Global warming poses serious threats on environment, ecology and socio-economic systems. In the arid ecosystem of Central Asia, for instance, the Aral Sea has been subjected to an unprecedented degree of negative anthropogenic impacts. The atmospheric concentration of CO2 emissions is rising as the result of a variety of human activities, of which the burning of fossil fuels is the most important. Since early 1990s, taking action in order to control global warming has been on the world’s agenda. The design of effective and comprehensive policies to control climate change requires an understanding of the rules played by the different factors affecting CO2 production. This study tries to analyze the sources of changes in energy-related CO2 emissions for five Central Asian countries for 1992-2001 periods. For this purpose, we use a decomposition technique, which separates out the effects of changes in population, energy intensity of output, economic growth, primary energy use in final energy consumption and the carbon intensity of fossil fuel combustion. Data shows that CO2 emissions were reduced quite substantially in Tajikistan, Kazakhstan and Kyrgyzstan since 1992. Our results suggest that main decrease in CO2 emissions in these countries is due to a serious economic contraction after the collapse of Soviet Union. Other factors contributing to this result are improvements in energy
intensities and decline in energy related activities in general. Even though, other two Central Asian countries, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan, also experienced similar economic contraction for the same period, their CO2 emissions have increased. This could be explained by their energy use patterns and energy market structures. Energy intensities have increased significantly for these countries. It is
suggested that liberalization of energy sectors improves energy intensities. It can be argued that, with the liberalization, Turkmenistan and Uzbekistan can find possibilities to improve energy intensity effects and in return to reduce CO2 emission levels. Finally, the study stresses that the Central Asian countries have been experiencing a recovery since the beginning of 2000. Therefore, it is possible that CO2 emissions will begin to increase in the future unless energy intensities and carbon content of energy can be decreased via policy changes and/or behavioral adaptation.