As prepared for delivery,
Dear Mr. Rovnag Abdullayev, President of the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic
Dear Mr. Ghulam Isaczai, UN Resident Coordinator/UNDP Resident Representative in Azerbaijan
Dear Mrs. Rafiga Huseynzade, Vice-President of SOCAR on Ecology
Dear Distinguished Guests, State Agency and International Organization representatives
Dear Experts, Media and Civil Society Representatives,
I am delighted and honoured to address you today on behalf of the United Nations Development Programme in Azerbaijan, at this very important event tackling one of the most urgent challenges facing humanity.
First of all, I would like to thank the State Oil Company of Azerbaijan Republic, our very valuable partner, for hosting this event and being its co-organiser.
As the main cause of Climate Change, Greenhouse Gas emissions is under attention of all major international organisations, UN and UNDP, and all responsible politicians and experts. The Paris Climate Change Agreement of 2015 set out the necessary targets to prevent humanity from passing the no-return point, after which the process of negative climate changes will become irreversible.
The UN Sustainable Development Goal #13 on Climate Change speaks directly about the necessity of reducing greenhouse emissions. Several other UN Sustainable Goals, including those on biodiversity and land protection also refer to Climate Change as an important factor affecting them.
Following the adoption of the 2030 Agenda, the United Nations Development programme, like many other UN and international actors, is exploring how it can assist countries in achieving the SDGs and incorporating greenhouse gas reduction measures in their national strategies and policies.
Today’s Conference provides a unique opportunity to take stock of what has been achieved, identify challenges to be addressed, and share ideas, experiences and best practices.
UNDP partnered with SOCAR in the implementation of a project dedicated to reducing the Greenhouse Gas emissions back in 2015 with the launch of the Nationally Appropriate Mitigation Actions project. This choice was not accidental. In spite of being a relatively small emitter of greenhouse gases, less than half a percent, Azerbaijan and its State Oil Company demonstrate a strong political will and commitment to Climate Change mitigation.
Azerbaijan has ratified the Convention on Climate Change in 1995 and signed the Paris Agreement in 2015. It has set itself an ambitious target to reduce 35% of greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared to the 1990 baseline. In turn, in 2015 SOCAR has joined other leading oil companies in signing the “Zero Routine Flaring by 2030” initiative pioneered by Ban Ki-Moon.
Hard joint work by SOCAR and UNDP under NAMA project has already produced very good results in energy efficiency construction and transportation sectors.
Five buildings of SOCAR were remodeled for energy efficiently through the GEF funding, which has shown 46% energy savings and 130 tons of CO2 emissions reduction per year. In addition to the environmental benefits, there are social benefits as well. At least 550 SOCAR workers will benefit directly from the five energy efficiently retrofitted administrative and service buildings at SOCAR facilities in Sumgayit, Gala and Garadag settlements, which will use approximately 20% less energy.
Pilot eco-driving techniques introduced to SOCAR drivers had demonstrated 8-14% reduction in fuel consumption, with practically no investment costs. If we take into account that SOCAR has more than three thousand different types of vehicles, the energy savings and respective greenhouse gas emission reductions are also very big. The Eco-driving simulator installed at SOCAR’s transportation department just recently will allow not only save fuel, but also enhance skills of SOCAR’s drivers in safety.
We expect that even higher results in energy efficiency and greenhouse gas emission reduction will be achieved under the associated gas capturing component. Finally, a very good measurement, reporting and verification, so-called MRV system will be created, allowing for very accurate monitoring of actions. Along with SOCAR, the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources of Azerbaijan is our valuable partner under this component.
Dear Ladies and Gentlemen, let me emphasise that measures undertaken by SOCAR jointly with UNDP are just pilot activities funded by the Global Environment Facility and UNDP. There is a need to replicate those results at a much bigger scale both within SOCAR and in the scale of the entire country.
Very recent feasibility study conducted by the UNDP with the help of international experts have shown that Azerbaijan, and first of all Baku, has enormous energy saving potential in public buildings, in administrative buildings, schools, clinics, universities, kindergartens and sport facilities. We expect that the very valuable experience accumulated by SOCAR and shared with others through events like today’s conference will help replicate those measures at a much bigger scale. There are already still small, but very positive examples, like a purchase of electric cars by SOCAR. We expect that the activities in this direction will continue and grow.
Dear ladies and gentlemen, let me once again thank all involved in the implementation of the NAMA project and wish you all a very fruitful discussion.