ASTANA, KAZAKHSTAN (9 June 2023) — The Asian Development Bank (ADB) will help Kazakhstan convert its climate commitments into supporting investments and scale up access to global climate finance, the bank’s president said in a meeting with Kazakhstan President Kassym-Jomart Tokayev this week.
“We recognize Kazakhstan’s significant climate change financing needs, including the need to crowd in private sector investments,” said ADB President Masatsugu Asakawa on his first official visit to the country. “We’ll continue supporting Kazakhstan to mobilize climate change investments aligned with its climate targets.”
In February, President Tokayev approved Kazakhstan’s long-term decarbonization strategy wherein the government aims to achieve carbon neutrality by 2060.
Speaking today at the Astana International Forum, Mr. Asakawa made the urgent case for renewable energy and its potential to help meet countries’ growing population needs affordably and with fewer carbon emissions. “This will not be easy, but we must act now,” he said.
The ADB President also witnessed the signing of a loan agreement to modernize a combined heat and power plant in Almaty. The project is expected to significantly reduce carbon emissions and improve air quality in Kazakhstan’s largest city while enabling residents to continue heating their homes through the country’s cold winters.
The visit also saw Mr. Asakawa meet with First Deputy Prime Minister Roman Sklyar, and Minister of National Economy and ADB Governor Alibek Kuantyrov, among other senior officials. They discussed ways to further strengthen the bank’s almost 30-year partnership with the Central Asian nation.
Last month, ADB launched a new 5-year strategy with Kazakhstan focused on three strategic priorities—addressing the impacts of climate change and decarbonizing the economy; promoting inclusive economic growth; and strengthening governance.
Mr. Asakawa witnessed the signing of the Supplementary Agreement for the Knowledge and Experience Exchange Program (KEEP). With equal cofinancing and jointly managed by ADB and the Government of Kazakhstan, the new $3 million phase of KEEP will finance priority socioeconomic research and capacity development.
Yesterday, at the Foreign Investors’ Council, the ADB President spoke about the importance of digital technology for the country’s inclusive and sustainable development. He will also meet with the beneficiaries of the ADB-supported Women Entrepreneurship Development Center.
Kazakhstan joined ADB in 1994. ADB has since committed more than $6 billion in loans to the government and private sector, and in grants to finance technical assistance. Regional cooperation and integration initiatives under the Central Asia Regional Economic Cooperation (CAREC) program remain an integral part of ADB operations in Kazakhstan.
ADB is committed to achieving a prosperous, inclusive, resilient, and sustainable Asia and the Pacific, while sustaining its efforts to eradicate extreme poverty. Established in 1966, it is owned by 68 members—49 from the region.