies for heat and power generation from solid fuels

Expected accomplishments:

  • (i) Establishment of a national concept for implementing selected Convention on Long-range Transboundary Air Pollution protocols; (ii) national implementation plan ensuring that a selected country can meet its obligations under selected protocols that it accedes to; and (iii) an action plan for the implementing of the national concept and implementation plan
  • Raised awareness in Central Asia on air quality management and international cooperation on transboundary transport of air pollution laying the basis for other countries to accede to the convention and/or its protocols
  • Establishment of a plan for cooperation on air pollution monitoring and evaluation between Central Asia, on the one hand, and Europe and Asia, on the other; and upgrading and testing one station of air pollution monitoring in Central Asia as a link between the Cooperative Programme for Monitoring and Evaluation of the Long-range Transmission of Air Pollutants in Europe (EMEP) and the Asian air-monitoring network
  • Establishment of a subregional network comprising experts on clean coal technologies and investment project finance from the public and private sectors of interested participating countries in Central Asia; and an Internet/Intranet web site for use by all participants of the subregional network for value-added information exchanges and dissemination of project outputs
  • Review of energy policy and energy pricing reforms relevant to the promotion of appropriate clean coal technology with national and municipal authorities, private sector partners and international experts; and an assessment of specific policy options and pricing reforms required to support selected case study investment projects
  • Enhanced capacity to identify and develop investment projects for the introduction of low-cost, fast payback clean coal technologies for the heat and power generation sector in Central Asian countries; and a greater awareness of the modalities of project finance, guarantee mechanisms and sources of investment available for reducing air pollution emissions through the introduction of energy efficiency measures and common best practice clean coal technologies

Implementation status:

A workshop on International Air Monitoring, Data, Reporting and Environmental Effects, was held in Almaty 17-19 October 2006. The meeting was arranged back-to-back with a TACIS training workshop on emission inventories, organized by the European Environment Agency (EEA). Following recommendations on the concept for the creation of a air monitoring and air quality management information system, a new software was developed in order to make it possible for the National Informational-Analytical Centers in Central Asian countries to take on specific tasks such as monitoring enterprises using coal as a fuel, audit of its quality, ecological compatibility, efficiency on the basis of the international and national standards and requirements, an assessment of energy and environmental situations, degrees of their safety and estimation of risks, and also development of administrative decisions on maintenance of rational production and use of power resources, and management of protection of the air environment. A training workshop for experts from Central Asian in order to learn how the new software can be used within the National Informational-Analytical Centers for generating recommendations and air quality management decision-making in the energy sector was held from 13 to 17 November 2006 in Almaty (Kazakhstan).

More information on this project can be found on the UNECE website.