Energy Efficiency as an Indicator of Sustainable Development Policy: The Azerbaijan Experience

  •  Urkhan Alakbarov    
  •  John E. S. Lawrence    


In face of mounting evidence for complex environmental threats to human development, countries have been seeking new paths to progress less damaging to the planet. The objective of this paper is to explore innovative ways for monitoring efficiency of sustainable development policy, not only in the Caucasus region, but beyond. We propose that this goal can beachieved through two steps: measuring energy use as a contributing element to gross domestic production (GDP) and the associated progression in equitable distribution of national wealth. The case is presented of Azerbaijan, a vibrant, resource-rich Caucasian country which has demonstrated spectacular GDP growth only a few years into independence from the former Soviet Union. Using a single indicator, energy consumption for GDP production, in association with the classic Gini coefficient of economic equity, the authors argue empirically for renewed and innovative measurement of progress towards achievement of crucial United Nations Sustainable Development Goals.

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