Kazakhstan

Overall rating
Highly insufficient
Policies & action
Highly insufficient
< 4°C World
Internationally supported target
Almost Sufficient
< 2°C World
Fair share target
Insufficient
< 3°C World
Climate finance
Not assessed
Net zero target

Comprehensiveness not rated as

Assessment in progress
Land use & forestry
Not significant

Overview

This assessment includes our policy analysis from 27 November 2020 translated into our new rating methodology without new analysis of Kazakhstan’s climate policies since then. We will fully analyse Kazakhstan in the coming months and the rating may change.

Overall rating
Highly insufficient

The CAT rates Kazakhstan’s climate targets and policies as “Highly insufficient”. The “Highly insufficient” rating indicates that Kazakhstan’s climate policies and commitments are not consistent with any interpretation of a fair-share contribution and lead to rising, rather than falling, emissions. Kazakhstan’s emissions reduction target is rated as “Almost sufficient” when compared to modelled emissions pathways, and “Insufficient” when compared with its fair-share contribution to climate action. To achieve its target, Kazakhstan would need to enhance its policies and action.

Policies & action
Highly insufficient

We rate Kazakhstan’s policies and action as “Highly insufficient”. The “Highly Insufficient” rating indicates that Kazakhstan’s climate policies and action in 2030 lead to rising, rather than falling, emissions and are not at all consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. If all countries were to follow Kazakhstan’s approach, warming could reach over 3°C and up to 4°C. A small improvement in policies and action would improve the rating for this element to “Insufficient”, and flip the overall rating to “Insufficient” as well.

In 2020, Kazakhstan’s emissions are projected to decline by 3-5% below 2019 levels due to the COVID-19 pandemic. Similarly, fossil fuel production in Kazakhstan is expected to decline because of the pandemic but is projected to return to 2019 levels around 2025. Based on the 2019 share of renewable electricity in Kazakhstan’s electricity mix, the country will not achieve its renewable energy target of 3% by 2020, also indicating difficulties for reaching its targets of 10% by 2030 and 50% by 2050.

On a more positive note, the Kazakhstan Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS) resumed operation in 2018 after a one-year hiatus. Following two successful renewable energy auctions in 2018, the third auction in September 2019 was awarded to a 48 MW wind power plant project that should be ready in 2022. The current Phase 3 of the ETS runs until the end of 2020. It includes a cap of 485.9 MtCO2 for the period between 2018 and end of 2020, targeting emissions from 225 installations that belong to participating 129 companies. The carbon price under the ETS is 1.14 USD/tCO2. ­Whether Kazakhstan will continue the ETS with a new phase is unknown.

In response to the COVID-19 pandemic, Kazakhstan has announced it will increase exports of oil and gas. The Kazakh government also announced a recovery package of roughly USD 14 billion, but it did not include specific references to energy or climate targets. The Kazakh economy has been hit by the pandemic but is also projected to make a fast recovery from 2021.

The full policies and action analysis can be found here.

Internationally supported target
Almost Sufficient

We rate the conditional NDC target as “Almost sufficient” when compared modelled emissions pathways. The “Almost sufficient” rating indicates that Kazakhstan’s internationally supported target in 2030 is not yet consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit but could be, with moderate improvements. If all countries were to follow Kazakhstan’s approach, warming could be held below—but not well below—2°C.

Fair share target
Insufficient

We rate the unconditional NDC target as “Insufficient” when compared with its fair-share contribution to climate action. The “Insufficient” rating indicates that Kazakhstan’s fair share target in 2030 needs substantial improvements to be consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C temperature limit. This means Kazakhstan’s climate commitment is at the least stringent end of what would be a fair share of global effort and is not consistent with the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C limit, unless other countries make much deeper reductions and comparably greater effort. If all countries were to follow Kazakhstan’s approach, warming would reach over 2°C and up to 3°C.

Net zero target
Assessment in progress

Kazakhstan announced its intention to reach “carbon neutrality” by 2060 during the Climate Ambitions Summit in December 2020 (Satubaldina, 2021). Our assessment of this net zero target will follow later in the year.

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