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Can oil- and gas-rich countries benefit from renewable energy?

The majority of United Nations Special Programme for the Economies of Central Asia (UNSPECA) countries were able to achieve economic growth mainly thanks to the development of their oil and gas reserves. But it is a well-known fact that the fossil fuel reserves are exhaustible and, in order to ensure future sustainable development, UNSPECA countries started to attach importance to the issue of using and developing renewable energies. The favorable geographical location of the UNSPECA region, climate conditions and increasing economic potential of the countries creates good opportunities and possibilities to efficiently and effectively use renewable energy sources. In order to improve the ecological situation, ensure sustainable socio-economic development and implement green technologies, UNSPECA countries have intensified and advanced their economic policy activities with regard to renewable energy sources by adopting relevant legislation and State programmes, formulating legislative frameworks and establishing appropriate government structures. UNSPECA countries also intensified cooperation with different international organizations, foreign companies and donor countries to implement various projects in the field of renewable energy sources.

UNSPECA countries may significantly improve their overall economic situation and ensure sustainable development by being more energy efficient and less reliant on fossil fuels. A significant portion of the energy needs of the UNSPECA region can be met thanks to the renewable energy sources. The implementation of renewable energy technologies will also reduce many of the current environmental problems associated with fossil fuel production and use. Hence, a priority is to accelerate the transition from reliance on fossil fuel energy sources to renewable energy sources. Various combinations of renewable energy technologies could be used consistent with the characteristics, conditions and needs of different geographic regions. If the UNSPECA region commits itself to the transition from fossil fuel to renewable energy sources, it will positively contribute to the future sustainable development. 

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