Journal of Arid Land

Article Title

The relationship between energy consumption and economic growth and the development strategy of a low-carbon economy in Kazakhstan


Fossil energy is the material basis of human survival, economic development and social progress. The relationship between energy consumption and economic growth is becoming increasingly close. However, energy consumption is the major source of greenhouse gases, which can significantly affect the balance of the global ecosystem. It has become the common goal of countries worldwide to address climate change, reduce carbon dioxide emissions, and implement sustainable development strategies. In this study, we applied an approximate relationship analysis, a decoupling relationship analysis, and a trend analysis to explore the relationship between energy consumption and economic growth using data from Kazakhstan for the period of 1993–2010. The results demonstrated: (1) the total energy consumption and GDP in Kazakhstan showed a ”U”-type curve from 1993 to 2010. This curve was observed because 1993–1999 was a period during which Kazakhstan transitioned from a republic to an independent country and experienced a difficult transition from a planned to a market economy. Then, the economic system became more stable and the industrial production increased rapidly because of the effective financial, monetary and industrial policy support from 2000 to 2010. (2) The relationships between energy consumption and carbon emissions, economic growth and energy exports were linked; the carbon emissions were mainly derived from energy consumption, and the dependence of economic growth on energy exports gradually increased from 1993 to 2010. Before 2000, the relationship between energy consumption and economic growth was in a recessional decoupling state because of the economic recession. After 2000, this relationship was in strong and weak decoupling states because the international crude oil prices rose and energy exports increased greatly year by year. (3) It is forecasted that Kazakhstan cannot achieve its goal of energy consumption by 2020. Therefore, a low-carbon economy is the best strategic choice to address climate change from a global perspective in Kazakhstan. Thus, we proposed strategies including the improvement of the energy consumption structure, the development of new energy and renewable energy, the use of cleaner production technologies, the adjustment and optimization of the industrial structure, and the expansion of forest areas.

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