Stephen M. Bland
Freelance Journalist, Award-Winning Author, Travel Writer, Researcher and Editor specialising in Central Asia and the Caucasus.
Outsourcing Emissions: China's Oil and Gas Ventures in Central Asia
First Released: 24/02/2022
In 2020, trade between China and Kazakhstan totalled $21.5 billion - much of this in the lucrative oil and gas sectors. Compared to other foreign operators, however, Chinese companies tend to be less concerned about their environmental impact, particularly in oil and gas ventures, where no public data is available. In villages near China National Petroleum Corporation (CNPC) projects, locals have raised concerns about pollution, whilst water exploitation has resulted in increased cases of respiratory and cardiovascular diseases. In Kenkiyak, Kazakhstan, 92.1% of villagers face unhealthy living conditions, with airborne hydrogen sulphide levels 13 times above the legal limit.
Crypto's Carbon Costs: Eurasia Feels the Heat
First Released 09/02/2022
On January 25th, a blackout struck cities across Kazakhstan, Kyrgyzstan and Uzbekistan, leaving millions not only without electricity, but also water and heating in the middle of winter in a region where temperatures have been known to hit minus twenty centigrade. Hospitals were to left to rely on generators, planes were unable to land, and trains became stuck in tunnels. The incident comes after Kazakhstan, the world’s second-largest Bitcoin producer, faced a similar outage in November 2021. The culprit according to the government? Unregistered cryptocurrency miners.