The two sides will also look to collaborate in exploring Azerbaijan's offshore wind and green hydrogen potential.

By Joseph Murphy

A memorandum of understanding (MoU) that the European Commission reached with Azerbaijan on more than doubling natural gas supplies from Caspian country over the coming years includes a commitment to reduce methane emissions throughout the entire gas supply chain, the commission said on July 18.

The EU is striving to eliminate Russian gas imports following Moscow's invasion of Ukraine, and as part of this effort, has reached out to Baku to tap extra supplies over the coming years. Under the MoU, signed following talks between Azeri president Ilham Aliyev and European president Ursula von der Leyen, the EU will look to double gas imports from Azerbaijan from 8bn m3 currently to 20bn m3. This will require an expansion of the Southern Gas Corridor pipeline network that flows Azeri gas to south Europe.

In a statement, von der Leyen urged Azerbaijan to join the Global Methane Pledge, launched at COP26 and now supported by 119 countries. Under the pledge, participants have committed to reduce methane emissions by at least 30% by 2030 versus the 2020 level.

The MoU also covers collaboration in the fields of offshore wind energy and green hydrogen, with von der Leyen noting that Azerbaijan had "tremendous potential" in these areas.