Kazakhstan is all set to take a big step towards climate mitigation with a new carbon emissions trading scheme to be implemented across the country starting January 1, 2013.
The cap and trade system will be applied to all businesses that generate more than 20,000 tons of carbon emissions annually. It is in line with the country’s emissions reduction efforts which target reductions of 15 percent by 2020 and 25 percent by 2050 compared to 1990 levels.
There are only 178 businesses that will be subjected under the emissions trading scheme, but they account for 80 percent of the overall emissions in Kazakhstan.
According to the United Nations Development Programme in Kazakhstan, the new system will encourage these large-emitting businesses to reduce greenhouse gas emissions through clean “green” technologies.
Companies that fail to meet the limits will have to pay for additional emissions permits, or worse, lose their business license to operate in the country. Meanwhile, those that will be able to cut their emissions will be rewarded with extra permits that can be sold to other companies.
In the Commonwealth of Independent States, a regional organization of countries that are former members of the Soviet Union, Kazakhstan is the first nation to pushs to establish a national emissions trading system, said Nurlan Kapparov, the Minister of Environment Protection of Republic of Kazakhstan. “This is a kind of innovation,” he said in an interview in Turkish Weekly.
The new trading scheme is expected to address climate change in the country through the increased demand for clean technologies and amendments in existing policies that support renewable energy and energy efficiency.
Globally, other countries that have adopted a nationwide cap and trade system are the European Union, China, Australia, New Zealand, California, South Korea, Thailand and Vietnam. – C. Dominguez