Kazakhstan is taking bold new steps to integrate environmental considerations in all public decisions, thanks to a new Environmental Code expected to bring Central Asia’s largest country closer to international standards.
Just days after the climate summit in Poland, which issued broad guidelines to comply with Paris Agreement emission targets, Kazakhstan’s Council for the Green Economy Transition unveiled new measures to reduce the country’s carbon footprint, including ambitious new incentives for power plant operators to adopt the best available technologies.
Kazakhstan’s Green Economy Plan kicked off in 2013 and is considered one of the most ambitious in the Europe and Central Asia region. The country says it will aim to meet 50 percent of its energy needs from alternative and renewable sources by the middle of the century.
UNDP, the European Union and the government of Kazakhstan have been working to boost the adoption of new technologies across the country, including solar, wind power plants and high-tech greenhouses.
Working with GEF, UNDP also sponsored 67 projects, attracting more than $32 million worth of investments in green technologies. It is estimated that every dollar of financial support has stimulated and equivalent $14 of private investments.
UNDP helped adopt mandatory standards in the lighting sector, developed wind and solar atlases to increase the share of renewables in the economy and is working with the Ministry of Energy to develop an auction system for renewables, aimed at promoting private sector investment in both large-scale and small-scale renewables.