Welcoming remarks by Yakup Beris, UNDP Resident Representative at the Conference with the industry under the auspices of the World Environment Day
June 3, 2022
Theme: "Responsible Business for Sustainable Development"
Asa Mártebeli Ministr Brekeshev myrza,
Asa Mártebeli Ákim Noǵaev myrza,
Dúniejúzilik qorshaǵan orta kúni qarsańynda sizderdi "Ornyqty damu úshin jaýapty biznes" atty búgingi konferensiamyzda kórgenimizge óte qýanyshtymyn.
It is very symbolic that today, on the eve of World Environment Day, we gather for the Conference with the industry " Responsible Business for Sustainable Development ".
Today, despite the abundance of low-cost fossil fuels, Kazakhstan has already embarked on a structural transformation to create a more diverse and green economy. The deep decarbonization of the energy system, which is responsible for about three-quarters of the country's greenhouse gas emissions, is at the heart of this transformation.
The ability of industry, as a major energy consumer, to reduce emissions and mitigate the environmental impact of its operations will be an important factor in the country's progress toward low-carbon development.
This transition is a challenge for everyone, especially in the context of pandemic recovery. But it is nevertheless inevitable. Global climate ambition, international coordination of carbon pricing mechanisms will have a significant impact on national economies, with some sectors or businesses unevenly affected.
As a result, companies need to fundamentally change the way they create value, rather than treating environmental risks as separate issues from their main business. Both companies and investors have a vested interest in leading this change.
We commend the efforts of companies that have already begun to develop their own vision for the sustainability of their operational processes. UNDP stands ready to support the private sector in aligning its activities and investments with the 2030 Agenda by mainstreaming the SDGs into decision-making and practice.
This broader, holistic approach is much more than the sole responsibility of ESG or corporate social responsibility (CSR) departments. Reports and experts consistently emphasize that taking action on behalf of people and the planet is good business, and that those who take action sooner will benefit more in the long run.
We are glad to support the Government's efforts in establishing an effective framework for environmental regulation. The Best Available Techniques concept will help prevent and control industrial emissions and facilitate the technological modernization of industry.
This approach is crucial to ensure the protection of people and nature. But it is not enough, because not all industrial enterprises can become completely carbon neutral.
And this is where UNDP's expertise can help. We have used innovative tools to mobilize private sector investment in sustainable development to offset their carbon footprint and make decarbonization economically viable.
For instance, in 2020, together with the Government of Kazakhstan and the international IT company, Bitfury, we launched a project to reduce the carbon footprint by preserving existing forests and increasing their area.
In 2020-2021, the project identified 67,000 hectares of unaccounted forests in the mountainous regions of East Kazakhstan Pavlodar regions. According to the experts, in 1990-2020, the unaccounted forests of the East Kazakhstan region absorbed almost 6 million tons of CO2 equivalent and the estimate of CO2 absorption for the next 50 years is more than 4.6 tons of CO2 equivalent, which can be exposed to the carbon markets.
Ladies and gentlemen,
Building upon decades of collaboration with governments in the promotion of green and low carbon development, UNDP stands ready to mobilize its policy experience and expertise to assist the Government of Kazakhstan and private sector in successfully implementing its low carbon endeavour in an economically viable and socially fair way.
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