Kazakhstan

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

year

2060

Comprehensiveness rated as

Poor
Land use & forestry
Not significant

Target overview

Kazakhstan signed the Paris Agreement on 2 August 2016 and ratified it on 6 December 2016. In its NDC, Kazakhstan set an economy-wide unconditional target aiming to reduce GHG emissions by 15% below 1990 levels (including LULUCF) by 2030. When excluding LULUCF emissions, Kazakhstan’s target is equivalent to 14% below 1990 levels by 2030, or an emissions level not exceeding 331 MtCO2e (Republic of Kazakhstan, 2016a, 2022).

Kazakhstan also has a conditional target to reduce emissions (including LULUCF) by 25% below 1990 levels by 2030. This equates to 24% below 1990 levels when excluding LULUCF, or an emissions level not exceeding 293 MtCO2e. This target is subject to “additional international investments, access to low carbon technologies transfer mechanism, green climate funds and flexible mechanism for country with economy in transition” (Republic of Kazakhstan, 2016a).

Kazakhstan has a net zero target of reaching “carbon neutrality” by 2060 but has not yet published its long-term strategy. The first iteration of Kazakhstan’s carbon neutrality strategy outlines a net zero pathway with a 2030 emissions level of 308 MtCO2e excluding LULUCF, which is more ambitious than its unconditional NDC target.

KAZAKHSTAN — Main climate targets
2030 unconditional NDC target
Formulation of target in NDC A 15% reduction in GHG emissions by 31 December 2030 compared to the base year (1990).
Absolute emissions level in 2030 excl. LULUCF Level of emissions to be achieved at home (domestic target)
331 MtCO2e
[14% below 1990]
[10% above 2010]
Status Submitted on 06 December 2016
2030 conditional NDC target
Formulation of target in NDC A 25% reduction in GHG emissions by 31 December 2030 compared to the base year (1990), subject to additional international investments, access to low carbon technologies transfer mechanism, green climate funds and flexible mechanism for country with economy in transition.
Absolute emissions level in 2030 excl. LULUCF 293 MtCO2e
[24% below 1990]
[3% below 2010]
Status Submitted on 06 December 2016
Net zero & other long-term targets
Formulation of target Kazakhstan will reach carbon neutrality by 2060.
Absolute emissions level in 2050 excl. LULUCF 77 MtCO2e
[80% below 1990]
[74% above 2010]
Status Announced on 12 December 2020, not yet submitted

NDC updates

As of 13 September 2022, Kazakhstan had not yet submitted an updated NDC. The failure to increase its mitigation ambition for 2030 does not comply with the Paris Agreement’s requirement that each successive NDC should represent a progression beyond the current one.

KAZAKHSTAN First NDC
Formulation of target in NDC Unconditional target:
A 15% reduction in GHG emissions by 31 December 2030 compared to the base year (1990).

Conditional target:
A 25% reduction in GHG emissions by 31 December 2030 compared to the base year (1990), subject to additional international investments, access to low carbon technologies transfer mechanism, green climate funds and flexible mechanism for country with economy in transition.
Absolute emissions level [excl. LULUCF] Unconditional target:
331 MtCO2e by 2030

Conditional target:
293 MtCO2e by 2030
Emissions compared to 1990 and 2010 [excl. LULUCF] Unconditional target:
14% below 1990 emissions by 2030
10% above 2010 emissions by 2030

Conditional target:
24% below 1990 emissions by 2030
3% below 2010 emissions by 2030
CAT rating Internationally supported target (conditional):
• Almost sufficient

Fair share target (unconditional):
• Insufficient
Sector coverage Economy-wide
Separate target for LULUCF No
Gas coverage CO2, CH4, N2O, HFCs, PFCs, SF6
Target type Absolute emissions reduction from base year
Explanation why the target is a fair contribution towards the global goal Yes

The ambitiousness and fairness of the statement are concluded by the current emissions of Kazakhstan that reached 80-85% from 1990. At the same time the aim of the government's economic policy is faster growth of GDP per capita to reach the current level of development of the countries of the OECD by 2030.
Followed guidance in Decision 4/CMA.1 on target transparency Not applicable

CAT rating of targets

The CAT rates NDC targets against what a fair contribution to achieving the Paris Agreement’s long-term temperature goal would be as well as against what needs to happen within a country’s own borders. Kazakhstan will need support to achieve the reductions needed within its borders.

Kazakhstan has put forward two targets in its NDC: one that it will achieve using its own resources and one that requires international support. We rate the country’s unconditional target against its fair share contribution (‘fair share target’) and its conditional target against the level of reductions needed within its border (‘internationally supported target’).

Internationally supported target:
Almost Sufficient

We rate Kazakhstan’s conditional NDC as “Almost sufficient” when compared to modelled domestic pathways. The “Almost sufficient” rating indicates that Kazakhstan’s internationally supported target for 2030 is not yet consistent with the 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. The conditional target is close to the upper limit of this rating category, meaning that a small change in the numbers could lead to a worse rating.

Whether Kazakhstan should receive some climate finance from abroad to reduce its emissions is a matter of debate. Our methods do not provide a clear answer to this question. On balance, the CAT methodology shows that Kazakhstan needing a small but important amount of international support is consistent with the wide range of literature on fair share contributions to meeting the Paris Agreement's goals (see above figure). Either way, the NDC target achieved with Kazakhstan’s own resources (fair share target) would need to be increased significantly to be in line with the 1.5°C limit.

In accordance with the COP conclusion (FCCC/CP/2001/13/Add.4, section V.C.) and following ratification by Kazakhstan of the Kyoto Protocol on 19 June 2009 and its entry into force on 17 September 2009, Kazakhstan is considered an Annex I Party under the Protocol but remains a non-Annex I Party for the purposes of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. This means that Kazakhstan is eligible to receive climate finance but follows the same reporting requirements as an Annex I Party.

Fair share target:
Insufficient

We rate Kazakhstan’s 2030 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 1.5°C temperature limit.

Kazakhstan’s target is at the least stringent end of what would be a fair share of global effort and is not consistent with the 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.

Further information on how the CAT rates countries (against modelled domestic pathways and fair share) can be found here.

Net zero and other long-term target(s)

Kazakhstan first announced its intention to reach “carbon neutrality” (net zero CO2 emissions) by 2060 during the Climate Ambition Summit in December 2020 (Satubaldina, 2021b).

The following year, the Ministry of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources released a Doctrine (Strategy) of Achieving Carbon Neutrality Until 2060, which was approved by the President and entered into force. The Doctrine is described as a vision of a potential carbon neutrality pathway that includes sectoral decarbonisation plans and an emissions pathway.

In the carbon neutral emissions scenario, Kazakhstan’s total GHG emissions (excluding LULUCF) would reach about 77 MtCO2e in 2060, with the LULUCF sector becoming an emissions sink of -45 MtCO2e and -31 MtCO2e of emission removals coming from carbon capture technologies (Republic of Kazakhstan, 2021).

In December 2021, the Prime Minister ordered the establishment of a new Project Office working on the transition towards carbon neutrality and on the finalisation of the Strategy of Achieving Carbon Neutrality Until 2060 (Ministry of Justice of the Republic of Kazakhstan, 2021). Kazakhstan is expected to adopt its long-term strategy by the end of 2022.

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