The International Symposium of Expo 2017 was held in Astana, the capital of Kazakhstan on June 28, 2012. Kazakhstan is one of the candidates competing for organizing the International Expo 2017.
The candidate has chosen “Future Energy, Action for Global Sustainability” as the theme of the symposium. It is also the theme that Astana has proposed for the Expo 2017.
The Vice Prime Minister of the Republic of Kazakhstan, Kairat Kelimbetov, welcomed the participants, among which around 80 delegates from the Members States of Bureau International des Expositions (BIE), for coming to share the visions of the future and to have a better understanding of the theme.
Kairat Kelimbetov said that Kazakhstan, rich in natural resources and energy fossils, also has a potential for abundant renewable energy resources (such as wind). Regulations for green economies and for environmental protection are being elaborated and, in this domain, the international cooperation is indispensable.
The Secretary General of the BIE, Vicente González Loscertales said: “the Expos are strong catalysts. Sustainable development is the heart of Expo’s program. The theme of Expo Astana can inspire governments and society to explore together one of the most urgent challenges which human community has to face today: the transition to sustainable energy for a sustainable future. During recent Expos, organizers and participants have showed the innovative approaches in reducing carbon emission.
“Energy is one of the seven critical problems of Rio+20, and the theme of Expo Astana 2017 is an opportunity to unite different propositions. Five years after Rio+20, Astana can be an ideal time to evaluate certain engagement today in 2012.”
According to Asset Issekechev, Minister of Industry and New Technology of Kazakhstan, measures to promote all kinds of projects in renewable energies, such as Green Villages, Wind energy Parks, are indispensable. This is why Expo is very important for central Asia, it will inspire new innovative and sustainable projects. The Expo shall be the reunion of all the experts and decision-makers who care about the environment.
The plenary session, directed by BBC journalist, Juliet Morris, begins after the opening speeches.
Gerd Leipold, Former Executive Director of Greenpeace International (2001-2009) gave the keynote speech on “Climate Change and Future Energy” to explain the environmental consequences of producing energy.
Dr.Markus Wrake, Head of Energy Technology Perspectives, Senior Energy Analyst, insisted on technology perspectives and the search of concrete results in the speech “Pathways for a sustainable energy future”. The main object is to make a choice by energy sectors before being developed. “We are all responsible for taking urgent and necessary political decisions and making efforts for educating the public for it,” he said.
“The Solar Century”, the speech given by Jeremy Leggett, Founder of Solar Century and SolarAid, social entrepreneur, showed some precise examples like heating and electricity that can be produced by solar panels. In London, the biggest solar bridge is now under construction, this metro bridge carries 4,400 solar panels. The biggest difficulty in these projects is to find a trustworthy partner.
In the speech “The Spirit of Adventure and Innovation. Nature, humanity and technology”, Bertrand Piccard, Director of Solar Impulse, adventurer and explorer invited the guests to see his latest personal experience: a flight from Madrid to Rabat in a plane driven only by solar energy. He spoke with enthusiasm that if all the technologies are reunited, we could divide half of our energy consummation and also protect our environment.
Also, Rapil Zhoshybayev, Executive Secretary of the Ministry of Foreign Affairs of the Republic of Kazakhstan, National Coordinator of EXPO 2017 Astana Project, and Murat Orynkhanov, Vice-Minister of Education and Science of the Republic of Kazakhstan made a presentation about Expo 2017 Astana.
After the plenary session, a press conference was held to answer the questions from journalists.
In the afternoon, two panel discussions are organized at the same time.
1. ENERGY EFFICIENCY AND ENERGY SAVING: Moderator Askar Aryngazin, physicist, energy researcher, Eurasian National University named after L.N.Gumilyev
2. ENERGY CONSUMPTION AND CLIMATE CHANGE: Moderator Kanat Baigarin, Director of Center for Energy Research, Nazarbayev University Astana
In the Round Table discussion 1, Vladimir Shkolnik, CEO KazAtomProm, explained the responsibilities of choosing the projects that will be launched by Kazakhstan. The decision shall be made by experts from a research committee and a science and technology committee representing all scientific research centers in Kazakhstan.
Kanysh Tuleushin, Vice-Minister of Industry and New Technologies, presented “the Law of the Republic of Kazakhstan on Energy Efficiency and Energy Saving.” And Jeremy Leggett, Founder of Solar Century and SolarAid, social entrepreneur, presented lantern projects in Africa.
The Round Table 2 talked about “Sustainable Energy Access” by Stephen Stec, consultant for UNEP, UNECE, OSCE, OECD and the European Commission.
Marlen Iskakov, Vice-Minister of Environmental Protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan, spoke about “Policy of the Ministry of the Environmental protection of the Republic of Kazakhstan on climate change issues.”
Sergey Ivlev, Expert on Green Economy, Kazakhstan Research Institute of Environment and Climate, presented “Green Bridge Partnership Program: Contribution to Sustainable Energy based on Innovative Eco-settlements.” The program has been approved by Rio+20 Summit with its creation of green transfer technology center and the creation of mechanism to access to better technics.
During the two round table discussions, speakers answered several questions. All the participants were gathered together afterwards for final conclusion.
After the closing of the symposium, a visit to the city was organized to experience local culture and history during city’s Civilization Festival “Millennium around Astana."