Dear MR. Rovshan Fatullayev [Deputy Vice-President of SOCAR on Ecology]
Distinguished guests, ladies and gentlemen
At UNDP, we see climate change as the defining threat facing the planet today.
And despite the strong global consensus reached in Paris in 2015, the world is still struggling to master this threat.
Global warming is unleashing extreme weather events on every region of the planet with terrifying frequency.
People are often forced to leave their homes and even their countries. Poor women and children are especially vulnerable.
UNDP -- as a part of the UN family-- has been working tirelessly to rally the world to take action before it is too late.
In September 2019, we have launched our Climate Promise at the UN Climate Action Summit, which is the world’s largest offer of support for the enhancement of countries’ climate pledges.
And as part of UNDP’s organizational approach to COVID-19, the Climate Promise works to strengthen countries’ abilities to prepare, respond and recover greener and better.
We are helping countries to immediately adapt and adjust the design of Nationally Determined Contributions and supporting governments to connect NDCs and the Paris Agreement to longer-term recovery efforts.
Integrating climate action and principles of just transition and green economy into prevention planning, response plans and stimulus packages, as well as national and sub-national policies and investments, can lay the foundation for a low-emission and resilient society.
The latest report titled ‘The Heat Is On’ released in 2019, has called for ambitious plans, accelerated action, and mobilized societies. Each are crucial to ratcheting up the response to the climate crisis.
According to the Report, with countries’ existing climate plans, greenhouse gas emissions will rise by 10.7 per cent above 2016 levels by 2030. So we must do more.
This is not just about Governments, businesses, investors and civil society. The action of every person will count to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.
The report also calls for 1) Better data and evidence; 2) Stronger links between climate action and the Sustainable Development Goals; and, 3) Robust plans to monitor and report on progress.
And this is an effort that UNDP supports globally and has supported here in Azerbaijan for the past twenty years, working with national partners to adopt prudent climate change adaptation and mitigation policies, promote energy efficiency and reduce CO2 emissions.
For example, our joint project with our long-term partners here – SOCAR and the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources --has already made a remarkable difference.
Energy efficiency measures introduced in a construction sector pilot project led to SOCAR’s energy savings by 35% and by the eco-driving trainings we’ve helped organized led to SOCAR’s saving 8-10% energy in transport.
Thanks to innovative gas capturing measures in Siyazan, the natural gas that was previously released into the atmosphere will now ensure that this winter 600 families in 12 villages have better access to heating. Together, we have managed to reduce 20% of all emissions of methane on on-shore oil wells.
Under an EU funded project, UNDP is currently working together with the Government of Azerbaijan to establish an important and reliable system for monitoring, reporting and verification of GHGs.
And we are also supporting the preparation of the 4th National Communication, a key document that will spell out the next steps to be taken in all key sectors of the economy and society- at national and local level – to prepare for, adapt to and mitigate the effects of climate change.
To conclude: UNDP remains very much committed to continue providing full support the Government of Azerbaijan in meeting its Paris Agreement obligations to reduce GHG emissions by 35% by 2030.
In order to achieve this, it is important that we all also work together on energy efficiency, renewable energies and technological innovations – which in turn could pave the way to hundreds and hopefully even more new green jobs, economic diversification and financial assistance.
As a first step in this direction the Government of Azerbaijan may join “Climate Promise” initiative pioneered by the UNDP Administrator Mr. Achim Steiner
At the end, I would like to use this opportunity to thank the Government of Azerbaijan and SOCAR for their excellent partnership and cooperation.
I would also like to thank the project team for organizing this important webinar in such challenging times, because it not only offers an opportunity to take stock of the country’s positions, but also to get the latest updates on experiences and practices in energy-efficient cutting-edge technologies that could be applied in Azerbaijan.
We very much look forward to a fruitful discussion and wish you continued webinars on these topics.
Thank you. Chox sag olun!