Expert opinion: Aisha Okusheva

10.09.2020

In the State of the Nation Address "Kazakhstan in a New Reality: Time for Action", the President of the state announced measures to improve the environmental situation in the country. The Government was instructed to adopt the new Environmental Code of the Republic of Kazakhstan (hereinafter - the Code) by the end of this year.

The task of protecting the environment is an important prerequisite for sustainable development and improving living conditions for future generations.
The environmental measures outlined by the President of the State are aimed at achieving the Global Sustainable Development Goals to combat climate change and preserve ecosystems.

During discussions of the Draft Code in the Government, Yakup Berish, the permanent representative of the UN Development Program in Kazakhstan, noted that the formulation of the new version of the document lays the foundation for creating a system of strategic environmental assessment in accordance with international standards. This means that Kazakhstan is included in the international process of setting new standards and norms for resource saving. But at the same time, significant financial resources will be requireв to promote the idea of "green" growth.

It should be noted that the draft Code under development has been widely and vigorously discussed in the Parliament with the involvement of independent experts, public environmental and international organizations, as well as in social networks since the end of 2019.

The current Code in Kazakhstan was adopted in 2007. And the amendments made over a 10-year period did not create the necessary conditions for ensuring environmental safety and preservation of ecological systems. 

Today, Kazakhstan is aimed at creating an environmentally-oriented economy, the foundations of which are fixed in the Concept of Transition of the Republic of Kazakhstan to "Green Economy".

Thus, measures announced in relation to the environment and development of "green economy" will allow reducing the scale of negative impact by reducing pollutants and greenhouse gas emissions. On the other hand, the competitiveness of the economy will increase by reducing dependence on carbon raw materials.

Formerly all the environmental fees did not have a target orientation. Every year, the national and local budgets received funds in the amount of about KZT 110 bln. The share of expenses on environmental measures implementation ranged from 2 % to 10 %. New version of the Code defines standards for 100 % use of environmental payments for the implementation of environmental protection measures.

The Draft Code also provides for the introduction of Polluter-Pays-Principle, which is widely used in OECD countries. The main message of this principle is to stimulate environmental awareness among nature users by introducing high fees for adverse impact.

In addition, the Code prohibits the implementation of planned activities by businesses, including the issuance of an environmental permit and provision of land without preliminary environmental impact assessment. At that, the public participates in all stages of environmental impact assessment. 

An important point in the Draft Code is the issue of transition of enterprises in Kazakhstan to a comprehensive environmental permit using the Best Available Techniques (BAT). At the same time, those enterprises that have implemented BAT will be exempt from payment for emissions. In European countries where BATs have been successfully implemented, the amount of polluting emissions has been reduced by 94 %. It should be noted here that the BATs introduction process may take a long time, since such a plan of action requires huge funds and investments.

In today's reality, global climate change poses a direct threat to the world community and the well-being of entire regions. The relevance of low-carbon development is emphasized around the world at the highest political level. Most developed countries have already formulated national strategies for low-carbon development.  That is why in the Address to the people of Kazakhstan, the President of the State emphasized the transition of the Republic of Kazakhstan to low-carbon development and "green" economy. 

This year, it is expected to adopt the Strategy of low-carbon development of Kazakhstan until 2050. The key aspect of Kazakhstan's transition to low-carbon development will be the development of renewable and alternative energy sources. Many advanced countries are gradually abandoning coal in favor of alternative energy - wind, solar, and biomass. The leaders in the development of "green" energy today are China, Denmark, India and Iceland. China is recognized as a world leader in investment in clean energy technologies. In 2017, according to the RISE Regulatory Indicators for Sustainable Energy, Denmark scored 86 points out of 100 in energy efficiency and 94 points in renewable energy.

Switching to renewable energy sources will reduce greenhouse gas emissions and improve the environmental situation.

Today, climate warming and environmental issues are among the most discussed topics in reputable international forums.

It was noted in the International Study "Future of the human climate niche" that by 2050, up to 3.5 billion of the world's population may find themselves in zones of weather conditions unsuited to live in if humanity does not stop climate change on the planet by reducing carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions. In this regard, it is very important to hold discussions not only at the global level, but also at the local level, which means that every country, region, and person should be involved in environmental protection policies.

Currently, the coronavirus has changed the world, although a few months ago it was impossible to believe. The results of environmental studies by independent scientists indicate that changes in the environment can also lead to similar processes. At that, the rate of development of the environmental crisis is not as noticeable as the spread of the pandemic. Therefore, the environmental issue requires regular discussions with experts and representatives of civil society in order to take immediate specific steps.

It should be noted that non-governmental environmenta.organizations are working hard to implement projects to improve the environment, and are also involved in the development of green growth policies.


Views: 2334
Saved: 21.04.2024



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