Dubai, 6 December 2023 (TDI): The Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC, or COP, plays a pivotal role as the highest authority responsible for making decisions regarding the world’s climate change treaties.
COP28, which is held in Dubai, UAE, this year, brings together government representatives, scientists, international organizations, businesses, indigenous peoples, local communities, youth, media, civil society, and influential figures.
Kazakhstan sent a delegation to COP28 at the highest level, including the country’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, who gave a speech at the event on December 1.
Key points from President Tokayev’s speech at COP 28Global Climate Vulnerability:
- Nearly half of the Earth’s population lives in regions highly vulnerable to climate change.
- Small Island Developing States, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Least Developed Countries are most at risk.
- Geopolitical volatility and energy insecurity complicate focusing on the climateagenda.
Kazakhstan’s Commitment to Climate Action:
- Kazakhstan is first in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement.
- Adopted a Carbon Neutrality Strategy for 2060.
- Implemented a new Environmental Code to drive green technology adaptation in all sectors.
Renewable Energy Potential in Kazakhstan:
- Significant potential for wind, solar power, and green hydrogen.
Role in Carbon-Free Electricity:
- Kazakhstan is the leading global exporter of uranium, providing 43% of the global supply.
Critical Minerals Supply:
- Kazakhstan aims to become a major supplier of Rare Earth Metals and other transition minerals.
Support for Private Green Initiatives:
- Example: The Kazakhstan-based Plastic Association, working on plastic waste-free projects.
Approach to Climate Action:
- Climate action should not hinder the national development of emerging economies.
Methane Emissions Reduction:
- Kazakhstan joins the Global Methane Pledge to cut methane emissions.
Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP):
- Kazakhstan is implementing the first JETP in the region to address coal challenges.
- Focus on adapting to climate impacts like water scarcity, severe heat, and desertification.
- Advocates for support of the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.
- Kazakhstan is planning to co-chair the One Water Summit with France on the sidelines of the United Nations General Assembly in 2024.
- Kazakhstan is also hosting the Astana International Forum in June 2024 and a Regional Climate Summit in 2026.
Kazakhstan’s pledges and announcements
The Global Methane Pledge
- Kazakhstan joined the Global Methane Pledge, aiming for a 30% reduction in methane emissions by 2030. This indicates the country’s commitment to participate in global efforts to mitigate methane emissions.
- In a joint U.S. and Kazakhstan statement on accelerating methane mitigation efforts, the sides emphasized the commitment to building on the successful partnership of more than 30 years between the two nations.
- The joint statement outlined methane reduction priorities that Kazakhstan and the U.S. plan to focus on over the next two years.
- The sides committed to supporting the utilization of satellite and other technologies for monitoring and mitigating methane emissions, focusing on preventing and rapidly responding to super-emitter events.
Just Energy Transition Partnership
- Kazakhstan also announced the implementation of the region’s first Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP), which aims to address the significant coal issue in the region.
- This initiative reflects the country’s commitment to a fair and equitable shift away from fossil fuels, in line with global efforts to tackle social and economic challenges associated with energy transitions.
Agreements signed at COP28
President Tokayev oversaw the signing of ten agreements between government agencies and business entities of Kazakhstan and various countries:
- Intergovernmental Agreement between Kazakhstan and the United Arab Emirates on the implementation of a wind power plant project with a capacity of 1 GW.
- Memorandum between the Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan, Samruk-Kazyna, and the Ministry of Investment of the United Arab Emirates on mutual understanding for the development of low-carbon energy projects with a total capacity of 10 GW in Kazakhstan.
- Memorandum of Understanding between Qazaqstan Investment Corporation and ADQ on a strategic partnership.
- Investment Agreement between the Government of Kazakhstan, Aktas Energy LLP, and TotalEnergies for the development, construction, and operation of a wind power plant with a total capacity of 1 GW, including a 300 MW/600 MWh battery energy storage system, near the village of Mirny, Zhambyl region.
- Agreement between Samruk-Kazyna and ACWA Power for the joint development of a project to construct wind power plants with a total capacity of 1 GW, including an energy storage system.
- Agreement between Samruk-Kazyna and Presight.AI for the establishment of a joint venture to implement projects in digitalization and information technology.
- Agreement on the Principles for establishing a ship repair and shipbuilding enterprise in Kazakhstan between KazMunayGas and AD Ports Group.
- Agreement between Kazakhstan Temir Zholy and Abu Dhabi Ports Group for the establishment of a joint venture.
- Memorandum of Cooperation between Atameken, SAFC LLP, and SEFE Marketing & Trading for the implementation of forest climate projects.
- Agreement between Kazatomprom and Emirates Nuclear Energy Corporation for the supply of natural uranium concentrates.
Furthermore, Kazakhstan’s Kazbeef, a producer of marbled beef; rTek, a provider of sustainable technology solutions; and EcoBalance Global, a U.S.-based leader in carbon storage projects, agreed to launch the first-ever pilot ranch in Kazakhstan. This ranch aims to produce the world’s first climate-smart beef, utilizing carbon insets.
Background to Kazakhstan’s commitment to sustainable development
Kazakhstan has shown a strong commitment to sustainable development, aligning its national goals with global sustainability objectives.
In 2023, Kazakhstan adopted a Carbon Neutrality Strategy with a commitment to combatting climate change and taking targeted actions under the Paris Agreement. Kazakhstan has pledged to reduce emissions by 15% unconditionally by 2030, with a conditional aim of 25%.
Central to its strategy is the innovative Greenhouse Gas Emissions Trading System (ETS), covering industries responsible for 43% of Kazakhstan’s national emissions.
In addition, the country’s new Environmental Code aims to integrate green technology across its economy, representing a significant shift in national policy.