Kazakhstan postpones introduction of greenhouse gas emission fines
Greenhouse gases emission. ©Turar Kazangapov
GHG emission fines mounted so high in 2013 that Kazakhstan decided to postpone introduction of the fines and cut the fine in two, Tengrinews reports from the plenary session of the Majilis (Lower Chamber of the Kazakhstan Parliament). Kazakhstan is planning to introduce changes into its Code of Administrative Offences to start applying fines for exceeding greenhouse gas emission quota only starting from the second half of this year. The goal of the amendments is to make introduction of the responsibility for GHG emissions more gradual. The new wording of the Article 243-1 of the Code of Administrative Offences sets a "fine for legal entities in the amount of 5 MCI (monthly calculation index) per every every GHG emission unit exceeding their assigned amount if the excess is not compensated by quotas purchased from other entities or obtained through implementation of the projects specified in the Kazakhstan legislation". The MCI amount is changed slightly every year, depending of the performance of the county's economy. In 2014 1 MCI equals to 1 852 tenge ($10). So the fine set by the law makes around $50 per every unit of exceeded GHG emissions. Besides, the Majilis Ecology and Environmental Management Committee proposes to make this clause effective only starting from July 1, 2014. Initially the GHG-related fine was introduced in January 1, 2013 in Kazakhstan and made 10 MCI ($100) per unit. But the amount of fines was so great and Kazakhstan decided to reconsider the environmental regulation. "Adoption of the new regulation would enable us to not to charge the companies with the fines for 2013. Even based on preliminary calculation the fines of Kazakhstan's power-generating facilities (most of them coal-fueled) exceeded $1.14 billion in 2013 and the fines in Kazakhstan's oil and gas sector made $164.78 million in 2013. And no fines will be accrued in the first half of 2014," the Committee's statement says. This thaw is expected to help the country implement its emissions-intensive Program of Accelerated Industrial and Innovative Development and step up implementation of investment projects, including those involving green technologies. Besides, Kazakhstan needs more time to introduce the domestic system of training in GHG quotas.