Sustainability implies predictability, stability, growth, designing the future. The ADSW Talks published a conversation with President Armen Sarkissian
In a series of interviews of the authoritative international forum "Abu Dhabi Stability Week" (ADSW), the ADSW Talks published a conversation with the President of the Republic Armen Sarkissian on the importance of sustainability, actions taken by Armenia on climate change, sustainable future and other issues.
Question: "Why is sustainability so important?"
- Sustainability implies predictability, stability, growth, and designing the future. Many people think that the world has changed because of COVID. I disagree with that opinion. The world has changed. That is why we have COVID. The world has changed, that is why we have populism. The world has changed, that is why we have politicians today who are associated with entertainment. The world has changed and so on… The world has changed, that is why there is a feeling of unpredictability and instability.
Question: What are some of the key actions that the Republic of Armenia is pursuing to address climate change?
- Armenia is already constructing the first solar power plant in cooperation with Masdar, and we hope to build a second one in the future with a total capacity of 400 MW. We are even thinking of another plant with a capacity of 500 MW, which is huge for a small country like Armenia.
Question: What are some of the solutions we can implement to tackle climate change?
- We all live on the same planet, and it does not matter what positive activities you expand in connection with climate change because if you plant even one tree, it releases oxygen for the whole planet. Thus, your negative or positive activity can have a global impact.
Therefore, I made a suggestion: we have developed mathematical and financial models in Armenia. We, Armenians, are good mathematicians and physicists. By the way, I am one of the few presidents who holds a PhD in Physics and Mathematics. We have developed how you can turn the negative into the positive; how you can, as a small country, turn your financial debt to a big country in favour of the climate. To put it simply, if I am a small country, I owe you, and you are a big country, you owe the international community your commitment to climate change. You need time to convert the carbon dioxide you released into something ecologically more friendly and cleaner. In this case, I offer my support. If I owe you $ 100 million and you are looking for it, how to fulfill your commitment to the international community on climate change, I suggest you plant trees in Armenia instead of paying the $ 100 million debt. I give you the equivalent of that $100 million in climate change, which you can represent as part of your international commitments. I do not need this activity because I do not emit CO2 into the atmosphere. Thus, we exchange. Instead of giving you money, I give you credit.
Question: How is Abu Dhabi Sustainability Week (ADSW) helping to enhance international collaboration around sustainability?
- It is significant that this week was an opportunity to look for ways and come up with ideas to make our planet more stable and predictable. That is why, if I am not mistaken, this is my second or third time attending this conference, making a small contribution, especially to help the younger generation build a better, more predictable, and sustainable world.
Question: What is your message for the younger generation when it comes to addressing climate change?
- Work hard, learn more, be young for the rest of your life. Being young means learning something new every day. You may be 90 years old, but if you learn something new every day with enthusiasm, you are young. You can be 20 years old, but if you are not interested in what is happening around you, and you are not ready to learn, then you are not young. Stay young forever. Learn something new every day and be free. Never take anything for granted, always question it and find your solution. Always remember that all solutions are through technology and science, but our main tool is the brain. How did it happen that more than 100 years ago, the scientists of genius managed to solve the problems of the behaviour of elementary particles? They were all confused. Newton's theory did not work for electrons and protons. How did they solve that problem? They changed their judgment, their logic, their approaches, and their vision. They considered the same issue from absolutely different aspects. Occasionally, you have to change your judgment, your principles of logic, in which case it is possible to achieve something. Be free, do not be afraid to face challenges and changes.
Question: When it comes to sustainability what is your wish for the future?
- My name is Armen Sarkissian, I have already gone through four stages of life. In the first stage I was a scientist, a professor of mathematics and physics. In the second, I was a diplomat, then a prime minister. In the third stage, I was a free person, doing business, running my academic centre. In the fourth stage of my life, I have been the President of Armenia temporarily for seven years. I am waiting to enter the fifth stage. At all stages of my life, I have been committed to making this planet better, cleaner, greener, and I will continue to do so in the later stages of my life. I wish good luck to everybody.