With a population of around 10 million people (2020), Azerbaijan’s contributes only 0.09% of total global GHG emissions, with 3.5 t CO2e per capita (2018). Energy and agriculture are two sectors with the largest GHG emission shares, respectively 75 and 14 per cent. Azerbaijan submitted an ambitious commitment in its First Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) committing to a quantitative target of 35% reduction in the level of greenhouse gas emissions compared to 1990 by 2030.
The physical and geographical characteristics of Azerbaijan make it a highly sensitive country to the adverse effects of climate change. Extreme weather events, such as flooding, drought and heat stress are expected to increase in frequency. A growing water deficit, air pollution and land degradation place a high vulnerability in different sectors: agriculture, human health, water resources, forestry, tourism, coastal zone. The most vulnerable areas identified by the government are water, agriculture and coastal areas.
The Azerbaijan 2020 strategy highlights the possible impacts of climate change on the country’s society and economy, and the importance of preparing necessary policy measures. It also states that the amounts of energy and CO2 used to produce one unit of GDP will need to be in line with the OECD indicators. There is also the Strategy of Development of Renewable and Alternative Energy Sources in 2012-2020, and a strategy for renewable energy for 2015-2030. Whilst no policy or legal document has been put in place specifically for adaptation, the First NDC stated that Azerbaijan considers developing relevant adaptation measures for decreasing or minimising potential losses caused by climate change at national, local and community levels by sector. The National Designated Authority in the Climate Change Area is the Ministry of Ecology and Natural Resources.