5 December, 2018 – As world leaders and climate change experts meet this week in the Polish city of Katowice at the 24th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP24), in Azerbaijan UNDP and the country’s top oil producer SOCAR are strengthening the national knowledge base to implement energy efficiency measures in response to the biggest threat to our planet –the greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions.
In line with its commitment to support acceleration towards the achievement of the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs), in particular those related to climate action, affordable and clean energy, sustainable cities and communities, UNDP, in collaboration with SOCAR, is organising a two-day hands-on workshop on energy efficiency and renewable energy industry. The workshop that kicks off today at Hilton Baku offers a platform to raise awareness and share knowledge on effective policies and programmes to enhance the understanding of energy efficiency. The workshop will also examine the potential for renewable energy in various energy end-use sectors in Azerbaijan drawing upon international best practices from Europe and the CIS region.
The event is organised as part of UNDP’s ongoing partnership framework with the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan SOCAR, which came into effect in 2015 to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and energy intensity of SOCAR’s major facilities. This support is delivered through the project ‘Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions’ (NAMA), funded by the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and implemented by UNDP. The project helps SOCAR in the implementation of its Climate Change Mitigation Strategy by promoting and upscaling GHG mitigation measures across three key dimensions: in construction design, transport and associated gas capturing. Over the last three years, the NAMA project has gathered significant knowledge and good practices, which can largely benefit Azerbaijan’s commitment to achieving GHG emissions.
During these years, the total area of 10,000 square meters in SOCAR administrative and service buildings has been appointed with energy-saving equipment and environmentally friendly appliances, such as energy-efficient windows, floor heating, energy-efficient ventilation and heat insulation systems, to name a few. The most recent energy audit of these buildings has revealed the reduction of CO2 emissions by 200 tons/year and the reduction of energy consumption by 35 per cent. Each year, these buildings will benefit approximately 2,500 people. In addition to green building design, safe and energy-efficient driving technologies were introduced in Baku, including eco-driving simulators and hybrid cars, which help transform energy from fuel combustion into electric energy. Coupled with a series of specialised training for approximately 1,200 drivers, these sustainable transport performance measures are estimated to result in the 10 to 15 percent reduction in carbon dioxide emission from vehicles. First applied at SOCAR’s main transport fleet, the initiative aims to establish a precedent for the private sector to further replicate and incorporate environmentally conscious driving options in their own transport systems. As part of the community assistance component within the carbon dioxide emission action plan in Azerbaijan, nearly 600 families across 12 villages of Siyazan (north of Baku), with a total of 2,500 residents living in these households, will now have access to clean cooking fuels, which were not available to them before.
Speaking at the opening of the workshop today, UNDP Resident Representative a. i. Alessandro Fracassetti said that climate action makes social and economic sense and is the main precondition for the success of the new Global Agenda 2030 for Sustainable Development. He noted that the climate change is no longer business as usual and that if countries around the globe join forces to fight climate change, this ambitious plan “could yield 65 million new jobs and a direct economic gain of $26 trillion US dollars compared to business as usual over the next 12 years”.
Arzu Jafarli, Communications and External Relations Analyst for UNDP in Azerbaijan – firstname.lastname@example.org