At the Global Climate Change Conference (COP27) in Egypt, European Commission president Ursula von der Leyen and Kazakhstan Prime Minister Alikhan Smailov signed a memorandum of understanding (MOU) establishing a strategic partnership between the EU and Kazakhstan.
The agreement aims to ensure the development of a secure and sustainable supply of raw materials and refined materials. It also aims to develop renewable hydrogen and battery value chains to boost the green and digital transformation of both sides’ economies.
As part of the Action Plan on Critical Raw Materials, the European Commission is working to build partnerships with resource-rich third countries, making use of all external policy instruments and respecting its international obligations.
“A secure and sustainable supply of raw materials, refined materials and renewable hydrogen is a key layer to help build a new, cleaner foundation for our economies, especially as we move away from our dependency on fossil fuels,” von der Leyen said in a news release.
“This partnership with Kazakhstan shows Europe’s commitment to work with partner countries on our shared commitments to a greener and more resilient future in line with the Global Gateway Strategy and the objectives of the REPowerEU Plan,” she added.
“The signing of the document will create conditions for the establishment of financial and technological cooperation between Kazakhstan and EU industrial alliances. In general, our country has all the necessary attractiveness factors for European business, including diversified energy sources and high transit-transport potential,” Smailov said in a speech upon signing the MOU.
The partnership is centred around three areas of collaboration: closer economic and industrial integration in the strategic value chains of raw materials, batteries and renewable hydrogen; increasing the resilience of raw material, battery and renewable hydrogen supply chains; and closer bilateral cooperation on capacity-building, skills and research and innovation.
Both the EU and Kazakhstan have committed to develop a roadmap for 2023-2024, with concrete joint actions agreed within six months of the signature of the partnership. These actions are to be carried out in close cooperation with relevant industrial and financial stakeholders from the EU member states and Kazakhstan.
On Tuesday, von der Leyen also met with President of Namibia, Hage Geingob, to sign a similar partnership between the EU and the southern African nation.