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COP29: Azerbaijan undertakes challenge to transition from fossil fuels to green energy

30 March 2024 08:30 (UTC+04:00)
COP29: Azerbaijan undertakes challenge to transition from fossil fuels to green energy
Qabil Ashirov
Qabil Ashirov
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Throughout history, mankind has encountered different environmental challenges affecting their lifestyle. Currently, the warming of our mother planet is the main challenge that everybody is focused on. Specialists on the issue drums up excitement and emphasize that urgent measures need to be taken. Besides, the said environmental challenge opens new horizons before us in terms of clean and inexhaustible energy.

Azerbaijan is one of those countries that take initiative on the said issue. The country has a detailed roadmap for the transition from fossil fuel to green energy. Besides, Baku will host COP29. Hikmet Hajiyev, the Head of Foreign Policy Affairs Department of the Azerbaijani Presidential Administration also touched on the issue in an interview with Chinese TV on March 28. He reminded that Azerbaijan is one of the countries where the oil industry emerged. He emphasized that despite the oil history of the country, Baku is determined to transfer to green energy and COP29 will demonstrate the determination and willingness of the country.

In a comment to Azernews on the issue, a British journalist and expert on energy issues Neil Watson said that during the past decade, environmental issues have become the predominant topic concerning the world. He said that global warming is a reality that affects the whole of humanity and knows no borders.

“Its impacts are huge and if no action is taken, the world will be changed irrecoverably. At the present time, green issues are attracting a great deal of investment and the focus of all innovation. The intention is that temperature rise will be limited to 1.5 degrees C and net-zero emissions will be achieved by 2050. This requires collaboration between governments, populations and industry on a worldwide scale,” he said.

Touching on Azerbaijan’s initiative on the issue the expert pointed out that this can be only good for the image of Azerbaijan, which is mainly known as a hydrocarbons-producing nation, the former Black City having once been described as the most polluted place on earth. However, he added that despite there is risk that Azerbaijan could be labeled as a ‘poacher turned gamekeeper’, as was the host of COP28, Dubai, it does demonstrate that the oil and gas-producing nations are recognizing the nature of the problem head-on and that serious and holistic measures have to be implemented.

“It is also noteworthy in the current post-Garabagh war scenario, as Armenia supported Azerbaijan hosting COP and that the reconstructed liberated territories will be green ‘smart’ cities. The world’s media will be present and this is an invaluable opportunity to present a stable and United Azerbaijan to the world and for it to present itself in the most positive light. Hopefully, it will also increase international understanding of Azerbaijan’s legitimate stance over Garabagh,” Neil Watson said.

As for possible impacts of the transition from fossil fuel to green energy on the country, he underscored that obviously, nothing changes completely overnight. He emphasized that oil and gas will be important for decades to come but the fact that the newest pipeline is the Southern Gas Corridor is noteworthy, as gas is often recognized as being a transitional fuel between oil and green alternatives.

“Azerbaijan is also blessed with ample renewable energy in all forms - wind, wave, and solar - and hence should be a focus of green energy generation, storage, and transmission innovations. However, it is even more important now that Azerbaijan diversifies its economy to ensure the gradual downscaling in the use of fossil fuels has a reduced impact on the economy, particularly in the areas of IT, tourism, and agriculture,” the British journalist added.

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Qabil Ashirov is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow him on Twitter: @g_Ashirov

Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz

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