On 8th of September, 2023 the second political dialogue on “Global Methane Pledge: World Experience and Kazakhstan” was held in Kazakhstan. The meeting, organized by the Committee on Ecology and Nature Management, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Kazakhstan, and the REC “Green Academy”, has been also supported by the EU, USAID, and EBRD. The participants discussed global experience of joining the Global Methane Pledge and developed recommendations to Kazakhstan ahead of the COP-28.
Global Methane Pledge (GMP), launched at COP-26 in 2021, aims to reduce global methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to the level of 2020. More than 150 countries already joined the pledge and over 50 countries already have or are currently developing national methane action plans. Among Central Asian nations, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan already joined GMP. Tajikistan, Turkmenistan, and Kazakhstan are currently discussing potential commitment to GMP. Discussions on joining the pledge by Turkmenistan are also actively ongoing, as recently announced by President Berdimuhamedov.
In 2021, a total of 2.4 Megatonnes of methane were emitted in Kazakhstan, with half of which is attributable to the energy sector, 41% to agriculture, and the remaining to waste and other sectors. Other sources estimated methane emissions of Kazakhstan to be 1.7-3.5 Megatonnes.
Kazakhstan updated its Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) and included actions on methane emissions reduction, in particular for agriculture. Additionally, the country developed a roadmap for 2021-2025 for the implementation of NDC, with a wide range of measures, such as utilization of methane from landfills and coal mines for electricity and heat generation, and fuel production from coal mine methane.
Additionally, USAID has researched methane emission detection and measurements in Kazakhstan, and prepared recommendations on reducing emissions from oil and gas projects. Techno-economic analysis of identification and utilization of methane from water treatment plants in Astana and Taldykorgan has also been performed.
Experience in methane measurement and monitoring at Karachaganak Field, one of the largest gas and condensate fields in the world, has also been presented at the meeting. Fugitive emissions have been regularly monitored at the site from 2021 onwards with regular inspections, risk assessment, and immediate repairs as part of the leak management program at the field. From 2023 on, even optical gas imaging and special software are in use to identify possible leaks.
As a result of the dialogue the following recommendations have been proposed to the government of Kazakhstan:
- The government should take action and evaluate the country’s potential accession to the Global Methane Pledge.
- An Action Plan for the Strategy of Kazakhstan to achieve carbon neutrality by 2050 needs to be developed by the government;
- The plan should include measures to:
- expand and decentralize renewable sources of energy;
- reduce energy intensity and improve energy efficiency;
- implement Best Available Techniques (BAT) and Strategic Environmental Assessment (SEA);
- support transport sector’s transition from diesel to electricity;
- improve greenhouse gas emission monitoring based on the latest international standards;
- introduce a transparent emission trading system and its integration with international carbon trading;
- develop hydrogen, bio, and other alternative energy sources, with a goal of enhancing energy security of the country.