On May 25-26, 2021, at the initiative of the Embassy of the Republic of Kazakhstan in Ukraine and with the support of the Ministry of Environmental Protection and Natural Resources of the Republic of Kazakhstan, UNDP, REC “Green Academy” (Kazakhstan) and the Climate Network of NGOs of EECCA countries (CAN), the First Climate Dialogue “Kazakhstan- Ukraine” on the topic “Towards COP-26: Decarbonization and Economic Mechanisms”, which took place in the context of the ambitions announced by Kazakhstan and Ukraine to achieve carbon neutrality.
The event was held in the format of a teleconference at two offline sites (KAZGUU University named after M. Narikbaev in Nur-Sultan and the Parkovy Congress and Exhibition Center in Kyiv) on the ZOOM platform with the connection of more than 100 members of the Climate Network of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia and representatives of the public, as well as 50 participants from the NGO network of the Center for Support of Civil Initiatives of Kazakhstan.
The event was attended by deputies of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, representatives of the Governments of Kazakhstan and Ukraine, international organizations (UNDP, EU, OECD, World Bank), environmental activists and NGOs, academic institutions, universities, climate experts and business structures.
The event was moderated by members of the Network of NGOs on Climate in EECCA Countries (CAN EECCA): Bakhyt Esekina, Member of the Green Economy Council under the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Director of the Green Academy REC and Coordinator of CAN EECCA Olga Boyko.
The dialogue was solemnly opened by Ambassador of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Ukraine Darkhan Kaletaev. At the opening, welcoming speeches were made by: Deputy Minister for the Protection of the Environment and Natural Resources of Ukraine Irina Stavchuk, Deputy of the Senate of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Member of the Committee on Agrarian Issues, Nature Management and Development of Rural Areas Olga Bulavkina, Vice Minister of Ecology, Geology and Natural Resources of the Republic Kazakhstan Akhmetzhan Primkulov, Head of the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan Sven-Olov Karlsson, UNDP Deputy Resident Representative in Kazakhstan Vitaly Vremish.
The topic of the first day was devoted to the consideration of economic instruments of decarbonization. In the context of this topic, issues of developing updated national contributions to reduce emissions (Jane Ebinger, World Bank), areas of cooperation in supporting the decarbonization of the economy (Kumi Kitamuri, Head of the Department of Green Growth and Global Relations of the OECD), scenarios of decarbonization of the economy of the Republic of Kazakhstan (Johannes Schukhmann, GIZ), the specifics of decarbonization of the coal power industry in the Republic of Kazakhstan (Saule Sagintayeva, Rector of the G. Daukeev Almaty University of Energy and Communications), scientific foundations for the development of integrated strategies (Sergey Shulzhenko, Deputy Director of the Institute of General Energy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine), recommendations on border carbon regulation (Mikhail Yulkin, UNESCO expert on energy efficiency, general director of “CARBON Lab”), support of climate and environmental initiatives (Arman Perzadaev, vice-rector of M. Narikbayev KAZGUU University).
The first day of the forum ended with the signing of memorandums of cooperation in the field of promoting low-carbon technologies between: Almaty University of Energy and Communications named after G. Daukeev and the Institute of General Energy of the National Academy of Sciences of Ukraine; The International Center for Green Technologies and Investment Projects (ICGTaIP) and the GREENCUBATOR company (Ukraine); The Climate Network of NGOs EECCA and the Center for Support of Civil Initiatives (Kazakhstan).
The second day of the forum was no less informative. Welcoming remarks were made by: Vice Minister of Energy of the Republic of Kazakhstan Kairat Rakhimov, Ambassador for Climate of Finland Yan Vakhlberg, Deputy of the Mazhilis of the Parliament of the Republic of Kazakhstan, member of the Committee on International Affairs, Defense and Security Zulfiya Suleimenova, Deputy Representatives of UNDP: in Kazakhstan – Vitaliy Vremish and in Ukraine – Manal Fouani.
As noted by Ms Manal Fouani, UNDP supports the idea of holding a dialogue to facilitate the exchange of ideas and the review of Nationally Determined Contributions to Emissions before countries go to COP26 in Glasgow.
The topic of the second day was urban energy efficiency and innovation for low-carbon development. The participants discussed issues of stimulating low-carbon development, including the implementation of the 2nd stage of the Covenant of Mayors on the example of Ukraine (Oksana Kisil, National Expert of the European Initiative “Covenant of Mayors” of Ukraine), the results of UNDP energy efficiency projects in Kazakhstan (Aleksandr Bely, Coordinator of UNDP / GEF projects in Kazakhstan), the possibilities of a green business incubator (Roman Zinchenko, GREENCUBATOR, Ukraine), directions for the implementation of UNIDO projects (Saule Bishimbaeva, ICGTaIP, Kazakhstan).
The forum ended with the adoption of the resolution of the First Climate Dialogue for the UNFCCC Conference, which will be held in June this year in Bonn (Germany). Participants of the Climate Dialogue adopted recommendations to the Governments of their countries to intensify actions in the field of decarbonization of the energy sector and to devise a strategy of low-carbon development to achieve carbon neutrality. It was also proposed to develop a special comprehensive program for decarbonization of carbon cities in Kazakhstan and Ukraine and to create special Agencies for climate and energy conservation, accountable to the UN. The First Climate Dialogue caused a resonance in Kazakhstan and Ukraine, and was actively covered in the media. Attention to the forum was given by the holding of the Global Roundtable on Extractive Industries on these dates, at the initiative of UN Secretary General António Guterres, with the participation of Heads of State and Government in a virtual format.