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President Aliyev: Azerbaijan Aims for Inclusive Environment at COP29

By Ilham Karimli May 25, 2024


President Ilham Aliyev during an interview with Euronews, April, 2024 / President.Az

Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev has said that his country as the host country of the upcoming 2024 UN Climate Change Conference (COP29) wants to create a comfortable environment for all parties.

In an interview with Euronews on the sidelines of the 15th Petersberg Climate Dialogue in Berlin in April, President Aliyev expressed confidence in Azerbaijan’s ability to achieve this goal, citing the country’s extensive experience in chairing the 120-member Non-Aligned Movement over the past four years.

“We are actively working with countries of the European Union. We have signed an adopted strategic partnership declaration,” President Aliyev told Euronews.

The production and use of fossil fuels dominated the agenda at last year’s COP28 in the UAE. President Aliyev believes that it’s a positive development to have fossil fuel producing countries at the helm of COP and that he hope that will help transitions.

“Don’t judge us by what we have. Judge us by how we treat what we have, by our agenda […] We are already working with many oil-producing countries in order to create a kind of solidarity package prior to COP. What can be additional? I think that oil-producing countries, especially when the price of oil is high, should pay more, should give more in order to tackle the problem,” he said.

President Aliyev argued that using the climate crisis to blame fossil fuel producers does not foster global solidarity for climate action. He stressed that developing countries should not blame major nations for climate disasters but should instead mobilize diplomacy and policy: “As the host country, I believe we can create a platform for that.”

During the 15th Petersberg Climate Dialogue, President Aliyev highlighted the ongoing importance of Azerbaijan’s oil and gas resources, particularly for European markets. By 2027, under a Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) with the EU, Azerbaijan is set to increase its natural gas exports to the EU from the current 12 billion cubic meters to 20 billion cubic meters. This request for increased gas supplies was made by the European Commission.

“We all understand that this is a sign of responsibility of Azerbaijan in this geopolitical situation. Because we are largely investing in increasing our gas production. Because Europe needs more gas from new sources. At the same time, our green agenda started to materialize prior to being awarded COP29,” President Aliyev said, while addressing the High Level Segment of the 15th Petersberg Climate Dialogue.

Azerbaijan will host COP29 from November 11-22, 2024. Confirmation of Azerbaijan’s host status came at the plenary session of COP28 on December 11, 2023, after Baku received collective backing from other Eastern European countries.

Azerbaijan has committed to reducing greenhouse gas emissions by 35 percent by 2030 and by 40 percent by 2050 under the 2015 Paris Agreement, which the country signed in April 2016. The Paris Agreement aims to significantly reduce global greenhouse gas emissions and limit the global temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels.

Transitioning from traditional energy sources to alternative energy is a priority for the Azerbaijani government. By 2030, renewables are expected to account for 30 percent of Azerbaijan’s electricity generation. The country’s renewable energy potential is estimated at 37,000 MW, with 10,000 MW unveiled after the liberation of territories from Armenian occupation in 2020.

Wind power constitutes 59.2 percent of Azerbaijan’s renewable energy potential, followed by solar power with a potential of 8,000 MW. Biomass, geothermal, and hydropower (excluding large hydropower stations) are also promising renewables, with potentials of 900 MW, 800 MW, and 650 MW, respectively.

The Azerbaijani government also plans to transform the liberated Karabakh (Garabagh) and East Zangazur regions into “Net-Zero Emission” Zones as part of ongoing reconstruction and development projects. The liberated territories of Azerbaijan offer extensive green energy potential, including hydro, solar, wind, and geothermal sources.

Additionally, the Caspian Sea sector of Azerbaijan has a renewable energy potential of 157 GW.