Almaty, Kazakhstan, is one of the most polluted cities in Central Asia. An estimated 65% of emissions can be traced to the use of internal combustion engine (ICE) vehicles for private and public transportation. An increase in private cars and a decrease in zero-emission public transit options have recently exacerbated the problem. However, Almaty has an existing network of public electric trolleybuses, accounting only for 10% of the city's total transportation. The Almaty Electric Public Transport project would upgrade the trolleybuses and trolleybus infrastructure throughout the city, aiming to reduce greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The project is known as the "trigger" project to initiate Almaty's participation in European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD) Green Cities, a multi-country, multi-project undertaking to support green energy transition across Europe and Central Asia.
BIC has been monitoring this project in collaboration with CEE Bankwatch Network and Green Salvation, a local civil society organization. While investing in zero-emission public transportation is urgently needed, there are serious concerns about the client, Almatyelectrotrans LLP (AET), a public company wholly owned by the municipal government, the City Akimat.