Expo2017 starts in Astana

Expo2017 starts in Astana

The glitzy Kazakh capital of Astana will play host to Expo2017, which kicks off on Saturday and will be spread over the next three months. The exhibition will focus on securing “safe and sustainable access to energy”, a topical focus given almost a fifth of the world’s population doesn’t have access to electricity while the

Photo: Expo2017

Photo: Expo2017

The glitzy Kazakh capital of Astana will play host to Expo2017, which kicks off on Saturday and will be spread over the next three months.

The exhibition will focus on securing “safe and sustainable access to energy”, a topical focus given almost a fifth of the world’s population doesn’t have access to electricity while the remaining four-fifths are seeking cleaner ways of generating it. Whether Kazakhstan is a suitable location for a summit that names “reducing CO2 emissions” as one of its primary goals is questionable.

Globally, the former Soviet state is the 16th largest producer of oil and 10th largest coal producer. 40% of government revenue is generated from selling hydrocarbons and three-quarters of its electricity comes from dirty coal-burning plants.

Nonetheless, long-time President Nursultan Nazarbayev is determined to seek greener pastures. The government recently pledged to source half of its energy needs from renewable sources by 2050.

17 world leaders are expected to attend the opening of Expo2017 on Friday, most notably China’s Xi Jinping—whose country could well emerge as a renewable energy superpower in the coming decades.

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