Azerbaijan building a green economy

Azerbaijan building a green economy

Baku, March 3, AZERTAC

The transition towards a green economy presents a formidable challenge, but as a companion circumstance, it offers a tremendous opportunity in terms of building sustainable, resilient, and prosperous economies of the future. However, the green transition is anchored amidst the multilayered dialectic relationship between stability and change, which requires rethinking certain notions embedded in the fabrics of the economic systems.

One challenge that comes to the forefront in the green transition context is the possibility of economic shrinkage due to divestment from the conventional sectors. For this reason, many fossil fuel-rich economies maintain the status quo in lieu of striving for alternative avenues. Given the necessity of balancing short-term economic interests with long-term sustainability goals, vision and courage to invest in infrastructure and technologies alleviates the burden of transition.

Despite the theoretical diatribe, state directionality can yield substantial long-term benefits considering the conduciveness of the public sector for the upfront investments and patient capital. Also, mobilising resources towards providing a level playing field for green businesses and creating marketable trajectories for green products could culminate in the multiplicator effect upon economic growth and job creation.

A unique exemplar in this sense is Azerbaijan, a pioneering country in post-soviet geography that adopted the environmentally sustainable National Program on SocioEconomic Development in 2003. The ensuing State programs, "Azerbaijan 2020: Look into the Future" adopted in 2012, the "National Strategy for the Development of the Information Society in the Republic of Azerbaijan for 2014-2020", encompassed explicit elements of the

transition to a green economy. The latest strategic roadmap, "Azerbaijan 2030: National Priorities for Socio-Economic Development," clearly reflects the green goals of Azerbaijan for the upcoming decade.

It is no coincidence that while the Azerbaijani economy is making rapid strides towards a model commensurate with the net-zero emission targets underpinned by solid legal frameworks, continuous public investments and visionary green initiatives, the non-oil sector depicted a steady growth. The investments in the development of green infrastructure, including renewable energy and hypermodern smart cities and smart villages in Karabakh,

which was declared the "green energy" zone by President Ilham Aliyev, demonstrate Azerbaijan's remarkable efforts to build a green ecosystem in the South Caucasus.

As the world continues to grapple with macro-scale cataclysms such as climate change, the Azerbaijani experience in green policymaking and reforms to achieve sustainable and diversified economic growth provides a unique practice for other countries as well. The strategic vision and strong political will of President Ilham Aliyev transform Azerbaijan to be one of the green economic centres of the world. This distinctive approach will not merely

solidify Azerbaijan's gain in terms of green transition but further contribute to the prosperity and sustainability of the globe.

Nijat Muradzada

Lecturer at Azerbaijan State University of Economics (UNEC)

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