(MENAFN- Trend News Agency)
BAKU, Azerbaijan, February 7. Baku has once
again hosted a key event that became a highlight in the energy
industry. With a combination of the Advisory councils' meetings,
Azerbaijan served as a gateway for European and some neighboring
states to the energy potential of the Caspian Sea. So far
Azerbaijan managed to put together two elements of the puzzle of
hydrocarbon supplies from the Caspian Sea basin to the western
states: provide a reliable partner for its European customers in
the Caspian Sea region, and establish mutually beneficial relations
For the puzzle to be complete it is vital that Central Asian oil
and gas exporting states join the initiative. Baku is already
offering a solid framework and a solution for Kazakhstan and
Turkmenistan by being a platform to extend political and economic
interests of Astana and Ashgabat to new partners and areas in a
totally different format.
The Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council 9th Ministerial
Meeting and Green Energy Advisory Council 1st Ministerial Meeting,
which took place in Baku, was a major event, which illustrated the
evolving views of the global community on the energy potential of
the Caspian Sea region.
Geopolitical transformations, which have taken place in the last
year, reinforced the importance of cooperation as a global
paradigm, which has a considerably larger creative potential
compared to non-cooperative Machiavellian approaches.
Analysts and journalists covering the event, however, looked
past the omission that could have created additional value added
for all sides involved. The absence of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan
at the events held in Baku, was regrettable.
In addition, the green energy possibilities discussed in Baku
provided an excellent opportunity to change the image of the
Central Asian energy exporters and explore the new trends in energy
policy, as well as security.
It is somewhat puzzling not to see representatives of Kazakhstan
and Turkmenistan at such a major event. The benefits that
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan could have enjoyed are necessary to be
A promising avenue for Central Asian
Central Asian states have a large untapped potential that they
can realize. Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan will find joining this
framework very productive due to several reasons.
The first rationale is economic. Since the end of the Second
World War, liberalism and cooperation became the dominating
paradigm in the minds of decision-makers. The global population
managed to generate significant wealth and benefits by engaging in
global trade. The Southern Gas Corridor Advisory Council 9th
Ministerial Meeting encapsulates the model of global cooperation
perfectly. Even countries with a somewhat contradicting outlook on
global and regional affairs, like Türkiye and Greece, find a way to
cooperate to produce benefits for their respective populations and
From this perspective, this is not even an issue for Kazakhstan
and Turkmenistan, as they enjoy much warmer relations with their
neighbors and other states located in proximity to them. Simply
expressing a desire to participate in the program would have been
sufficient, considering that both Astana and Ashgabat have a lot to
bring to the table. The two countries could have introduced their
products to a new market, creating benefits for each county in the
The second motive is financial. Both Central Asian nations will
have an excellent opportunity to attract investments to various
sectors of the economy, including transport, energy, and capacity
building of the local staff.
The third one is a combination of economic and political
considerations. Companies like BP, Masdar, WindEurope, SolarPower
Europe, and others participated in Southern Gas Corridor Advisory
Council's 9th Ministerial Meeting and the Green Energy Advisory
Council's 1st Ministerial Meeting have transitioned from being just
energy companies. They become extensions of foreign affairs and
economic ministries of their states. And the event held in Baku was
an excellent opportunity to foster relations with businesses and,
indirectly, with the governments they represent.
The fourth element is strictly geopolitical. Engaging with
foreign partners and investors will result in an elevated level of
political security for Central Asian states. As mentioned earlier,
modern energy companies operate as an extension of diplomatic and
economic representations in host countries. Engaging in economic
and investment ventures with these companies gives them a higher
level of confidence and propensity to protect their
Finally, it is necessary to say that participation in these
programs will aid the legislative transformation of the Central
Asian energy giants. Major cooperation between several diverse
countries makes it essential to have their legislative foundation
to be complimentary.
Green energy is the future
It is, perhaps, too naive to believe that green energy is
already playing a major part in global energy security. However, it
would be even more naive to think that this is a temporary trend,
which will fade away into oblivion in a few years. The reality of
the question is that the energy“revolution” has already been
triggered, and any oil and gas exporting state that neglects this
element will be left behind.
The general view that green energy is a new direction of the
global energy policy is a relatively one-sided argument. Green
energy must be seen in a broader context of climate change and
natural resources security, which will be an existential issue that
most industrialized nations will face in the next decades.
Generally speaking, people are very poor at estimating long-term
risks. Sometimes they underestimate the risks, sometimes flat-out
rejecting the possibility of the scourge happening. However,
climate change is a problem that can dramatically reduce the
economic and political capabilities of any state. This is
especially familiar to Kazakhstan, which witnessed the drying-up of
the Aral Sea, a once fourth-largest lake.
From this perspective, Central Asian countries could have
benefited dramatically from joining the events held in the capital
True, Kazakhstan already initiated certain projects and
gradually executes the doctrine to achieve carbon neutrality by
2060. Particularly noteworthy developments in this respect include
recent agreements signed during the visit of President
Kassym-Jomart Tokayev to the United Arab Emirates.
There is little doubt that we shall be able to observe the first
results of the policy shift in the not-so-distant future. However,
the Green Energy Advisory Council 1st Ministerial Meeting could
have become the catalyst, which would magnify the efficiency of
Kazakhstan's approach to restructuring energy policy and learn from
the best practices of foreign partners.
This is an important opportunity for Astana and Ashgabat that
they should consider joining. The earlier the decision on joining
is made, the easier it would be for Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan to
make the transition.
Not too late yet
It is too early to label the lack of Kazakh and Turkmen
representation as a squandered potential. It is true that should
Astana and Ashgabat participate, things could have been more
interesting for all parties involved, including Kazakhstan and
Certainly, Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan have enormous energy
reserves, which can boost the energy security of European
countries. In the context of the increasing interest of western
states in the Caspian Sea countries, the Advisory Council meetings'
role in promoting Central Asian states would have had a major
positive impact on the image of Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan.
The events held in Baku, have a clear potential to generate
advantages in several separate fields, including economic,
political, security, and policy development areas. Participation of
Kazakhstan and Turkmenistan will supplement their efforts and
positively impact their relevance, value, and their long-term