President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev delivered a speech at the World Climate Action Summit, which is taking place on the sidelines of the UN Climate Change Conference in Dubai.
In his speech, the Head of Kazakhstan emphasized that today nearly half of the Earth’s population resides in regions that are highly vulnerable to climate change.
– Small Island Developing States, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Least Developed Countries are the most jeopardized. Ongoing geopolitical volatility and energy insecurity also make it more challenging to remain focused on the climate agenda, – he said.
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev supported the UN's urgent call for tangible actions to safeguard the environment for future generations and emphasized that Kazakhstan was the first country in the region to ratify the Paris Agreement and adopt a Carbon Neutrality Strategy until 2060.
According to him, the Environmental Code adopted in Kazakhstan will facilitate the comprehensive adaptation of green technologies in practically every sector of the national economy.
– There is extraordinary potential for wind and solar power in my country as well as for green hydrogen. We will continue to work closely with our partners to unlock it. As the world’s leading exporter of uranium, providing 43% of global supply, Kazakhstan plays a crucial role in carbon-free electricity generation on a global scale, – stressed the President.
According to Kassym-Jomart Tokayev, in the coming decades the critical minerals, including rare earth minerals, will become indispensable as the world decarbonizes. In this regard, the President declared Kazakhstan's readiness to become a major supplier of such transition minerals.
He also stated that our country actively supports private green initiatives, and cited the example of Kazakhstan based the Plastic Association, which is working on projects to get rid of plastic waste, contributing to ecofriendly solutions.
The Head of State reminded that cutting methane emissions is the fastest way to slow the rate of global warming. In this regard, he reported on Kazakhstan's decision to join the Global Methane Pledge.
In addition, the President informed about Kazakhstan's aspiration to tackle the enormous challenge of coal in our region by implementing the first ever Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in Kazakhstan and called on friends and partners to support us in this endeavor.
– More widely, we look to the international community to scale up its commitment to greater meaningful climate finance. But finance is just the first hurdle. Even if we successfully limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by 2050, Central Asian countries will still experience up to 2.5 degrees of temperature rise. This will lead to water scarcity, sever heat, desertification and extreme hydrological events, – the President believes.
In this context, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev called on the international community to allocate more funds to support the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea – once the fourth largest inland body of water in the world.
– Kazakhstan will assume chairmanship of the Fund next year and looks forward to engaging all partners on this issue. Moreover, we are pleased, together with France, to co-chair the first One Water Summit on the margins of the next United Nations General Assembly. Building on the successful outcome of COP28 this week, I invite member states to the Astana International Forum in June 2024. The Forum can serve as a dialogue platform to continue focused collaboration on these acute climate-related issues through COP29. To build a momentum on climate action in Central Asia, we have also decided to convene a Regional Climate Summit in Kazakhstan in 2026 under UN auspices, – stressed the Kazak President.
Summarizing his speech, Kassym-Jomart Tokayev said that the climate emergency is a global crisis that requires a global response, and only collective action and cooperation will help us resolve the climate crisis.
Leaders of more than 40 states, heads of international and regional organizations also delivered a speech at the Summit.