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​Kazakhstan is looking to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions

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Kazakhstan is looking to crack down on greenhouse gas emissions. That will affect all industrial enterprises, but mostly, the oil and gas, metallurgy, and electricity sectors.

2015 is poised to become a pivotal year in the world-wide fight against the greenhouse gases. In November-December this year, 125 countries will meet in Paris for the World Climate Summit with a goal to reach a consensus on developing a new agreement to contain the temperature growth on Earth within the 2 degrees Celsius range nationally and globally.

Following the UN recommendations, these countries intend to tighten the regulation of greenhouse gas emissions by introducing new standards of technical requirements for industrial enterprises and new emission quotes.

These restrictions are caused by the rapidly growing air pollution. Trying to keep pace with the others, Kazakhstan also plans to tighten its environmental regulations.

According to the official data, Kazakhstan's emissions per person are twice as high as the world level.

“The situation is very serious. As a physicist, I am concerned that the heat generated by the industrial enterprises is accumulating on our planet intensifying the greenhouse effect and leading to higher water temperatures in the ocean. What this is fraught with is known to many", – Kazakhstan's Energy Minister Vladimir Shkolnik said in his speech at the “De-carbonization of Kazakhstan's Economy – Conclusions and Outlook" session of the recent Astana Economic Forum.

He told the session of the foreign experts' grim picture of the Earth's future in a hundred years. “For example, the Columbian scientists are publishing materials about what is happening with soil humidity and how the animal habitats are shrinking, and the glaciers are melting, including here, in Central Asia. The icecap is reducing as a result of higher temperatures. Everything is very fragile, so all countries should make new decisions to preserve the planet we live on," the minister said.

According to the experts, it is the climate factors that will slow down the economic development.

“Our ministry is developing a 2020 government action plan to reduce emissions. In addition, amendments to legislative acts are being drafted to transition Kazakhstan to “green economy". Those amendments take into consideration the recommendations on regulating the greenhouse gases. These measures will help us reduce emissions and adapt the national economy to the global climate changes," Shkolnik said.

He invited the scientists, businessmen, and environmental experts, both local and foreign, to join the discussion of the new rules of Kazakhstan's legislation.

The competiveness of Kazakhstan's economy depends on that. In preparation for the new Climate Agreement to be approved in Paris, Kazakhstan plans to develop target indicators for CO2 emissions by the industrial enterprises. Kazakhstan's version of the document will be submitted for expert review before its approval by the government," Shkolnik said.

The first national CO2 quote distribution plan was launched in Kazakhstan in 2013. It subjected 178 electric, energy and metallurgic enterprises to emissions control. The quotes under the plan were issued for a total of 147 million tonnes.

In 2014, the second two-year national plan till 2015 was launched. It covered 166 enterprises. The plan is to achieve a 1.5% emission reduction compared to 2010. In addition, the fines for excess CO2 emissions will grow substantially this year, to €40 for each excess tonne.


June 24 2015, 11:32

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