Astana Demonstrates Progress on Green Economy at Energy Summit

WFESASTANA – Minister of Environment and Water Resources, Nurlan Kapparov led a Kazakhstan delegation to the World Future Energy Summit (WFES) in Abu Dhabi on Jan. 20-22. As part of the summit, a large exhibition was organized at the Abu Dhabi National Exhibitions Company venue, where Kazakhstan presented its Astana EXPO 2017 pavilion.

WFES is the world’s premier renewable energies, energy efficiency and clean technologies event. This year, the summit attracted world leaders, international policy makers, industry experts, investors from the public and private sectors and the media, who participated in the discussion of future energy challenges.

For Kazakhstan, the WFES has been an important platform for useful dialogue on alternative energy development since the transition to a green economy became the country’s main priority a few years ago. This event also offered a good opportunity to invite future exhibitors and attract investments to EXPO 2017 in Astana.

Last year, Kazakhstan became a member of the International Renewable Energy Agency. Now, the government of the country has set a goal to ensure that wind- and sun-generated power account for half of energy supplies in Kazakhstan by 2050.

According to Kapparov, it is high time for Kazakhstan to move to renewable energy sources, as they are safe and cost-effective.

“Many countries are already using alternative energy sources. We should join them. Coal is highly pollutive. Up to 5,000 people die every year in Kazakhstan because of diseases caused by coal dust. It is time to change the status quo, but this does not mean that we completely abandon coal,” he said at the event.

During the summit, Kapparov and ministers from 42 countries that recently joined the organization signed a Global Atlas for Solar and Wind Energy. It includes information about all alternative resources in any given country.

Afterwards, the Kazakhstan minister met Secretary General of the Energy Charter Urban Rusnak. Kazakhstan plans to hold the Energy Charter Conference in Astana in November.

“I have studied President Nazarbayev’s recent state-of-the-nation address and I think his energy transition goals are very progressive,” Rusnak noted.

Kazakhstan’s pavilion was very popular at the event, thanks to its interactive features. Visitors could record their own video testimonials on future energy and upload them onto the EXPO 2017 website (www.expo2017astana.com), as well as take part in a number of different learning activities built around the EXPO 2017 exhibition stand.

Maria van der Hoeven, Executive Director of the International Energy Agency (IEA) also shared her thoughts on Kazakhstan’s policy on green development.

“Kazakhstan has great potential. I think EXPO 2017 will show us not only the changes happening in Kazakhstan, but also by pooling together the efforts of all Eurasian countries the country will find an answer to the question about what should be done to build an eco-friendly city,” van der Hoeven said.

The WFES was held for the seventh time this year and continues to build bridges between countries seeking to spread clean technologies and renewable energy use.