Resource curse or darling: Rethinking EU energy interests in Kazakhstan


With its abundant natural resources and potential for renewable energy production, Kazakhstan – one of world’s most important fossil fuel producers – will play an increasingly prominent role in EU energy security. In the Central Asian Republic, geopolitical players like Russia and China have long-standing security and economic interests and compete with the EU for access to resources. To build a sustainable energy partnership with Kazakhstan that moves beyond a fossil fuel-interdependent relationship, the EU needs to further operationalise its green energy diplomacy based on local needs. 

This policy brief highlights two key areas of mutually beneficial cooperation: green hydrogen and critical raw materials. The EU could support Kazakhstan with developing its own clean industry locally, which would facilitate domestic decarbonisation and socioeconomic development rather than simply the export of raw materials. Moreover, investments in the Kazakh renewable energy sector need to go hand in hand with a gradual phase-out of oil and gas investments from European energy companies. This would reduce the security risks of continued fossil fuel dependency on the stability of the country.

Read the full policy brief here.

Clingendael Institute

Clingendael is an independent think tank and a diplomatic academy, based in The Hague - City of Peace and Justice. We aim to contribute to a secure, sustainable and just world through our analyses, training and public debate. We work with partners across public and private sectors, including policymakers, members of the armed forces, diplomats, politicians and business executives.