On the road to a greener economy in Kazakhstan – How can the EU help?

Kazakhstan is the largest CO2 emitter in Central Asia and the 14th largest in the world due to its strong energy and extractives sectors, as well as the processing, transportation, storage, and combustion of fuels. Recently, the Kazakh government started developing a green agenda to facilitate a gradual transition to green energy and a greener economy.

While the goal of achieving climate neutrality by 2060 was outlined by President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev at the December 2020 UN Climate Ambition Summit, the COP26 (UN Conference of the Parties), taking place at the beginning of November, is likely to see renewed ambitions and pledges to accelerated decarbonisation.

Being a landlocked and developing country, Kazakhstan’s transport sector constitutes an important part of the country’s greenhouse gas emissions. Its strategic location makes Kazakhstan the main transport hub at the centre of the Eurasian continent, with the potential to be the EU’s Green Gateway to East Asia.

Recent and continuous improvements along the Eurasian rail freight routes have made it possible to absorb safely and efficiently considerable transit. The European Commission’s recent ‘Sustainable and Smart Mobility Strategy’ guides the mobility sector to achieve a 90% cut in carbon emissions by 2050, and includes doubling rail freight traffic by 2050. It also encourages improved connections, adapting the core rail network so that it is fully suitable for absorbing much higher freight traffic.

Join this EURACTIV Virtual Conference to discuss how close relations between the EU and Kazakhstan can help the greening of the Kazakh economy and transport sector. What scope is there for Kazakhstan’s energy production to move towards cleaner, renewable energy sources? And what role can the EU play in this process, in line with its Strategy on Connecting Europe and Asia?

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