The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the UN Climate Change Framework is a pivotal event in the global fight against climate change. Every year, representatives from around the world convene to discuss and formulate strategies to mitigate climate change, evaluate past efforts, and set future goals. The upcoming COP29, to be hosted by Azerbaijan in its capital city Baku from November 11 to 24, 2024, is set to be a landmark event, expected to draw between 80,000 and 100,000 representatives from 190 countries. 

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Due to its historical context and importance, COP conferences have played an important role in shaping international climate policy. Key agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement were drawn up in these forums:

-Kyoto Protocol (1997): This was a groundbreaking treaty that committed its parties by setting internationally binding emission reduction targets;

-Doha Amendment (2012): Extended the Kyoto Protocol to cover a second commitment period from 2013 to 2020;

-Paris Agreement (2016): A more recent and ambitious accord aiming to limit global warming to well below 2°C, preferably to 1.5°C, compared to pre-industrial levels.

COP28 in Dubai: Setting the Stage for COP29

The COP28 conference held in Dubai produced significant analyses and action plans aimed at building resilience against climate exclusion and reducing methane emissions globally. This set the stage for further advancements at COP29, emphasizing the urgency and importance of robust international cooperation in tackling climate change. One of the key issues at COP28 is a new collective goal to reduce net methane. Azerbaijan, which owns oil and gas reserves, is faced with a unique country - it is necessary to find a balance between the economic benefits of fossil fuel production and obligations to reduce young greenhouse gases. Hosting COP29 is a testament to Azerbaijan’s commitment to combating climate change and transitioning to a sustainable economy. The nation has set ambitious targets:

  • 35% reduction in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030;
  • 40% reduction by 2050;
  • Achieve net zero emissions by 2050.

Azerbaijan faces unique challenges due to its significant oil and gas reserves, which are major sources of methane emissions. The country must balance the economic benefits of fossil fuel production with the imperative to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. This balance is crucial as methane is a potent greenhouse gas, and its reduction is vital for global climate efforts.

Reducing methane emissions not only aids in environmental conservation but also offers economic advantages. Capturing methane can provide a valuable energy source, stimulate economic development, and create new job opportunities. This aligns with the global shift towards greener economies and the development of sustainable energy sources.

Reducing methane emissions not only helps protect the environment, but also provides economic benefits. Methane capture can provide a valuable source of energy, stimulate economic development and create new job opportunities. This aligns with the global transition to greener economies and the development of sustainable energy sources. COP29 is expected to play a major role in Azerbaijan's Green Transition. Hosting COP29 will put Azerbaijan at the forefront of international environmental initiatives. The main expectations are as follows. It will:

  • Accelerate the transition to a sustainable economy.
  • Promote green energy and climate change mitigation efforts.
  • Enhance public awareness and environmental education.
  • Strengthen enforcement of environmental standards through fines and regulations.

The conference will also bring significant economic benefits to Azerbaijan. Investments in infrastructure, hospitality, and transport services to accommodate the influx of delegates will boost the local economy and create jobs. COP29 will facilitate the exchange of knowledge and technologies, fostering international collaboration. It will also help Azerbaijan to establish new diplomatic ties and attract foreign investments in green projects. The conference will provide a platform to showcase Azerbaijan’s progress and plans in reducing reliance on fossil fuels and promoting renewable energy sources like solar power.

Azerbaijan’s commitment to a green future is underscored by President Ilham Aliyev's declaration of 2024 as the "Year of Solidarity for the Sake of a Green World." The liberated territories are designated as a "green" energy zone, with plans to achieve "clean zero emissions" by 2050. This vision aligns with global efforts to prioritize environmental well-being and human rights through cleaner and more affordable energy resources.

COP29 in Baku represents a critical juncture for global climate action and Azerbaijan’s environmental ambitions. It will be a significant step towards addressing the pressing issue of climate change, fostering international cooperation, and advancing towards a sustainable future. As the world gathers in Baku, Azerbaijan will not only reaffirm its commitment to the global climate agenda but also inspire and lead by example in the journey towards a greener planet.

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