European Union supports Kazakhstan in development of National Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production

(Source: EEAS)

Nur-Sultan, Kazakhstan – Over 30 government officials from Kazakhstan and representatives of the European Union (EU) gathered today to review and discuss the draft National Action Plan on Sustainable Consumption and Production (SCP). The document will help Kazakhstan to set the priority tasks for moving towards a low-carbon, resource-efficient and a more circular economy.

Rapid economic growth in Asia and Central Asia has lifted many countries out of poverty. This has come at a cost of increased use of natural resources, growing GHG emissions and amounts of waste. Through their consumption behaviour, households are responsible for 72% of global greenhouse gas emissions (Dubois et al., 2019). Sustainability today is about making fundamental changes in the way businesses operate and people consume. SCP aims at improving the overall environmental performance of products throughout their life cycle, stimulates demand for better products and production technologies and helps consumers make informed choices.

The term SCP was first introduced at the UN Conference in Rio de Janeiro in 1992. Kazakhstan included SCP patterns into the new 2021 Environmental Code as a basic principle of the environmental policy.

Addressing the participants, Mr Johannes Stenbaek Madsen, Head of Cooperation at the EU Delegation to Kazakhstan, stated: “SCP is key to transition to green economy, as well as delivering on several Sustainable Development Goals and commitments under the Paris Agreement. As stipulated by the European Green Deal, the EU has pledged to achieve net zero GHG emissions and become the first climate neutral continent by 2050. In line with the EU Strategy on Central Asia, we are committed to tackle the global challenges together with our partners in the region. We commend Kazakhstan for taking concrete actions to introduce SCP into its environmental policies and strategies. I hope this draft Action Plan developed with support by EU experts will accelerate the country’s sustainable development and green growth”.

The draft Action Plan has been developed by the EU SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility with the support of the EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation (WECOOP)”. The meeting was organized jointly by the EU SWITCH-Asia SCP Facility, the WECOOP Project, and the office of GIZ in Kazakhstan.

Background:

The EU SWITCH-Asia Programme is the largest SCP programme supported by the European Union in Southeast Asia, South Asia, Central Asia, Mongolia and China. Launched in 2007, the programme’s mission is to support the transition of Asian countries to a low-carbon, resource-efficient and circular economy while promoting sustainable production and consumption patterns within Asia and greener supply chains between Asia and Europe. Nearly EUR 300 million was invested towards promoting sustainable consumption and production in Asia and Central Asia. 143 projects were funded in the region over a period of 15 years, of which 16 new ones active as of 2022. Over 500 Asian and European non-for-profit partners, about 100 private sector associates and 80,000 Asian micro, small and medium-sized enterprises (MSMEs) received the support.

The EU-funded project “European Union – Central Asia Water, Environment and Climate Change Cooperation” (WECOOP) (third phase from October 2019 to April 2023) aims to enhance environment, climate change and water policies at national levels in Central Asia through approximation to EU standards and to promote investments in relevant sectors with the aim of contributing to measurable reductions in man-made pollution, including CO2 emission. The project activities include support to the EU–CA Platform for Environment and Water Cooperation and its Working Group on Environment and Climate Change, as well as implementation of the EU Green Deal’s international dimension in Central Asia to advance climate action.

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