I would like to extend my deepest gratitude to His Highness Sheikh Mohammed bin Zayed Al-Nahyan for the COP28 Presidency.
Today, nearly half of the Earth's population resides in regions highly vulnerable to climate change.
Small Island Developing States, Landlocked Developing Countries, and Least Developed Countries are the most jeopardized.
Ongoing geopolitical volatility and energy insecurity also make it more challenging to remain focused on the climate agenda.
Kazakhstan fully supports the UN’s urgent call for tangible actions to safeguard our environment for future generations.
We were the first country in the region to have ratified the Paris Agreement and adopted a Carbon Neutrality Strategy for 2060.
The resulting new Environmental Code of Kazakhstan will drive comprehensive adaptation of green technology in practically every sector of our national economy.
There is extraordinary potential for wind and solar power in my country as well as for green hydrogen. We will continue to work closely with our partners to unlock it.
As the world’s leading exporter of uranium, providing 43% of global supply, Kazakhstan plays a crucial role in carbon-free electricity generation on a global scale.
Indeed, as the world decarbonizes in the coming decades, critical minerals – including Rare Earth Metals – will become indispensable. Kazakhstan is poised to become a major supplier of these transition minerals.
We are also actively supporting private green initiatives. For example, Kazakhstan based The Plastic Association works on plastic waste free projects contributing to ecofriendly solutions.
As a matter of principle and fairness, climate action should not require emerging economies to sacrifice national development and modernization. Instead, they must go hand in hand and reinforce each other.
Bold steps are needed.
Cutting methane emissions is the fastest opportunity we have to immediately slow the rate of global warming.
That is why I am pleased to announce that Kazakhstan has decided to join the Global Methane Pledge.
At the same time, we are eager to tackle the enormous challenge of coal in our region by implementing our region’s first ever Just Energy Transition Partnership (JETP) in Kazakhstan.
For both of these to succeed, we look to our friends and partners for their concrete support.
More widely, we look to the international community to scale up its commitment to greater meaningful climate finance.
But finance is just the first hurdle.
Even if we successfully limit global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees by 2050, Central Asian countries will still experience up to 2.5 degrees of temperature rise. This will lead to water scarcity, sever heat, desertification and extreme hydrological events.
Adaptation is therefore both inevitable and imperative.
Therefore, we urge that more resources be allocated to support the International Fund for Saving the Aral Sea – once the world's fourth largest body of inland water. Kazakhstan will assume chairmanship of the Fund next year and looks forward to engaging all partners on this issue.
Moreover, we are pleased, together with France, to co-chair the first One Water Summit on the margins of the next United Nations General Assembly.
Building on the successful outcome of COP28 this week, I invite member states to the Astana International Forum in June 2024. The Forum can serve as a dialogue platform to continue focused collaboration on these acute climate-related issues through COP29.
To build a momentum on climate action in Central Asia, we have also decided to convene a Regional Climate Summit in Kazakhstan in 2026 under UN auspices.
Ladies and Gentlemen!
The climate emergency is a global crisis that requires a global response.
We share joint responsibility for preserving our planet and ensuring a sustainable future for all.
Kazakhstan firmly believes that only through collective action and cooperation can we solve the climate crisis.