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Azerbaijan releases 0.1 pct of world's greenhouse gases

22 November 2012 17:19 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan releases 0.1 pct of world's greenhouse gases

By Nigar Orujova

The Azerbaijani capital Baku on Wednesday hosted a conference focusing on numerous issues of worldwide importance, including greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. The "Energy Efficiency: Economic and Institutional Aspects and Perspectives" conference was organized by the Center for Strategic Studies under the President of Azerbaijan and the International Center for Black Sea Studies.

A greenhouse gas is a gas released into the Earth's atmosphere that absorbs and emits radiation within the thermal infrared range. This process is the fundamental cause of the greenhouse effect, which results in an elevation of the average surface temperature above what it would be in the absence of the gases.

The primary greenhouse gases in the atmosphere are water vapour, carbon dioxide (CO2), methane, nitrous oxide, and ozone.

Greenhouse gas emissions amount to 52.5 million tons of CO2 in Azerbaijan, Gulmali Suleymanov, head of the Climate Change and Ozone Center at the Ecology and Natural Resources Ministry, said at the conference.

"This is 0.1 percent of the worldwide greenhouse gas emission volume," Suleymanov noted.

According to him, Azerbaijan's GDP has increased six to seven times in the last ten years, however, greenhouse gas emissions remain at the level of 45-50 million tons of CO2 a year.

Suleymanov added that fuel saving is an integral part of energy efficiency. It also means additional revenues and reduction of gas emissions, which improves the living standards and health of the population.

Reducing greenhouse gas emissions is the goal of not only environmentalists, but also of every government in the world.

About 192 countries have adopted the Kyoto Protocol that set binding obligations on the industrialized countries to reduce their emissions of greenhouse gases. Azerbaijan ratified the document in September 2000.

Global carbon-dioxide emissions from fossil-fuel combustion reached a record high of 31.6 gigatonnes in 2011, according to preliminary estimates from the International Energy Agency (IEA).

China emits more CO2 than the U.S. and Canada put together - up by 171 percent since 2000. India is now the world's third biggest emitter of CO2, pushing Russia into fourth place, but per capita emissions numbers show that some of the world's smallest countries emit the most per person.

Thus, according to the IEA data, China emits under six tons per person, India emits only 1.38 tons, while the U.S. is still number one in terms of per capita emissions among the big economies, with 18 tons emitted per person.

Azerbaijani emissions per capita make up 4.9 tons of CO2, which puts the country in the 72nd position among the 216 countries studied by the IEA.

However, the figures on carbon dioxide emissions do not show the total for the release of all greenhouse gases.

According to the State Statistics Committee, air pollutant emissions from stationary and mobile sources in Azerbaijan made up 1,003,100 tons in 2011.

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