Author:Vehicle emissions, fuel quality standards and fuel economy policies in Kazakhstan. Stocktaking analytical report
Kazakhstan, located in Central Asia, is the ninth largest country in the world in terms of territory (2724.9 thousand km2), and possesses enormous natural resources. Population of the country is around 17 million people, and the largest cities are: Almaty (1.48 million), Astana (786 thousand), Shymkent (668 thousand) and Karagandy (480 thousand). Endowed with large fossil fuel reserves, Kazakhstan hasachieved considerable GDP growth at average annual rate of 8% since 2000, mainly due to the export of oil and other mineral resources. Transport is among key sectors of the domestic economy
providing 6% of the country`s GDP (The Agency of Statistics of the Republic of Kazakhstan).
The road network of Kazakhstan has increased by 13% since the collapse of the Soviet Union and expected to expand further. In order to reduce reliance of the economy on oil and gas mining sector, the government is focused on development of manufacturing industries and increase of valueadded output production in the country. Further development of the transport sector and respective infrastructure thus is seen as a facilitation tool for economic diversifi cation in the country. Steady income growth in the country over the past two decades has signifi cantly increased vehicle ownership among the population. It is claimed that growing number of cars, coupled with problems related to quality of the vehicle fuels in the country, has eventually led to excessive air pollution and raised health issues, particularly in urban areas.
The continuously deteriorating air quality in large cities has been a longstanding concern of the civil community and NGOs that increasingly demand for tougher intervention from the state and other stakeholders into the situation.