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Addressing Industrial Air Pollution in Kazakhstan

Reforming Environmental Payments Policy Guidelines

image of Addressing Industrial Air Pollution in Kazakhstan

Kazakhstan has recorded impressive economic growth rates since its independence, driven mainly by export of commodities and high rate of energy use. These rates are not sustainable and are generating significant air pollution, in particular from industrial stationary sources. This is putting at risk the country’s development ambitions to become one of the top global economies by 2050 and converge towards OECD living standards. Building on OECD previous analysis, this publication shows that Kazakhstan’s environmental payments (environmentally related taxes, non-compliance penalties and compensation for damage regulation) for industrial air pollutants, as currently applied, impede energy efficiency and pollution abatement with heavy-handed non-compliance responses and focus on rising revenues. They also add to the cost of doing businesses in the country with limited environmental benefit. In the spirit of the Polluter-Pays Principle, much more reforms of regulation of environmental payments are needed. This report provides guidelines for reform drawing from air pollution regulations in OECD member countries and the results of the analysis of the system in Kazakhstan carried out by the OECD in close co-operation with the Government of Kazakhstan.

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Conclusions and ways forward

This chapter considers a number of cross-cutting issues that will underpin successful implementation of the reforms of the industrial air pollutants environmental regulatory system. These largely concern the requirements needed for further planning, behavioural changes in enforcement practices, and collection of comparable quantitative and qualitative data that are internationally accepted. These issues are most relevant for impactful and lasting reforms, however well-designed they might be in line with OECD benchmark and how fast legislative acts might be enacted. The chapter also points out to areas where the OECD and Kazakhstan can further enhance their mutually rewarding co‑operation to address these challenges.

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