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Azerbaijan gears up for COP29: A Comprehensive Overview

3 February 2024 09:00 (UTC+04:00)
Azerbaijan gears up for COP29: A Comprehensive Overview
Nigar Hasanova
Nigar Hasanova
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Azerbaijan confirmed its commitment to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35% by 2030, increasing this objective to 40% by 2050. The government of Azerbaijan prioritizes fulfilling the pledges made under the 2015 Paris Agreement and actively works toward this goal.

Since 1995, the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) has been convened every year. The event aims to examine global progress in combating climate change.

The 29th Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29) will take place in Azerbaijan in 2024. The decision was made during the plenary session of COP28 on December 11. Addressing the event, Azerbaijan's Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Mukhtar Babayev, thanked the Convention Secretariat and the United Arab Emirates for the exceptional organizing of COP28.

"The issues we face necessitate collective effort and adherence to broadly shared goals and ideals. Azerbaijan recognizes the critical importance of collaborative efforts to combat climate change," the minister stated.

Following that announcement, Azerbaijan hosted the first meeting of the Organizing Committee in conjunction with the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29), the 19th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol, and the 6th session of the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement.

Samir Nuriyev, Head of the Administration of the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and Chairman of the Organizing Committee, opened the meeting by stating that one of Azerbaijan's national priorities for social and economic development until 2030 is defined as a Country of Clean Environment and Green Growth, which is our country's base year. In comparison to 1990, he promised to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2030, declaring the economic zones of liberated Garabagh and East Zangezur, and designating the Nakhchivan Autonomous Republic a green energy zone. He further emphasized that Azerbaijan actively participates in international efforts to protect the environment and combat global climate change.

Since taking on the position of host, Azerbaijan has addressed numerous collaboration opportunities as well as preparation processes with several countries.

As an example, the Davos economic form also provided a venue for the Azerbaijani government to present its activities as COP29 host at the World Economic Forum in Davos, Switzerland.

"We reiterated our commitment to COP29's green agenda and global climate action," said Mikayil Jabbarov, Minister of Economy.

During that event, Azerbaijan and the UAE discussed cooperation under the framework of COP29. On the fringes of the Davos Economic Forum, the delegation met with Abdulla bin Touq Al Marri, the Minister of Economy of the United Arab Emirates and co-chairman of the Azerbaijan-UAE Joint Intergovernmental Commission.

"Those include preparations for the 9th session of the Azerbaijan-UAE Joint Intergovernmental Commission, enhancement of trade turnover and initiatives for developing business ties, collaboration within COP29, prospects for joint projects in the transition to sustainable energy sources," Mikayil Jabbarov, said.

In terms of private company corporations, the Azerbaijani delegation met with Eddy Pirard, President and CEO of Japan Tobacco International, and Ana Veljkovic, Director for International Affairs of Japan Tobacco International at the event. Their discussions centered on bilateral cooperation with the corporation. Furthermore, they addressed the future activities within the framework of COP29 that will be hosted by Azerbaijan, as well as the attraction of the private sector to the activity of COP29.

Minister also met with Sergio Mujica, Secretary-General of the International Organization for Standardization (IOS). Their conversations focused on the application of standards to give effective answers to global concerns, as well as actions to promote a high-quality ecological environment in our country. They discussed cooperation within the COP29, which will be hosted in Azerbaijan, as well as engagement with partner organizations to establish a robust program for the worldwide standards community.

Furthermore, Azerbaijani Minister of Energy Parviz Shahbazov and Deputy Foreign Minister of Germany, Special Envoy for International Climate Affairs Jennifer Morgan addressed activities related to the next COP29 in Baku, as well as discussion on the green energy transition.

The building of solar and wind power plants in Azerbaijan would increase the country's total electricity generation from renewable energy sources. This generation can be delivered to Europe via a unique energy corridor developed in conjunction with four countries, according to the information provided by the ministry. The parties discussed the energy sector's responsibility in reducing climate change and complying with international accords.

"We're eager to engage with the president and look forward to doing so. We are excited to collaborate with Azerbaijan on the 15th Petersberg Climate Dialogue, which will be hosted in Germany. We will do everything we can to make this meeting a success. We will do everything we can to ensure that this COP builds on the last one and maintains the momentum," said Jennifer Morgan.

Azerbaijan's effective collaboration with the EBRD highlights the country's commitment to expanding its relationship with the bank. Azerbaijan's cooperation initiatives with the EBRD help to expedite the adoption of advanced methods, contemporary technology, and innovations for the country's long-term growth.

Azerbaijan's Minister of Economy, Mikayil Jabbarov, met with Harry Boyd-Carpenter, Managing Director of Climate Strategy and Delivery at the European Bank for Reconstruction and Development (EBRD). The economy minister stated that Azerbaijan's hosting of the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP29) provides momentum for the expansion of cooperation with the EBRD in the field of global climate strategy.

Members of the EBRD delegation expressed an interest in maintaining their beneficial relationship with Azerbaijan. They also expressed the EBRD's support for green energy transition initiatives and expanded usage of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan. The meeting also covered the preparations for Azerbaijan's hosting of the COP29 Conference, as well as the establishment of dialogue with international organizations and the implementation of appropriate energy efficiency rules.

IPU Secretary General Martin Chungong visited Baku and emphasized that one critical aspect of the IPU-Azerbaijan collaboration is the battle against climate change.

"We have difficulties with climate change. This year, Azerbaijan has been chosen to host COP 29. It is a significant duty, and I applaud Azerbaijan for hosting that meeting. And, as with every major global process, the IPU wants to mobilize parliaments to support the efforts of governments and other stakeholders, particularly in the area of climate change. As we all know, climate warming is an existential threat to humanity, and everyone must work together to take action to minimize this unstoppable emergency. Another issue I've discussed with Azerbaijani authorities, and I'm pleased that we can count on the parliament's support here in Baku to organize a parliamentary summit during COP29 to mobilize parliaments' support for climate action in the context of the Paris Agreement," said the IPU secretary general.

Overall although there are several problems in getting the conference to Baku. Azerbaijan's preparation for COP29 demonstrates a comprehensive approach that includes national pledges, international cooperation, engagement with the corporate sector, and active participation in global forums. As the country prepares to host this important event, it prioritizes environmental sustainability and battling climate change. However, with correct connections and cooperation Azerbaijan can successfully host COP 29 and this will be an important milestone in showing Azerbaijan’s commitment to green energy and the UN 2030 agenda.

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Nigar Hasanova is AzerNews’ staff journalist, follow her on Twitter: @SNova_000

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