Gov’t fo­cuses on ‘Green econ­omy’

Azer News - - Nation - By Amina Nazarli

Ahigh eco­nomic de­vel­op­ment is not just about al­le­vi­at­ing poverty, but also about en­sur­ing sus­tain­able growth and eco­nomic op­por­tu­ni­ties for all. As many economies strug­gle to re­cover, some have fo­cused their ef­forts on achiev­ing a ‘Green Econ­omy’, an econ­omy that re­sults in im­proved hu­man well-be­ing and so­cial eq­uity, while sig­nif­i­cantly re­duc­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal risks and eco­log­i­cal scarci­ties.

The term ‘Green Econ­omy’ was first coined in a pi­o­neer­ing 1989 re­port for the Gov­ern­ment of the United King­dom by a group of lead­ing en­vi­ron­men­tal econ­o­mists, en­ti­tled Blue­print for a Green Econ­omy.

There is no in­ter­na­tion­ally agreed def­i­ni­tion of ‘Green Econ­omy’ and at least eight sep­a­rate def­i­ni­tions were iden­ti­fied in re­cent pub­li­ca­tions.

Ex­perts of in­ter­na­tional or­ga­ni­za­tions, in­clud­ing the UN be­lieve that the ‘Green Econ­omy’ can help to en­sure a more sus­tain­able growth of the global econ­omy, re­duce poverty and un­em­ploy­ment.

For Azer­bai­jan, along with the above fac­tors, it is also an op­por­tu­nity to pro­vide a faster tran­si­tion to an in­de­pen­dent from en­ergy re­sources model of the econ­omy.

The gov­ern­ment of Azer­bai­jan is now look­ing to im­ple­ment a pol­icy that will bring about the coun­try’s tran­si­tion to a low-car­bon, re­source ef­fi­cient and so­cially in­clu­sive econ­omy.

Two Strate­gic Road Maps of Azer­bai­jan ap­proved in late 2016 on the pro­duc­tion and pro­cess­ing of agri­cul­tural prod­ucts and on the pro­duc­tion of con­sumer goods at the level of small and medium en­ter­prises - also re­flect the is­sue of a grad­ual tran­si­tion to a ‘Green Econ­omy’.

So, in 2018, Azer­bai­jan will study the pos­si­bil­ity of in­tro­duc­ing the prin­ci­ples of the "Green Econ­omy" in agri­cul­ture, and after 2025 will be­gin de­vel­op­ing a le­gal frame­work for the tran­si­tion of small and medium-sized busi­nesses to the "green eco­nomic model."

Now Azer­bai­jan is in­creas­ingly propos­ing to in­tro­duce a "green tax" on the uti­liza­tion of old house­hold ap­pli­ances and elec­tron­ics, as well as toughen penal­ties for en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion.

Deputy Min­is­ter of Ecol­ogy and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Novruz Guliyev ear­lier pointed to ex­is­tence of a prob­lem with pay­ment of fees for da­m­age to the en­vi­ron­ment. He said that such con­tri­bu­tions were ac­tively paid in Azer­bai­jan in 1990s, but now, com­pared to that pe­riod, very lit­tle money is com­ing into the bud­get. Given that the coun­try's econ­omy is based on the petro­chem­i­cal in­dus­try, re­duc­ing the level of en­vi­ron­men­tal pol­lu­tion is quite an ur­gent is­sue.

Within the frame­work of the new eco­nomic pol­icy of Azer­bai­jan, it is of­ten said about the pos­si­bil­ity to con­nect to ex­ist­ing pro­duc­tion chains, which will be more ben­e­fi­cial than the for­ma­tion from scratch of the full pro­duc­tion process of a par­tic­u­lar prod­uct. This is be­cause the con­nec­tion to ex­ist­ing pro­duc­tion chains, first, can help to save on the mar­ket­ing of goods and bring­ing of goods to world mar­kets. The ac­tive promotion of the ‘Made In Azer­bai­jan’ brand be­gan rel­a­tively re­cently, and if lo­cal prod­ucts, for ex­am­ple in the agri­cul­tural sphere, have al­ready proven them­selves, then in case of cre­at­ing high-tech prod­ucts, Azer­bai­jan will ac­tu­ally have to pro­mote its prod­ucts from scratch, con­vinc­ing the mar­kets of its ad­van­tages.

Se­condly, the con­nec­tion to the ex­ist­ing pro­duc­tion process is much cheaper, re­quires less fi­nan­cial costs, and thirdly, it is not so de­mand­ing in terms of highly skilled la­bor and the avail­abil­ity of a high­tech in­dus­try.

By con­nect­ing to ex­ist­ing pro­duc­tion chains, Azer­bai­jan can fo­cus on "clean tech­nolo­gies", which will not only cre­ate ad­di­tional jobs, but will also open new mar­kets for the coun­try, where such tech­nol­ogy is in de­mand.

Azer­bai­jan is al­ready mak­ing ef­forts to re­duce the neg­a­tive im­pact on the en­vi­ron­ment and de­velop "green tech­nolo­gies", in­clud­ing al­ter­na­tive en­ergy sources and re­lated tech­nolo­gies. Min­is­ter of Ecol­ogy and Nat­u­ral Re­sources Huseyn­gulu Ba­girov said that the repub­lic plans to re­duce green­house gas emis­sions to the at­mos­phere by 35 per­cent and to re­ceive 30 per­cent of en­ergy from re­new­able sources un­til 2030.

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