Aliya Nazarbayeva's Precedent

A specially created International Center for Green Technologies and Investment Projects will be solving the “green economy” problems in Kazakhstan. De-jure, the state is supposed to have a 100% stake in its capital; de-facto, however, it is Nursultan Nazarbayev’s youngest daughter Aliya who stands behind the agency.

Aliya Nazarbayeva was one of the speakers at the Astana economic forum “Global Challenges Summit”. As the Head of the Association of Ecological Organizations of Kazakhstan, she presented Kazakhstan’s “green” initiatives to the event’s participants.

Here is a quote from the presentation published by Zakon.kz (text in bold by kz.expert): 

“Kazakhstan has repeatedly proposed the “green” initiatives and expressed the political will in its consistent commitment to the international global processes. Five years ago, in 2013, we adopted the “Green” Economy Convention according to which we are conducting the gradual implementation of the “green growth” strategy. By 2030, the share of the “green” energy in the total energy balance of the country is planned to reach 30%”, said she. 

At the upcoming 2018 UNFCCC Conference, a package of the decisions and mechanisms aimed to force the countries to adhere to the responsibilities they have taken is to be adopted. Already at this moment, the process of taking the money out of the “brown” projects has begun around the world and the global banks stop financing these projects. Under the influence of the climate factors and some other circumstances, the assets of the companies engaged in the hydrocarbon extraction and refinement are losing value”, explained Aliya Nazarbayeva.

“We understand that the failure to adhere to the national promises will lead to the narrowing of the access of the Kazakh goods to the international markets. Therefore, I would like to especially emphasize that the Association of Ecological Organizations of Kazakhstan is initiating the implementation of the new approaches to the economic policies.

First of all, taking into consideration the ecology factors and the orientation towards the international trends in the field of the sustainable development. Our focus demonstrates the mutual connection between the economy, ecology, and social indicators that synchronize with the vector of the latest Davos International Economic Forum”, said, she.

“The regard to this factor is pointing us towards the cooperation in the completion of the announced national indicators that include several thematic directions. We are talking about creating an adequate normative-legal base, the policy papers and the institutional measures based on the provisions of the Paris Agreement. With that, we must not forget the issues of improving the quota system and the trade system to speed up the process of the implementation of the “green growth” indicators of the OECD countries”, underscored Aliya Nazarbayeva.

“Apart from that, we are paying attention to the issues of the digitalization, the use of the blockchain technologies for to fight the climate change. It is generally known that the use of the accessible “green” technologies is one of the main instruments of decreasing the pressure on the environment. Therefore, in accordance with the President of the Republic of Kazakhstan’s request, last month, the International Center for Green Technologies and Investment Projects was established. It is to become the hub for investments and innovations for all Central Asia. The initiative for creating such center was announced by the Head of the State at the 70th Session of the UN General Assembly”, reminded Aliya Nazarbayeva.

“Considering that the world does only have a handful of the international agencies supporting the “green” technologies and investments, the members of the Association and the Kazakhstan entrepreneurs are hopeful that the Center will become a “one-stop solution” for the “green” business and a trusted partner for foreign investors. We are certain that the Center’s activities will become a logical continuation of the Kazakhstan “green” initiatives such as the Expo-2017 exhibition and the “Green Bridge” Partnership Program. Therefore, this year, this panel discussion has been organized in the framework of the Astana annual economic forum. It underscores how important it is for Kazakhstan to follow the “green” path”, concluded Nazarbayeva.

It seems like all these statements had been confirmed by the fact that, on May 14, 2018, Prime Minister Bakhytzhan Sagintayev held a meeting with the “Green” Economy Council.

According to the official release, at the meeting, they “discussed the questions of the conceptual approaches to sanitizing the economic situation and to ensuring the high-quality transit to the green economy for the period of 2013 – 2020”. They also “discussed and approved the Council’s work schedule for this year as well as the results of the implementation of the Council’s protocol of October 17, 2017”. Note that, at that meeting, Aliya Nazarbayeva was the first presenter.

Even earlier, on April 27, 2018, Prime Minister of Kazakhstan Bakhytzhan Sagintayev signed Governmental Decree 224 “On Creating Non-Profit Public Company International Center for Green Technologies and Investment Projects”. The state was to have a 100% stake in its capital. However, the said document raises serious doubts about the fact that Aliya Nazarbayeva’s “green” initiative and the activities for promoting it in the country are really supported by the state apparatus.

To confirm our assumption, we will cite the text of the decree that can be found here. From this document, it follows that, instead of providing the non-profit organization with a serious capital from the state resources, the Kazakhstan Government has limited itself to providing it with the country’s properties whose list, in our opinion, shows the presence of the sense of humor (albeit of the grim variety) in those who prepared and approved the said document.

We are not arguing – 70 personal computers and 95 telephones with the internet access as well as 7 TV stations of two types, the printing cartridges, video projectors, cloths racks, and the water dispensers have certain material value (and, most likely, had belonged to some state agency before), but all this seems too trivial against the background of what the International Center for Green Technologies and Investment Projects is supposed to accomplish.

Therefore, it is very likely that this agency has been created for Aliya Nazarbayeva personally and will be maintained be the means of her personal resources, the funds of the business-structures that she and husband control as well as… the “voluntary” contributions on the part of the entrepreneurs suspected of contaminating the environment. The latter, in our opinion, is highly probable.

If this is so, then the Kazakhstan Government, willingly or not, has created a precedent when a state company that is to solve the task of the national importance will be funded via private persons. As a rule, the Kazakhstan practices are carried out in the opposite way – when some people (usually the top-managers of a state company) use, unofficially and secretively, the funds of their agency for their personal gain.

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