Kazakhstan has proposed average yearly emissions to be 90% of 1990 levels during the period of 2013-2020, subject to availability of carry-over surplus from the first commitment period and other conditions. Given the complex set of decisions at COP 18 in Doha it is unclear if the country will ratify this target. Its Copenhagen pledge is to reduce emissions by 15% below 1990 by 2020.
Neither of the targets will be met with currently implemented policies. After hitting the floor in 1999 at 146 MtCO2e (60% below 1990 levels), emissions have been on a constant steep increase since and are projected to keep this trend until 2030.
In November 2012, Kazakhstan submitted a provisional QELRO level of 90 for the second commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol. This means that Kazakhstan’s average yearly emissions during the period of 2013-2020 are proposed to be 90% of 1990 levels. Kazakhstan’s intention to undertake this QELRO is conditional to carry-over of full surplus from the first commitment period, environmental integrity of the Kyoto Protocol, access to mechanisms for both periods and on a mid-term 2013-2015 review to increase the level of ambition in terms of emissions reductions among others. It also requires the 2015 agreement to include participation of all parties with adequate commitments.
The Doha amendment limit targets for the second commitment period to the average historic emissions 2008-20101. This affects Kazakhstan and leads to a Kyoto pathway almost 59 MtCO2e/yr lower than the direct translation of their target for the period 2012-2020.
Kazakhstan has also sought to be included in Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol for the first commitment period. It proposed an amendment to Annex B of the Kyoto Protocol for the first commitment period and a target of 0% below 1992 emissions.
Under the Copenhagen Accord Kazakhstan proposed to reduce emissions to 15% below 1990 by 2020. Kazakhstan has also proposed a 2050 target of 25% based on 1992 levels.
Current trend description
Currently implemented policies are expected to increase GHG emissions (excl. LULUCF) in Kazakhstan to 348 MtCO2e by 2020 and 461 MtCO2e by 2030. This constitutes a 3% decrease in emissions by 2020 compared to 1990 levels, but an increase of almost 29% by 2030.
Historical emissions excluding LULUCF saw a steep decline after 1990, with the lowest levels being reached in 1999 at 146 MtCO2e, only 41% of the 1990 level. After this, emissions have grown rapidly, with only a small impact from the financial crisis 2008/09. The energy and industry sectors are the main drivers of this growth.
In 2010, the ‘Plan of the Republic of Kazakhstan on the Transition to Low-carbon Development till 2050’ was published. The full implementation of this plan could allow the country to meet its international GHG emission reduction commitments, and improve energy safety and living standards.
The following priority areas of low-carbon development were specified in the Plan:
- Improvement of energy efficiency to reduce the expected level of energy consumption;
- Acceleration of renewable energy development (hydro, wind, biomass, waste, solar and geothermal);
- Regulation of national GHG emissions through the organization and functioning of the national market of quotas for GHG emissions;
- Population awareness raising on climate change
In May 2013, Kazakhstan adopted its Green Economy Strategy with the aim of further strengthening and diversifying its economy. Among other things, the Strategy envisages that by 2050 renewable and alternative energy sources will provide 50% of all energy produced in Kazakhstan. However, this strategy is still waiting for concrete measures of implementation.
Kazakhstan started their national ETS system with a pilot phase in 2013. The cap for the ETS in 2013 is 147 MtCO2e plus a 20.6 MtCO2e reserve. For the next phase, from 2014 to 2020, the cap will decrease linearly (Ecofys, 2013). There are still a number of open issues, such as MRV and modelling of the emissions quota and sectoral allocation, but a long-term goal is to make the ETS compatible with other trading systems, and specifically with the EU ETS.
Date of pledge
Targets for 2020 were calculated from the most recent national inventory submissions (CRF, 2013). The Kyoto pledge is calculated based on the official documentation provided by the UNFCCC based on Party submissions.
We calculated Kazakhstan’s LULUCF accounting quantities in 2020 for afforestation, reforestation and deforestation using the current Kyoto rules. Forest management was calculated also with current Kyoto rules, with the cap set at 3% of base year or 15% of forest management, whichever is lower.
Historic data are based on most recent national inventory submissions (CRF, 2013). Projections are based on a report prepared in 2011 by NERA and Bloomberg for the EBRD "The Demand for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Investments: An Investors’ Marginal Abatement Cost Curve for Kazakhstan (NERA Economic Consulting and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF), 2011). The 'Policy "Status Quo" Scenario' was used and adjusted to most recent historic data.
CRF (2013). UNFCCC AWG-KP Submissions 2013. Common Reporting Format.
World Bank (2013). Mapping Carbon Pricing Initiatives, Developments and Prospects, 2013.
Republic of Kazakhstan (2012a). Information by Parties included in Annex I listed in annex 1 to decision 1/CMP.7 on their quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol
Republic of Kazakhstan (2012b). Submission to the Ad-Hoc Working Group on Further Commitments for Annex I Parties under the Kyoto Protocol (AWG-KP): Information by Parties included in Annex I listed in annex 1 to decision 1/CMP.7 on their quantified emission limitation or reduction objectives for the second commitment period under the Kyoto Protocol, 2 May 2012
Republic of Kazahkstan (2010). Kazakhstan's pledge to the Copenhagen Accord. Compiled in: Compilation of economy-wide emission reduction targets to be implemented by Parties included in Annex I to the Convention, UNFCCC (2011).
Ministry of Environment Protection (2009). Kazakhstan's Second National Communication to the Conference of the Parties of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Astana.
NERA Economic Consulting and Bloomberg New Energy Finance (BNEF) (2011). The Demand for Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction Investments: An Investors’ Marginal Abatement Cost Curve for Kazakhstan, Prepared for EBRD, October 2011, London.
1 This is part of the Doha decisions and constitutes part of the amendments to the Kyoto Protocol. Amendments only come into effect once they are ratified by Parties.