Legislative support for implementation of Sustainable Development Goals and the Paris Agreement in Kazakhstan
November 3, 2016, Astana, Kazakhstan, the Committee on Ecology and Nature management of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan held a conference on Legislative Support for implementation of the SDGs and the Paris Agreement on the premises of the Majilis.
The conference was attended by over 70 people: representatives from the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan headed by the Deputy Minister, Mr. Gani Sadibekov, the Ministry of Agriculture, headed by the Vice-Minister, Mr. Yerlan Nysanbayev, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, headed by the Ambassador at Large, Mr. Yerbolat Sembayev, and other national partners.
Moreover, the conference was joined by Extraordinary and Plenipotentiary Ambassador of France in the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Francis Etienne, Director of the UNEP Regional Office, Mr. Jan Dusík, Director of the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development in Kazakhstan, Ms. Janet Hackman, as well as the representatives of Nazarbayev University, DIW Econ, UNDP and CAREC. The conference was moderated by the Chairman of the Committee on Ecology and Nature management of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Mr. Gleb Schegelsky.
In September 2016, the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan has approved the bill for the ratification of the Paris Agreement. Therefore, during the conference participants discussed an issue of the legal framework of the Republic of Kazakhstan for the adoption of the Paris Agreement, as well as for the implementation of SDGs.
Speakers performed a review of the prioritized SDGs for Kazakhstan, including mechanisms and indicators for their achievement. Thus, Mr. Gani Sadibekov noted in his speech that the Plan of the Nation of 100 Concrete Steps to implement the five institutional reforms already provides steps to ensure equal access to electricity for consumers, as well as contributes to revision of the tariff policy in this area. In his words, the Ministry of Energy has undertaken fulfillment of its international obligations towards the Paris Agreement, and now they will have to work on its implementation.
However, according to the Chairman of the Association of Legal Entities "Kazakhstan Electricity Association" Mr. Shaimerden Urazalinov, it should be noted that Kazakhstan, as a country with more than 80% of greenhouse gas emissions from coal-fired generation, should thoroughly develop the concept of systematic transition from coal to other renewable energy sources (RES). This, in turn, will ensure a gradual transition to RES, which includes maintaining social and economic development of the country without compromising the national economy. For this purpose, it is necessary to pay more attention to the issue of emissions trading and to stimulate domestic producers for a large-scale production of low power wind facilities for their implementation at the local level. "The green economy should contribute to population, not to companies", emphasized Mr. Bulat Yessekin, an international expert on sustainable development.
Speakers also highlighted the need to develop regional cooperation and experience exchange in the implementation of SDGs with the near and distant foreign countries. Thus, Mr. Bulat Yessekin noted in his presentation, that national strategies of Kazakhstan and other countries of the region with shared water resources should be formed taking into account the forecasts of climate change and reduction of river flow. In his opinion, it is impossible to ensure the sustainable development of Kazakhstan without considering the interests and needs of the neighboring countries, as well as without proper attention to the intensive growth of the population in the region, and, consequently, to the expanding farmland.
In addition, Mr. Jan Dusík stressed the importance of promoting the unique experience of Kazakhstan in preparation for EXPO 2017 and the introduction of a green economy in the country at regional and international level.
Ms. Tatyana Shakirova, Education for Sustainable Development Program Manager of CAREC, also highlighted the importance of regional cooperation in her speech and proposed to develop it by using the existing platforms, which operate in the region. Thereby, from 2016 there is a regional cooperation platform on experience and knowledge exchange in the field of environment and sustainable development for deputies and parliamentarians of Central Asian countries. The platform operates in the framework of CAREC projects from a new perspective – the perspective of forming national policies and strategies in this area. The members of this group chose the experience exchange on mechanisms and instruments of SDGs implementation in the region as one of the main directions of their work.
The Committee on Ecology and Nature management of the Majilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan will generate follow-up recommendations to the Government and the Ministry of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan. CAREC has proposed to supplement the recommendations with an idea of using the existing capabilities of CAREC, in particular, the current platform of interaction between the Ministries of Foreign Affairs and the Parliaments of Central Asian countries to promote regional cooperation and dialogue on the achievement of SDGs, the implementation of the Paris Agreement and transboundary water cooperation in Central Asia.
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