United Nations Development Programme in Kazakhstan
Replacing natural capital with physical capital is expensive and the infrastructure needed to clean pollution can be costly. However, the cost of inaction can be higher. Greening growth now is necessary to prevent further erosion of natural capital, including increased scarcity of water and other resources, more pollution, climate change, and biodiversity loss, all of which can undermine future growth. Governments look to the green economy to find new sources of growth and jobs. They put in place policies that tap into the innovation, investment and entrepreneurship driving the shift towards a greener economy.
Kazakhstan has acknowledged this by adapting the Concept of Green Economy at the national level in 2013. The Concept enables rethinking growth strategies with regard to their impacts on environmental and economic sustainability, economic diversification and social inclusiveness. Socio-economic inclusion and growth assumes a pivotal role in operationalizing the construct of green growth in Kazakhstan’s policy planning and implementation process. The clear emphasis is on generating development, economic diversification and social welfare while achieving economic-, social- and environmental returns.
The session Green Economy providing social Innovation, economic diversification and environmental sustainability intends to demonstrate how the successful experience of OECD, EU and other countries of Eastern Europe, Caucasus and Central Asia , as well as the positive experience of integration of mentioned instruments by UNDP in the Kazakh water sector, housing and energy efficiency could provide entry points for green growth interventions that would positively contribute to Kazakhstan’s national policy vision. In light of current economic and fiscal challenges, the immediate question is to identify key policy reform to promote and measure better performance of energy, industrial and agriculture sectors to realize the value added from implementing the concept of green growth and increasing citizens’ living standards.
More than half of Kazakhstan's population live in an urban context. Cities can act as an entry point for green economy approaches providing an opportunity to demonstrate the viability of the concept. Experiences from European Union member states demonstrated that the use of the Green Economy tools for urban development in periods of economic changes promoted the development of sustainable urban infrastructure, created new employment and generated economic growth in issues through the integration of green infrastructure; the introduction of the resource-saving technologies; and the use of renewable energy sources.