Nur-Sultan, November 17, 2021 - The 26th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP26) took place from October 31 to November 12 in Glasgow, Scotland. At the annual high-level meeting, representatives from 197 countries discussed massive climate change and sought to agree on measures to avert a global catastrophe.
It should be noted that for the first time in the 26-year history of the conference, the countries of Central Asia act as a single region representing a consolidated position on climate change issues. The pavilion was organized by the Regional Environmental Center for Central Asia (CAREC) with financial support from the World Bank, the United Nations Development Programme (UNDP), the Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE), the Eurasian Resources Group (ERG), and the United Nations Food and Agriculture Organization (FAO).
At the platform, each country presented its achievements in the field of low-carbon development and green growth.
Thus, on November 3, UNDP in cooperation with the Green Finance Center held a side event on "Green Investments", during which the experience of Kazakhstan in attracting green investments was presented.
The representatives of the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Green Finance Center, Entrepreneurship Development Fund "Damu", as well as UNDP experts spoke at the meeting.
"One of the tools piloted in Kazakhstan is the issuance of "green" bonds, with a subsidized coupon rate funded by the UNDP project with the financial support of the GEF. Such bonds are different as their proceeds are used to finance only "green" projects. At the moment, together with the AIFC, which has supported the pilot issue by providing most of its services free of charge, a "green" taxonomy is being developed for the nation-wide use," - said during the presentation Oleg Khmelev, UNDP International Technical Advisor for Projects.
When properly applied, green bonds create synergies between market forces and policy goals, redirecting investment to more efficient activities. Moreover, in addition to improving sustainability, climate change mitigation and the transition to alternative energy, the successful implementation of green bonds in Kazakhstan and globally can help increase financial flows for climate change adaptation tasks, as well as accelerate the introduction of other financial instruments of similar type, including bonds for social impact, disaster recovery, etc. Read more about the green bond issue in Kazakhstan here.
Achievements in the development of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency in Kazakhstan were presented at the side event "RES AND ENERGY SAVINGS: Contribution to carbon neutrality" to the country. Thus, the potential of wind energy is estimated at 920 billion kWh per year, solar energy at 3000 solar hours per year, hydropower at 62 billion kWh per year.
"One of the tools to develop RES in the country is auctions, where investors take part in the auction with pre-project technical information, including data about the land plot for the construction of renewable power plants. Today there is already a certain amount of competition between interested companies. The winner is the one who offers the lowest price per kWh. The first such auction was held in November 2019. The solar power plant with an installed capacity of 50 MW has been built near the village of Shaulder in Turkestan region," presented Oleg Khmelev.
However, according to Yulia Ogarenko, associate researcher at the International Institute for Sustainable Development (IISD), it is important to focus on the transformation of fossil fuel subsidy policy today.
"Budget funding for various fossil fuel subsidy programmes in Kazakhstan has increased significantly in recent years. If in 2016 the total amount of subsidies from the national and local budgets amounted to about 83 billion tenge, in four years this figure has more than doubled," - cited the expert the data of the report of the UN programme PAGE in her speech. "I believe that it is necessary to rationalize budget expenditures on fossil fuels subsidies and to provide for expenses for their maintenance in tariffs, instead of subsidizing from the budget", - she concluded during her presentation.
It should be noted that the United Nations Development Programme in Kazakhstan supports the efforts of the Government of Kazakhstan in promoting energy efficiency and renewable energy sources. In the first years of this support, studies were carried out to assess the potential for energy saving and RES, the institutional potential was assessed, adjustments to relevant legislative, regulatory documents were proposed, and pilot demonstration projects were implemented, demonstrating the economic, environmental and social benefits.
"Since 2004, UNDP has been supporting the Government of Kazakhstan in promoting energy efficiency and introducing renewable energy sources. This support is implemented through a project-based approach. Currently, more than 90 pilot initiatives have been implemented, which led to the reduction of fuel consumption and consequently reduced greenhouse gas emissions", - noted Gulmira Sergazina, UNDP Climate Project Manager, during the presentation.
Subsidies, loan guarantees, green bonds, factoring are in the permanent focus of UNDP, which in cooperation with national partners introduces these and other mechanisms into day-to-day practice, bringing Kazakhstan's goal of energy efficiency and renewable energy closer.
For a more detailed program of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26), please read here.