NUR-SULTAN – Kazakh President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev announced that Kazakhstan will reach carbon neutrality by 2060 as part of the nation’s strengthened national climate plan during the Climate Ambitions Summit held online Dec. 12.
Tokayev joined nearly 70 leaders, and heads of businesses delivering their remarks at the summit which is considered an important step ahead of the delayed UN Climate Conference (COP26) scheduled to be held in Glasgow in November 2021.
“In this challenging context, on behalf of all Kazakh citizens, I wish today to reaffirm our strong commitment to fighting climate change and our intent as a nation and government to take increasingly bold targeted action under the Paris agreement. In that spirit, we pledge to reach carbon neutrality by 2060. To reach the goal, Kazakhstan will develop and adopt an ambitious long term development strategy to lower emissions and decarbonize our economy,” said Tokayev in a video address to the summit.
To increase carbon absorption and curb looming desertification problems as a result of climate change, the country will plant two billion trees in the next five years.
“On adaptation, we face a pressing need to strengthen national adaptation capacity. For this reason, we are making climate change adaptation a legal norm in the new environmental code for sectoral and regional policy planning, It will reduce climate exposure and risks as well as prevent unnecessary damage and loss. As a country that has already launched a national emission trading scheme, we also hope that an agreement can be reached at COP 26 next year on issues regarding the Paris climate package. This will help fully unlock the potential for joint action and increased cross-national cooperation, greenhouse gas mitigation,” he said.
Tokayev said Kazakhstan is “highly vulnerable to climate change as a landlocked and developing state.” He commended his country’s development over the past 30 years but said it still heavily relies on fossil fuels.
“Five years into the Paris agreement, one year into the global COVID-19 pandemic, and one year before COP26 in Glasgow, this is a critical moment to review where we stand. Therefore, we welcome this opportunity to refocus on our collective plans and ambitions to tackle climate change. The fight against climate change is both urgent and existential,” said Tokayev.