Green Economy Dialogue

Kazakhstan has taken a leading role amongst Central Asian nations in exploring transitions to a green economy. In 2011, the Kazakhstani government asked GEC member IIED to help define its own approach to ‘greening’ the economy. Since then much progress has been made, but challanges have emerged; as detailed in the January 2014 IIED report "Assessing Kazakhstan’s policy and institutional framework for a green economy".

IIED's work initially focused on supporting the proposed 'Green Bridge Partnership Programme' of investments, but developed into a wider programme through the national 'Astana Green Economy Dialogue' process (documentation from the dialogue available here). In 2014, the Kazakhstani government officially adopted its very own 'Green Economy Concept' (GE Concept) to help contextualise its national policies, and now looks to implementation of this greening agenda.

From the beginning, the Ministry of Environment and Water Resources (MEWR) has been leading Kazakhstan's push for green economic transition. In MEWR's view, successful implementation of the GE Concept would show it able to satisfy a wide range of green economy principles and respect a larger range of ecological limits than those associated with green growth (which focuses on greenhouse gas reduction and resource efficiency). Additionally, this approach must be compatible with fulfilling the core imperative of sustained growth indicated in a number of Kazakhstan's key development documents.

It is not yet clear precisely which green economy principles and criteria will be embraced during implementation of the GE Concept, though here at the GEC we are supportive of a related set of 9 principles developed in consultation with UN agencies, NGOs, businesses and government bodies.

There are some concerns that momentum toward the Green Economy concept has stalled in recent months, with departmental reorganisation proving obstructive. Despite this, the Ministry of Energy has reiterated its support for the Green Bridge Partnership Programme and will stay the course towards transitioning Kazakhstan to a greener economy.