16.11.2009
Kazakhstan to Stick to Kyoto Commitments

Kazakhstan aims to reduce its greenhouse gas emissions into the atmosphere by 15 percent by 2020, and by 25 percent by 2050, in full accordance with the Kyoto Protocol, the country’s Ministry of Environmental Protection Nurgali Ashimov said November 4. The announcement, made at a conference in Barcelona was greeted with commendation from other nations. It comes with only a few weeks before the UN Climate Change Conference on December 7-18 in Copenhagen, Denmark. Earlier this year, Kazakhstan ratified the Kyoto Protocol. The percentages are given in comparison with 1992 as the base year.
The agreements on Kazakhstan’s input into appropriate international efforts were achieved in Barcelona, Spain. Here the country’s delegation participated in a double event, which encompasses the seventh session of the Ad Hoc Working Groups on cooperative action and further commitments of parties to the Kyoto protocol.
At a plenary session of the Ad Hoc Working Group on long-term cooperative action under the Convention, head of the Australian delegation, chair of Umbrella Group, which includes Kazakhstan, spoke of Kazakhstan’s commitments regarding emissions. She emphasized the importance of these commitments and called on other nations to follow Kazakhstan’s example.
Kazakhstan announced its intention join Annex I to the Kyoto protocol a few years ago. The parties fulfill common projects aimed at cutting greenhouse gas emissions, which are added to the countries’ “accounts” and contribute to fulfillment of their appropriate obligations. Accordingly, national governments may also share their common emission “units”. It is estimated the ratification of Kyoto protocol may allow Astana to attract up to one billion USD in foreign investments annually.
Since 2000, as stipulated by international recommendations, Kazakhstan has conducted its own stock-taking of greenhouse gas emissions. Back in 1992 the nation emitted up to 340 million tons of CO2 equivalent. Currently Kazakhstan has only 247 million tons of greenhouse gas emissions. Hence, the government possesses a reserve of 93 million tons available for sale.
Meanwhile, in Barcelona negotiations have continued on a new agreement (previous stages held recently in Bonn and Bangkok), whose approval had been planned for the 15th Conference of the Parties of UN Framework Convention on Climate Change next month in Copenhagen.
However, closer to the end of the gathering, it became clear that adopting an approved project of a post-Kyoto agreement in time for being considered in Copenhagen was unlikely. This happened due to continuing disagreements between some governments participating in the process, as well as dissatisfaction of environmental NGOs with the settlements achieved so far.