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The road to the “Green university” starts at COP29

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As it is known, 2024 was declared the “Year of Solidarity for the Green World” in our country by the relevant decree of the President of the country Ilham Aliyev. It is noted in the decree that one of the five national priorities for socio-economic development of Azerbaijan until 2030 is defined as “Country of clean environment and green growth”. In accordance with that priority, work is being done to improve the environment, restore and increase greenery, and ensure efficient use of water resources and sustainable energy sources. In addition, creation of green energy types and transportation of green energy to world markets is the priority of Azerbaijan’s energy policy. Immeasurable works – “smart city”, “smart village” and alternative energy projects are being implemented in the Karabakh and East Zangezur economic regions, which have been liberated from the occupation. Undoubtedly, the declaration of 2024 in Azerbaijan as the “Year of Solidarity for the Green World” will give further impetus to our country’s work in this direction.

The “Year of Solidarity for the Green World” can be accompanied by a wide range of activities for higher education institutions and their teaching and student staff members. First of all, within the framework of the “Green University” project, environmental sanitation, purposeful use of energy, waste minimization and regular transportation from campuses should be ensured in higher education institutions.

In most universities of the world, the concept of “Green university campus” (green campus) is widespread, which includes the introduction and improvement of environmental practices in the university, raising the level of eco-culture of students and employees.

A “green university” is a university whose activities are focused on environmental protection: it reduces carbon dioxide emissions, collects waste separately, saves water and electricity, and develops ecological infrastructure. For these purposes, positive eco-actions and eco-festivals are conducted, a separate garbage collection system is organized, energy efficiency is increased, the territory is beautified, and educational work is carried out. These measures apply environmental principles in the university’s field of activity; raising the general level of environmental culture and sense of responsibility among students and employees; inclusion of the higher school in the international environmental ratings, formation of a new “green” image of the university; serves the international recognition of the higher education institution by organizing environmental actions.

In this regard, within the framework of the “Year of Solidarity for the Green World”, it is possible to promote scientific research in these fields, along with raising the level of environmental education of students and improving ecological culture.

At the same time, these events are aimed at the formation of students’ ecological outlook, moral attitude towards nature, cognitive competence through the study of natural resources, preparation of new forms of learning and research skills, involvement of schoolchildren in the ecological movement, ecologically oriented activities, various forms and methods of knowledge search, practical skills, can stimulate them to acquire organizational skills.

GreenMetric World University Ranking, one of the world’s leading rating companies, takes into account the efforts of higher education institutions in building a “green university”. The development of the “green university” concept in our universities within the framework of the “Year of Solidarity for the Green World” and their successful results can have a positive effect on the aforementioned ranking position of our higher education institutions.

It should be noted that the purpose of the “GreenMetric” rating is to present a real picture of the current application of “green” technologies and environmental policy in higher education institutions around the world. The authors believe that by attracting the attention of university leaders with this rating, it is possible to increase the responsible attitude towards the environment by students all over the world. Greater attention to global climate change, energy and water conservation, waste recycling and green transportation issues are among the main goals of the rating. The organizers of the rating are trying to attract the attention of the academic community to the necessity of conducting a policy of sustainable development of the environment in order to solve some environmental problems.

  The higher the position in the rating, the more concerned students, administration, professors and teachers are about the sustainable development and environmental condition of the planet. This means that the university is aware of its responsibility to the next generation to protect the environment, and is ready to support the sustainable development of the region and the country not only through scientific research and student initiatives, but also as a personal example.

The goal is to renew environmental education

The modern complex ecological situation in the world, the growing scale of anthropogenic effects on the environment have made it inevitable to solve a number of serious problems facing humanity. The ecological crisis is connected not only with the achievements of scientific and technological progress, but also with the loss of a number of values in relation to nature. In this regard, the field of education is undergoing radical changes. The formation of ecological culture, renewal of ecological education today puts the formation of a modern citizen loyal to ecological values as a serious task in front of the educational system.

As is known, the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP29 will be held in our country this year. Holding such a prestigious event in Azerbaijan is considered by the international community as a clear example of great trust in Azerbaijan, as well as appreciation of our country’s contribution to environmental protection and climate change prevention at the national, regional and global levels. Undoubtedly, hosting COP29 demonstrates Azerbaijan’s determination to contribute to global efforts to tackle climate change.

In this regard, the organization of a number of environmental events in the education field of our country would be an invaluable contribution to the “Year of Solidarity for the Green World” where such a prestigious event was held.

Tahirova Aisha Fuad
Specialty: History 23.1 group student

Scientific supervisor Guler Ajdarzade