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Azerbaijan's green initiative: COP29 as catalyst for sustainable investment [COMMENTARY]

18 May 2024 08:30 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan's green initiative: COP29 as catalyst for sustainable investment [COMMENTARY]
Nazrin Abdul
Nazrin Abdul
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Today, Azerbaijan has formulated a new strategy that aligns with national interests, encompassing a competitive economy, social justice, and innovation. Among these priorities, emphasis is placed on achieving a clean environment and promoting 'green development.' Harmonizing national environmental policies with international best practices is crucial in this endeavor. Azerbaijan's hosting of the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29) in November further underscores this commitment.

Considerable attention is devoted to environmental protection in Azerbaijan. President's decree declaring 2024 as the 'Year of Solidarity for the Green World' signifies a continuation of the transition to a green economy strategy. COP29 offers an opportunity for Azerbaijan to glean insights and strategies to mitigate environmental impact while integrating best practices for climate change adaptation.

Although the focus of COP29 is environmental issues, its broad scope and relevance also carry significant economic implications. In the long term, hosting COP29 may bolster Azerbaijan's transition to a green economy and attract foreign investments.

In its efforts to mitigate the adverse effects of global climate change and transition to clean energy sources, Azerbaijan has initiated investments in green energy projects in collaboration with foreign investors. The role of COP29 in Azerbaijan as a platform for attracting long-term investments and fostering advancements in the field of green energy cannot be overstated.

So, what role can the holding of COP29 in Azerbaijan play in attracting long-term investments and as a platform in the field of "green energy"?

In his comment to Azernews on the issue, Vugar Bayramov, Azerbaijani MP and economist emphasized the significance of the COP29 event in showcasing Azerbaijan's economic potential.

"COP29 is considered the largest event in the world in terms of participant numbers. Considering that the leaders of most countries will participate in the COP29 event, it will also serve as a platform for presenting the potential of Azerbaijan and the Azerbaijani economy."

Vugar Bayramov highlighted the significant role COP29 in Azerbaijan could play in attracting investments to the non-oil sector.

"Of course, the hosting of this event will enable attracting investments, and particularly, it will provide an opportunity for a closer presentation of our economic potential to investors. Generally, such events create opportunities for attracting investment in the non-oil sector and encourage increased investment in sectors beyond energy."

Currently, presenting projects related to green energy being implemented in Azerbaijan at this event dedicated to climate change (COP29) can facilitate attracting more investments to green energy projects in Azerbaijan, as stated by the expert.

"Additionally, Azerbaijan is already implementing many projects related to green energy. By showcasing its potential in this field, Azerbaijan will create an opportunity to attract more investments to green energy projects by presenting activities and implementing programs in this direction. Azerbaijan has already collaborated with several leading companies. COP29 can provide an opportunity to strengthen these collaborations and attract more foreign investment in green energy projects."

It should be noted that the most significant event in terms of foreign investments in renewable energy resources was the commissioning of the 230 MW Garadagh Solar Power Plant (GES) with the participation of the President of Azerbaijan. That GES is the first industrial-scale solar power plant in the Caspian Sea region. Thus, the project of the station is implemented with the prestigious "Masdar" company of the United Arab Emirates.

Continuing this trend, works on the construction of the 240 MW Khizi-Absheron wind power station (KES) project are currently ongoing, and works on the 240 MW Shafaq GES project in Jabrayil district will commence from the second half of the current year.

Additionally, "Masdar" company continues to implement 315 MW solar power plants in Neftchala, 445 MW in Bilasuvar, and 240 MW wind power plant projects in the Absheron-Garadagh regions. In this regard, the territories of renewable energy sources were determined in Bilasuvar, Neftchala, and Absheron-Garadagh regions by the relevant decisions of the Cabinet of Ministers. Also, it is planned to hold the first auction for the 100 MW solar power plant project in the Gobustan region.

In conclusion, the hosting of COP29 in Azerbaijan emerges as a pivotal opportunity to showcase the nation's economic potential and attract long-term investments, particularly in the realm of green energy. The event's global significance, with the participation of leaders from around the world, underscores its role as a platform for highlighting Azerbaijan's capabilities and fostering collaboration in sustainable development initiatives.

As Azerbaijan continues to prioritize green energy projects and implement measures to mitigate climate change, COP29 serves as a catalyst for advancing these efforts and positioning the country as a key player in the global transition to renewable energy. With ongoing projects and strategic initiatives in place, Azerbaijan stands poised to harness its favorable geostrategic position and natural resources to drive sustainable development and address the challenges of climate change in the region and beyond.

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