Kazakhstan Champions Global Climate Action: President Tokayev’s Vision at COP28

Kazakhstan Champions Global Climate Action: President Tokayev’s Vision at COP28

Kazakhstan’s President, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, delivered a speech on December 1 at the World Climate Summit, which is being held as part of the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai.

In his speech, the Kazakh President stressed that today, half of the world’s population lives in regions that are highly dependent on climate change.

“Small Island Developing States, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Least Developed Countries are the most jeopardized. Ongoing geopolitical volatility and energy insecurity also make it more challenging to remain focused on the climate agenda”, he said.

Tokayev noted that Kazakhstan fully supports the UN’s urgent call for tangible actions to safeguard the environment for future generation and stressed that Kazakhstan was the first country in the region to have ratified the Paris Agreement and adopted a Carbon Neutrality Strategy for 2060.

He added that the Environmental Code adopted in Kazakhstan will drive comprehensive adaptation of green technology in practically every sector of the national economy.

“Kazakhstan has a huge potential for the development of wind and solar energy, as well as for the production of green hydrogen. We will continue to work closely with our partners to unlock it. As the world’s leading exporter of uranium, providing 43% of global supply, Kazakhstan plays a crucial role in carbon-free electricity generation on a global scale,” he said.

According to Tokayev, in the coming decades, critical minerals – including rare earth metals – will become indispensable as the world decarbonizes. In this regard, the President stressed Kazakhstan’s readiness to become the main supplier of these transition minerals.

He added that Kazakhstan actively supports private green initiatives, citing the Kazakhstan Plastic Association, which works on plastic waste free projects contributing to ecofriendly solutions.

Tokayev noted that reducing methane emissions is the fastest way to slow the rate of global warming. In this regard, he announced Kazakhstan’s decision to join the Global Commitment to Reduce Methane Emissions.

The President also informed about Kazakhstan’s desire to tackle the large-scale coal problem in Central Asia through the implementation of the Partnership for a Just Energy Transition in Kazakhstan and called on friends and partners to support this initiative.

“More widely, we look to the international community to scale up its commitment to greater meaningful climate finance. But finance is just the first hurdle. Even if we successfully limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by 2050, Central Asian countries will still experience up to 2.5 degrees of temperature rise. This will lead to water scarcity, sever heat, desertification, and extreme hydrological events,” the Kazakh President said.

In this context, Tokayev called on the international community to allocate more funds to support the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea.

“Kazakhstan will assume chairmanship of the Fund next year and looks forward to engaging all partners on this issue. Moreover, we are pleased, together with France, to co-chair the first One Water Summit on the margins of the next United Nations General Assembly. Building on the successful outcome of COP28 this week, I invite member states to the Astana International Forum in June 2024. The Forum can serve as a dialogue platform to continue focused collaboration on these acute climate-related issues through COP29. To build a momentum on climate action in Central Asia, we have also decided to convene a Regional Climate Summit in Kazakhstan in 2026 under UN auspices,” the Kazakh President emphasized.

Concluding his speech, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that the climate emergency is a global crisis that requires a global response, and only collective action and cooperation will help us solve the climate crisis.

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