The Green Economy Council meeting took place on July 14 under the leadership of Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov. Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Zulfiya Suleimenova, presented a comprehensive report on the progress made over the past decade as part of the implementation of the Green Economy Concept as well as methodological approaches to updating it with the support from PAGE.
Over the past decade, through implementation of the Concept, significant progress has been made in reducing the energy intensity of the economy by 36.7% from the 2008 levels. Moreover, the share of renewable energy has been raised to 4.5%. Additionally, efforts have led to an increase in the area covered by forests to 5%, and the specially protected natural areas now constitute more than 10% of the country’s territory.
With the recent adoption of the Strategy for achieving carbon neutrality by 2060, Kazakhstan has undertaken a revamped approach to the Concept. The primary focus now is on enhancing the recycling and disposal of municipal waste, aiming to achieve a 40% rate by 2030 and an ambitious 60% rate by 2050. Additionally, the government plans to establish a comprehensive waste collection and disposal system across rural areas, ensuring 100% coverage by 2040.
As part of the updated Concept’s implementation, various measures will be taken to curb atmospheric pollution by modernizing thermal power plants and transitioning to cleaner gas fuel. The protection of the country’s invaluable natural areas, rare plant and animal species, and the expansion of forested regions are also on the agenda.
Prime Minister Smailov underscored the paramount importance of the “green economy” as a pivotal tool for the country’s overall sustainable development. He stated that the positive outcomes of these efforts will result in improved living conditions, better atmospheric air quality, efficient waste management, and more responsible use of water and land resources.
Considering this, the Prime Minister urged the Ministry of Ecology to expedite the updating of the Concept and submit the draft to the Government Office by December 1, indicating the government’s strong commitment to environmental progress.