As part of the Astana International Forum, 8-9 June, PAGE Kazakhstan held a discussion on New Frontiers for Green Economic Transformation. For two days, the international forum hosted over 1,000 guests from over 70 countries and served as platform to discuss key environmental issues, including climate change, food scarcity and energy security.
In his opening speech, President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said: “In the face of global challenges, we remain committed to global cooperation by championing dialogue, trade, multilateralism and the exchange of ideas.”
— Astana International Forum (@AstanaIntlForum) June 8, 2023
The Astana International Forum is a new platform for dialogue launched by Kazakhstan to unite efforts to address key global challenges, including climate change and, subsequently, the green transition.
PAGE side event, held on 8 June, aimed to showcase Kazakhstan’s ambitions in establishing a green economy and provided a space for stakeholders to address the challenges and opportunities involved.
The event pursued three main objectives. It aimed to inform policy at the national level and offer insights on how to navigate Kazakhstan’s transition amid global shocks. Secondly, PAGE advised on areas where stakeholders can collaborate to support a green economic transition. Finally, the discussions sought to place and contextualize Kazakhstan’s ambitions within regional and global debates.
The fruitful discussion led to several key takeaways for Kazakhstan’s delegates and PAGE team to heed. Despite significant strides in the right direction, there remain some challenges, including that at times the implementation of policies and initiatives is not effective. Another difficulty raised for Kazakhstan was ensuring coherence between varying policies, such as the Carbon Neutrality Strategy and the Green Economy Concept. This misalignment can lead to missed opportunities to maximize the impact of such strategies.
Participants highlighted the importance of evidence-based policy, and how Kazakhstan possesses the necessary research infrastructure, such as the Economic Research Institute (ERI), to ensure that decision-making and assessment is based on thorough research. It was also noted that, for Kazakhstan to boost its green economic transition, it is important to map out development cooperation initiatives as this can aid the implementation of the Carbon Neutrality Strategy by aligning sectoral and regional development plans in the short, medium, and long terms.
The PAGE “New Frontiers” discussion raised how regional cooperation is crucial, particularly how integration of the energy system among Central Asian countries is important to accommodate larger volumes of renewable energy and, simultaneously, promote regional stability.
PAGE work in Kazakhstan is aiming to contribute to SDG 3 (Good Health and Well-Being), SDG 13 (Climate Action), SDG 7 (Affordable and Clean Energy), SDG 9 (Industry, Innovation and Infrastructure), SDG 8 (Decent Work and Economic Growth), SDG 12 (Responsible Production and Consumption), and SDG 15 (Life on Land).
The Partnership for Action on Green Economy (PAGE) consists of an alliance of five UN agencies, several funding partners, and 22 partner countries that work together to transform economies into drivers of sustainability.