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Results BriefsOctober 26, 2023

The World Bank and Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Economy and Finance: Working Together for a Greener Future

The view of Tashkent city, Uzbekistan.

The view of Tashkent city, Uzbekistan. Photo: World Bank.

These Programmatic Advisory Services and Analytics (PASA) have helped launch the green growth agenda in a historically emission-intensive country like Uzbekistan. The PASA has reaffirmed the World Bank as a knowledge leader and trusted partner of Uzbekistan’s Ministry of Economy and Finance (MEF) on the green agenda, has contributed to effective coordination among development partners, and helped advance progress towards an important policy result—a Presidential Decree approving Uzbekistan's Green Growth Strategic Framework in December 2022.


Over the past three decades, Uzbekistan has experienced remarkable economic progress, with the reform agenda laying the groundwork for future economic expansion. Recent macroeconomic analysis indicates that the country’s economy rebounded to 7.2% in 2021, after a contraction of 1.9% in 2020, and reached 5.5% in 2023, demonstrating one of the highest growth rates among the countries in the Europe and Central Asia region.

Yet, Uzbekistan has room for improvement compared to other countries on key metrics, especially high energy and carbon intensity. This increases its vulnerability to external trade policies. As more countries adopt strong climate agendas and global demand for carbon-intensive products is likely to decrease, the country faces transition risks from a global policy environment that is shifting rapidly to address climate change. A rich resource base can be a strong and sustainable economic pillar if environmental and climate change policies are strengthened and integrated with economic policies through the "greening" of the economic growth model.

The Government of Uzbekistan has recognized that an emission and resource-intensive growth model is unsustainable and has initiated a series of structural reforms to pivot the country toward a greener and more inclusive growth framework. There are barriers that impede effective integration of green growth principles in policies, strategies, and investment decisions such as insufficient knowledge, capacity, and public awareness. The PASA's aim was to address these barriers and knowledge gaps.


The World Bank launched a joint engagement with MEF to support Uzbekistan's transition to a green economy. Towards these objectives, the World Bank and MEF team developed a four-pronged approach that leveraged: joint stakeholder engagement, joint development partner coordination, joint communication, and joint human and financial resource mobilization. Activities under these areas included:

Joint development partner coordination: The World Bank and MEF established a donor coordination group and a joint secretariat with the United Nations Development Program (UNDP) and Agence Française de Développement (AFD) to align efforts and coordinate support for development of Uzbekistan's Green Growth Strategic Framework.

Joint communication: The World Bank and MEF jointly implemented a public outreach campaign to raise public awareness of green growth and climate change reaching policymakers, decision-makers, experts, civil society and the public in Uzbekistan and Central Asia through events and conferences, media materials, and blogs showcasing PASA activities and achievements.

Joint human and financial resource mobilization: The World Bank and MEF jointly raised trust funds to establish a position of economic adviser in MEF’s newly established Green Growth Unit.

With a greener economy, Uzbekistan will reduce its greenhouse gas emissions by 35% compared to the 2010 level and make people, nature and the economy more resilient.
Aziz Abduhakimov's photo
Aziz Abdukhakimov
Uzbekistan’s Deputy Prime Minister in an address at COP26


This unprecedented multisectoral and multistakeholder PASA engagement has elevated the green growth agenda as a core national development priority across all levels of Uzbekistan's Government. The results reflect four themes:

1)   Knowledge generation and Advisory:

2)   Awareness raising and capacity building:

  • The World Bank, with MEF and the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC) organized 11 policy dialogue roundtables on green growth and climate change bringing together over 700 policy makers, experts, and stakeholders, including officials from 30 government agencies and high-level representation, seven policy think tanks, and NGOs, academia and grassroot organizations.
  • The policy dialogue series focused on building awareness of and technical capacity for the top green economy transition priorities.  It leveraged partnerships and expertise in Uzbekistan and across Central Asia, and from among the international development community, including the UNDP, AFD, European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD), Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD), Asian Development Bank (ADB), and a rich network of non-governmental organizations, academic and research institutions.
  • The policy dialogue series built ownership and visibility on the green growth and climate change. It also contributed to the establishment of priorities, framework, and the consultation for MEF's roadmap for a green economy transition.
  • The World Bank and MEF established a donor coordination group and a joint secretariat with UNDP and AFD to align efforts and coordinate support for development of Uzbekistan’s Green Growth Strategic Framework.
  • Dissemination efforts through the policy dialogue and presentation at the Uzbekistan Economic Forum in Samarkand in November 2022.

3)   Policy Adoption and Institutional Strengthening:

As a result of the support from the PASA:

4)   New lending:

For the first-time, green economy has been reflected as a key pillar in the Government's New Development Strategy 2022-26 and in the World Bank Country Partnership Framework 2022-26. This recognition of the importance of green transition has contributed to the approval by the World Bank Board of the Resilient Landscape Project in June 2022.

This PASA served as a springboard for continuous collaboration with MEF on specific deep-dives and new engagements related to climate change. Its results informed:

This work would not have been possible if it was not done in real partnership with the Ministry of Economy and Finance of Uzbekistan since the start in 2019. The joint journey started from hours of brainstorming and discussing jointly what green growth was, what green growth was for Uzbekistan, what green growth was in other countries. It continued exploring the interest of other developing partners and institutions to join our journey, and it culminated in 2022 with the approval of the Presidential Decree that adopted the Plan of Action for Transitioning to a Green Economy and Ensuring Green Growth until 2030. This document includes measures addressing the current environmental and economic challenges to achieve green, resilient, and inclusive development. Now on to implementation.
Paola Agostini's photo
Paola Agostini
Lead Natural Resources Economist, World Bank

The World Bank Group Contribution

This PASA was supported with funds from the World Bank budget ($275,000), Climate Support Facility ($200,000), Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) Support Facility ($200,000), PROGREEN ($50, 000), Effective Governance for Economic Development Program (EGED) ($150,000), and Partnership Fund for Sustainable Development Goals ($50,000).


The PASA resulted in an unprecedented engagement and collaboration among development partners: UNDP, OECD, ADB, AFD, EBRD, United Nation Economic Commission for Europe (UNECE), and the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation Program (CAREC). The collaboration between MEF and the World Bank resulted in multiple events and extensive knowledge sharing, including a report launch and panel discussion jointly organized by both parties and development partners at the Uzbekistan Economic Forum in November 2022 in Samarkand.

Looking Ahead

The transition towards a green economy is ongoing and so is the World Bank’s support.  More technical assistance is needed on repurposing harmful subsidies, looking at the impact of the transition of the green economy on different socio-economic groups and sectors of society, designing a new Environmental Code, working with schools and universities for new curriculum that include green transition and climate change, and thinking about regional synergies in Central Asia in championing the green transition. The World Bank started working with the Government on the green growth agenda in 2019, and it will remain a long-term partner in Uzbekistan in advancing a resilient, sustainable future.