Industry explores mechanisms to protect the environment and address climate change

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02.10.2010 21:23
sadvakasova.jpg«International Herald Tribune», Wednesday, October 27, 2010 - Kazakhstan is taking broad-based measures to reduce carbon emissions across the board to two tons per person by 2050, according to Eldana Makinovna Sadvakasova, Kazakhstan’s deputy minister for environmental protection. Speaking during a panel session titled ‘Energy and Climate Change: Global Scenarios and Solutions’’ at the fifth KAZENERGY Eurasian Forum, she referred to climate change as the biggest problem facing the world today.
She said that companies operating in the country are required to report on their emissions every two years and are limited to a total of 22,000 tons per year. She noted that penalties for excessive pollution are then used to capitalize the national budget and are allocated for green development programs across the nation.

It was noted several times during the panel that Kazakhstan became a full signatory to the Kyoto Protocol on Sept. 17, 2009 as an Annex A member country, which means it has committed itself to reducing its greenhouse gases to specific targets. The country has shown an intention to join the Annex B list, which will commit it to establishing a national system for conducting energy-efficiency initiatives, utilizing renewable energy sources and, in time, developing a low-carbon economy. Experts say Kazakhstan’s ratification of the protocol will bring in about $500 million to $600 million in investments into its economy by 2012.

The panel gave many insights into approaches to reducing emissions, with improved technology, research and increased energy efficiency being recurring themes.

Yves-Louis Darricarrère, president of exploration and production at Total, noted the French company’s great experience with a full range of alternate energy sources and reduction of gas flaring in production operations. He reminded the audience that fossil fuels will still make up about 75 percent of the world’s energy supply by 2030, and he said all available methods, including renewables as well as efficiency measures and extensive research and development, would have to be employed to meet emission-reduction targets.

Campbell Keir, country chairman and vice president for technical production at Royal Dutch Shell Kazakhstan Development B.V., noted during the discussion that ongoing rapid development will have a certain impact on the future energy market. He said that, according to International Energy Agency estimates, $1.1 trillion in new energy would be needed worldwide by 2050, while at the same time we would have to move to 30 percent non-fossil fuels.

He gave an overview of Shell’s innovative technology for utilizing alternative energy sources, as well as its ambitious carbon capture system, which involves pumping gas emissions safely underground.

Ian Taylor, president and chief executive of the Vitol Group, which specializes in hydrocarbon and fuel sales and provides services in the area of carbon-emissions trading and derivatives, gave a crash course on the operation of the carbon-trading market under Kyoto’s flexible development mechanisms. He also discussed Kazakhstan’s status in the protocol as an Annex A country that hopes to join Annex B in the future.

Taylor noted that if and when Kazakhstan succeeds in joining the Annex B list of countries, it will have a domestically governed system of project consideration, approval, monitoring and issuance. He added that if Kazakhstan is able to reduce its emissions by 6percent by 2012 compared with 1990 levels, it will have a65 million ton surplus in its emission credits per annum, which will provide the country with significant opportunities to trade its surplus on the international carbon-trading market.

He also cited Kazakhstan’s immense potential for the development of alternate and renewable energy sources, especially associated- and industrial-gas utilization, hydro-power and wind turbines.
«International Herald Tribune», Wednesday, October 27, 2010