By Narmina Mammadova
Preservation of the nature and biological diversity is one of the basic priorities of the state policy in Azerbaijan, while large-scale state programs directed to the improvement of the ecological situation have been implemented during the past decade.
A seminar on application of the national action plan for Azerbaijan was held in Baku on December 5.
The Azerbaijani state company SOCAR is doing everything possible to bring carbon dioxide emissions to a minimum, SOCAR Vice President for Ecology, Rafiga Huseynova, said during this seminar, Trend reported.
“The main source of carbon dioxide is the energy sector, and we are doing everything possible to bring these emissions to a minimum,” the vice-president said, adding that various laws were passed in this direction, and corresponding decrees and orders were signed.
In particular, according to the vice-president, the most important of them can be considered the laws "On environmental safety" and "On environmental protection".
“Azerbaijan has taken important steps in this direction in a very short time and is participating in many global projects. SOCAR follows the principle of "zero waste",” said Huseynova.
Further, the vice-president noted that in recent years, SOCAR has been involved in large-scale projects. So, since 2012, SOCAR has been implementing a joint project with the World Bank, in which the associated gas is collected from Oil Rocks.
"Every day about 1 million cubic meters of associated gas is collected and provided to the population," said Huseynova, stressing that this is a significant achievement.
As part of another project jointly with the World Bank, in which BP also participates, 1 million cubic meters of associated gas is also being collected at the Azeri-Chirag-Guneshli field.
In turn, Azerbaijani Deputy Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Novruz Guliyev, noted that, despite the fact that Azerbaijan is a developing country, it has the potential to put all plans and projects [to reduce harmful emissions] to life.
The Deputy Minister noted the importance of the Paris Climate Agreement, of which Azerbaijan is a party [the country signed it in 2016 ], adding that by implementing the measures considered in this agreement, it will be possible to reduce carbon dioxide emissions into the atmosphere and thereby ensure the health of future generations.
By 2030, the Azerbaijani state oil company SOCAR will reduce CO2 emissions by 35 percent, Trend reports citing UNDP Deputy Resident Representative Alessandro Fracassetti.
This is envisaged in the ‘Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions’ (NAMA) project, he said at a workshop in Baku.
The project has three key dimensions: in construction design, transport, and associated gas capturing, he added.
Fracassetti stressed that the most ambitious goal is the third goal - the collection of associated gas.
During last year's research, it was revealed that associated gas is greatly emitted into the air from Siyazan oil fields, he added.
Therefore, this project is important, because this associated gas can be collected and supplied to residents, he said.
Fracassetti stressed that he appreciates the participation of SOCAR in the project.
Speaking about the global environmental situation, he stressed that if nothing is done, then by 2030, as a result of global warming, the average temperature in the world will increase by 1.5 degrees.
This ambitious plan could yield 65 million new jobs and a direct economic gain of $26 trillion compared to business as usual over the next 12 years, he said.
SOCAR reduced carbon dioxide emissions within its projects to 5.891 million tons in 2017. Since 2010, emissions have been reduced by 45 percent.
When flaring associated gas, large volumes of carbon dioxide are emitted into the atmosphere. According to expert estimates, 140 billion cubic meters of associated gas are burned annually at oil fields all over the world, resulting in more than 300 million tons of carbon dioxide, which is equivalent to exhaust emissions from about 77 million cars.
According to the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources, Azerbaijan's emissions total 51 million tons per year, which is about 30 percent lower than in 1990. Azerbaijan hopes to reduce this figure by another 35 percent by 2030 as a contribution to global efforts against climate change.
Follow us on Twitter @AzerNewsAz