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Kazakhstan Sectors

What is Kazakhstanʼs pathway to limit global warming to 1.5°C?

Power sector in 2030

Under Paris Agreement compatible pathways, Kazakhstan’s power sector carbon intensity declines from 490 gCO₂/kWh in 2019 to 30-200 gCO₂/kWh by 2030.

This could be achieved with a rapid shift away from Kazakhstan’s fossil fuel reliance, decreasing unabated fossil fuel combustion from 89% of the power mix in 2019 to 6-28% by 2030. Unabated coal, which accounted for 69% of the mix in 2019, is phased out by 2030 and unabated gas drops from 20% to 4-8% by 2030. This phase out of fossil fuels would need to be enabled by a high uptake of renewable energy from 1% of the power mix in 2019 to 70-94% by 2030.

To meet its carbon neutrality goal, Kazakhstan’s Doctrine to Achieve Carbon Neutrality Until 2060 indicates fossil fuels need to decrease to 56% of the power mix by 2030, with CCS not deployed until after 2030.3 This puts the Doctrine’s targeted unabated fossil fuel share well above our 1.5°C compatible benchmark. Coal is reduced to one-quarter of power generation in this strategy by 2030. This is largely replaced with renewables which increase to 44%, well below our benchmark, with gas also increasing to 30% by 2030.

Recent remarks by the government claim that Kazakhstan needs to reduce the share of coal generation in the power mix to 40% by 2030 through the natural decommissioning of capacities, but this is less ambitious than the carbon neutrality scenario in the Doctrine.6 Analysed 1.5°C pathways indicate a more rapid phase out of coal beyond business-as-usual retirements is necessary, and that coal will need to be phased about by 2030.

Towards a fully decarbonised power sector

Kazakhstan’s power sector reaches carbon neutrality between 2040 and 2046 in analysed 1.5°C compatible pathways. This is driven by a rapid phase-out of unabated coal by 2030 and unabated gas between 2036 and 2046. All unabated fossil fuels drop from 89% of the power mix in 2019 to 0-2% by 2040 and 0% by 2050 in these pathways. This would be supported by a transition to 100% renewable energy by 2050.

Kazakhstan’s Doctrine to Achieve Carbon Neutrality Until 2060 indicates fossil fuels need to decrease to 18% by 2050 to meet the carbon neutrality target; however, this assumes CCS will capture nearly all emissions from thermal power plants by 2060.3 CCS does not allow for the full decarbonisation of plants and has high upfront costs. The Doctrine sees a slower coal phase-out than in analysed 1.5°C pathways – by about 20 years – and an increase in gas use that is not consistent with the rapid decarbonisation of the power sector required to be 1.5°C compatible.

1 Republic of Kazakhstan. Intended Nationally Determined Contribution – Submission of the Republic of Kazakhstan. 2016.

2 Climate Action Tracker. Kazakhstan. September 2022 update. Climate Action Tracker. 2022.

3 Government of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Doctrine (strategy) of achieving carbon neutrality of the Republic of Kazakhstan until 2060. 2021.

4 Assel Satubaldina. Tokayev Announces Kazakhstan’s Pledge to Reach Carbon Neutrality by 2060. The Astana Times. 2020.

5 Republic of Kazakhstan. Fourth Biennial Report of the Republic of Kazakhstan to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. 2019.

6 Official Information Source of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Kazakhstan presents plans to achieve carbon neutrality. 2022.

7 IEA & EU4Energy. Clean Household Energy Consumption in Kazakhstan: A Roadmap. 2020.

8 IEA. Kazakhstan 2022 Energy Sector Review. 2022.

9 International Carbon Action Partnership. Kazakhstan Emissions Trading System. 2022.

10 International Transport Forum. Enhancing Connectivity and Freight in Central Asia. 2019.

11 Tanzila Khan, Sumati Kohli, Zifei Yang & Josh Miller. Zero-emission vehicle deployment: Europe, Middle East, and Central & South Asia. 2022..

12 Gütschow, J., Günther, A. & Pflüger, M. The PRIMAP-hist national historical emissions time series v2.3 (1750-2019). Preprint at (2021).

13 President of the Republic of Kazakhstan. Concept for transition of the Republic of Kazakhstan to Green Economy. Preprint at (2013).

14 Pedro Plowman. Kazakhstan has launched a massive project to plant one million trees every day until 2026. Medium. 2020.

15 Lloyds Bank. The economic context of Kazakhstan. 2022.

16 CIA. The World Factbook: Kazakhstan. 2023.

Kazakhstanʼs power mix

terawatt-hour per year

SSP1 Low CDR reliance
SSP1 High CDR reliance
Low energy demand
High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Negative emissions technologies via BECCS
  • Unabated fossil
  • Nuclear and/or fossil with CCS
  • Renewables incl. biomass

Kazakhstanʼs power sector emissions and carbon intensity


  • Historical emissions
  • SSP1 High CDR reliance
  • SSP1 Low CDR reliance
  • High energy demand - Low CDR reliance
  • Low energy demand
  • 100%RE

1.5°C compatible power sector benchmarks

Carbon intensity, renewable generation share, and fossil fuel generation share from illustrative 1.5°C pathways for Kazakhstan

Decarbonised power sector by
Carbon intensity of power
30 to 200
0 to 10
2040 to 2046
Relative to reference year in %
−93 to −60%
−100 to −98%
Year of phase-out
Share of unabated coal
2 to 3
Share of unabated gas
4 to 8
0 to 2
2036 to 2046
Share of renewable energy
70 to 94
98 to 99
Share of unabated fossil fuel
6 to 28
0 to 2


Demand shifting towards the power sector

The 1.5°C compatible pathways analysed here tend to show a strong increase in power generation and installed capacities across time. This is because end-use sectors (such as transport, buildings or industry) are increasingly electrified under 1.5°C compatible pathways, shifting energy demand to the power sector. Globally, the “high energy demand” pathway entails a particularly high degree of renewable energy-based electrification across the various sectors, and sees a considerable increase in renewable energy capacities over time. See the power section for capacities deployment under the various models.

Kazakhstanʼs renewable electricity investments

Billion USD / yr


Yearly investment requirements in renewable energy

Across the set of 1.5°C pathways that we have analysed, annual investments in renewable energy excluding BECCS increase in Kazakhstan to be on the order of USD 1 to 9 billion by 2030 and USD 1 to 10 billion by 2040 depending on the scenario considered. The ‘High CDR’ scenario, which shows comparatively lower annual investments into renewables, has lower levels of electrification and at the global level relies more on carbon capture and storage and negative emissions technologies – which themselves can require high up-front costs and face sustainability constraints.