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Supporting Sustainable Development in Kazakhstan through Advanced Fossil Fuel Technologies

How can advanced fossil fuel technologies help Kazakhstan reduce the carbon footprint of its energy sector while moving towards a clean energy strategy and achieving the Sustainable Development Goals? This will be the focus of a workshop organized by UNECE and UNDP on 9-10 March 2016 in Astana, in partnership with the Kazakh Ministry of Energy and KazEnergy.

The event will further reinforce the capacity of Kazakhstan to switch to clean coal and gas technologies and attain its climate change mitigation objectives as it gets ready to host the World Expo 2017, dedicated to future energy and powered exclusively by renewable energy. This will also contribute to achieving the goals of the Astana "Green Bridge" Initiative.

The Chair of the UNECE Group of Experts on Cleaner Electricity Production, Barry Worthington, and experts from IEA Clean Coal Centre, Japan Coal Energy Center, the World Coal Association and General Electric will share perspectives on recent clean fossil fuel policies and technical advances that are applicable to Kazakh circumstances. They will be joined by experts from the Kazakh Ministry of Energy, Samruk-Energy, World Expo 2017 stakeholders, KazEnergy, legislators, Ministry of Foreign Affairs, academia, as well as civil society.

The event will also explore how to establish and operationalize an International Centre for the Development of Green Technologies and Investment Projects under the auspices of the UN, an initiative of President Nazarbayev, announced at the 2015 session of the UN General Assembly.

For any questions regarding the workshop, please contact Mr. Victor Badaker: Viktor.Badaker@unece.org or Mr. David Elzinga: David.Elzinga@unece.org.

Note to editors

Kazakhstan's power sector is based on fossil fuels with around 80% of national electricity being produced by coal power plants. While the Government recognizes the environmental problems associated with the use of coal, it also understands that power generation from coal will continue to play an important role in the medium term, at least during the first half of the 21st century. However, world experience shows that electricity generation from coal can be part of a clean energy strategy.

The Ministry of Energy of Kazakhstan has recently requested UNECE and UNDP to provide technical assistance for decisions on clean fossil fuel energy policies consistent with sustainable development goals, as a part of overall implementation of the United Nations Sustainable Development Goals at the national level.

The Astana "Green Bridge" Initiative fosters regional cooperation by creating the conditions and introduction of "green" economy principles in Eurasia. The initiative was endorsed at the VI Ministerial Conference on Environment and Development in Asia and the Pacific in October 2010.

On 28 September 2015, at the opening debate of the 70th session of the UN General Assembly, Nursultan Nazarbayev, President of Kazakhstan, informed the General Assembly that in support of the UN initiative "Sustainable Energy for All" an international EXPO on the theme “Future Energy” would be held in Astana in 2017. He invited all states to participate fully in the exhibition. Looking to the future and using the infrastructure put in place for EXPO 2017, he suggested the establishment of an International Centre for the Development of Green Technologies and Investment Projects under the auspices of the UN in Astana.