By Ayya Lmahamad
Azerbaijan and the Economic Cooperation Organization (ECO) have adopted “Baku Declaration” on energy cooperation during the 4th ECO Energy Ministerial Meeting held online on June 22-23, the energy ministry’s press service has reported.
The document provides for broad cooperation between ECO member countries in the crude oil, natural gas, petrochemicals and petroleum products supply, the development of electricity networks, regional trade in electricity, clean energy sources, energy efficiency, financing clean energy transition in line with global steps to combat climate change.
High on the agenda of the declaration was also green energy opportunities in Azerbaijan’s liberated territories and renewables’ role in mitigating consequences of the climate change. In addition, ECO member states and relevant international organizations were encouraged to support Green Energy Concept in Azerbaijan.
Azerbaijan’s Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov, who chaired the meeting, spoke about the organization’s role as a format of cooperation promoting multifaceted mutual-beneficial relations in Eurasia.
It was noted that Azerbaijan is the initiator and active participant of a number of projects on transport, energy, regional integration and socio-economic development within the organization.
Furthermore, the minister emphasized that the trade turnover of Azerbaijan with the organization’s member states amounted to about $4.9 billion.
“The share of those states in Azerbaijan's foreign trade made up 20 percent. These countries have so far invested $16.9 billion in the Azerbaijani economy. Azerbaijan invested $18.5 billion in the economy of member states,” Shahbazov emphasized.
Touching upon the contribution of Azerbaijan’s achievements in energy policy to energy cooperation within the ECO, the minister said that the infrastructure of the diversified oil and gas pipelines, created on Azerbaijan’s initiative, ensures the interest of region’s countries and the solution of energy security issues.
He also spoke about the support of currently implemented and planned projects and reforms in the electric power engineering sector to the process of establishment of the ECO Regional Electricity Market and to the prospect of new cooperation.
“Today, new realities emerging in the region under the leadership of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev lay the way for broad cooperation with new projects to strengthen security and stability, including energy within the ECO,” he said.
“In the future, the planned auctions for renewable energy projects with a capacity of about 700 MW, as well as the joint use of the rich wind, solar and hydropower potential of the Caspian Sea and Karabakh are opportunities for deepening energy and economic cooperation within the ECO,” the minister added.
Additionally, ECO Secretary General Hadi Soleimanpour spoke about the organization’s goals in the next decade to bring the share of “green energy” in the total energy balance between member countries to a significantly higher level than now, to strengthen cooperation in the field of renewable energy sources and energy efficiency.
The ECO Energy Strategy 2030 and its Action Plan, the Charter of the Clean Energy Center, and the Regional Electricity Market Roadmap were adopted at the meeting.
Ayya Lmahamad is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @AyyaLmahamad
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