Azerbaijan and COP29: A possibility or a problem?


Azerbaijan will host the 2024 United Countries Local weather Exchange Convention (twenty ninth Convention of the Events, COP29) on the finish of this yr. Being decided on to host an important world local weather match is a big success for the South Caucasus nation, even though the highlight it brings will include its personal demanding situations because of Azerbaijan’s deficient human rights report and aggravating members of the family with the West.

On Dec. 9, Azerbaijan was once introduced because the host nation for the impending COP29 match, regardless of its loss of popularity as a local weather trade champion. It’s value noting that Armenia, one of the crucial two shortlisted applicants, withdrew from the contest and opted to give a boost to Azerbaijan as an alternative, the long-standing animosity between the 2 international locations however.

Baku’s aspiration to host the following Local weather Exchange Convention was once pushed by way of a mixture of things associated with each world and home politics and economics. First, Azerbaijan is motivated to make stronger its popularity at the international level, specifically for the reason that the development will happen close to the start of President Ilham Aliyev’s new seven-year time period. Azerbaijan is scheduled to carry a presidential election on Feb. 7, 2024. The present president is broadly anticipated to win, however his re-election supplies a chance for a recent get started: Website hosting a high-profile match akin to COP29 might allow Aliyev’s govt to show off its dedication to local weather motion, positioning itself as a pacesetter within the area no longer simplest in conventional power assets but in addition in inexperienced applied sciences. Certainly, Baku has already sought to reveal a dedication to renewable power thru contemporary movements. In gentle of Azerbaijan being decided on because the host nation for COP29, Aliyev declared 2024 Inexperienced Global Team spirit Yr.

A 2d attention for Azerbaijan appears to be the realization that webhosting COP29 may just assist it combine extra intently with the Ecu neighborhood. Azerbaijan’s financial dating with Europe has at all times been necessary: It’s the simplest non-Russian pipeline herbal fuel provider from the Ecu Union’s japanese community and so performs a key function in boosting power safety for the continent. In flip, Azerbaijan exported 12 billion cubic meters (bcm) of herbal fuel to Europe in 2023, a vital building up from 8 bcm in 2021. Oil and fuel account for 92% of the rustic’s export revenues and part of the state funds. However the international’s power schedule is taken with transferring from fossil fuels to renewables and different non-hydrocarbon power resources. The golf green power offers anticipated to accompany COP29 at the sidelines might, subsequently, be offering higher financial alternatives and get entry to to broader markets; and if Azerbaijan is in a position sign up for this sort of notable tasks, they might assist its power sector turn into extra aggressive within the world enviornment.

Relatedly, by way of showcasing its dedication to addressing local weather trade, Azerbaijan might hope to draw renewed give a boost to from Ecu international locations and fortify its dating with the continent. This issue is terribly necessary given contemporary tendencies within the South Caucasus. The area’s two different states, Armenia and Georgia, have every made vital strides to combine extra intently with the EU over the last yr. Final December, the Ecu Council granted Georgia its long-awaited candidate standing, an crucial step towards long run club within the bloc. Armenia has additionally taken necessary movements to pivot towards Europe and clear of Russia, regardless of its overwhelming financial and safety dependence at the latter. In a speech on Feb. 4, Armenian Top Minister Nikol Pashinyan echoed an identical remarks he made ultimate September and said that his nation may just not care for its military-technical and protection members of the family with Russia, for function and subjective causes, and must as an alternative imagine pursuing safety ties with France, america, Georgia, and India. In contrast, Azerbaijan’s members of the family with the West have deteriorated over this identical length, going from unhealthy to worse following US Assistant Secretary of State James O’Brien’s sturdy grievance, in entrance of the Area Overseas Affairs Committee, of Azerbaijani movements in Karabakh; in reaction, Baku canceled a deliberate assembly between Azerbaijan’s and Armenia’s ministers of overseas affairs. Maximum just lately, the Azerbaijani delegation was once got rid of from the Parliamentary Meeting of the Council of Europe (PACE) over the rustic’s democratic requirements. As a result, Azerbaijan is also desperate to keep away from changing into an remoted pariah state like Russia and Belarus vis-à-vis the EU.

3rd, Azerbaijan’s function of attracting overseas direct funding to its nascent renewables business — which, partly, would permit it to redirect home fuel intake towards larger exports — might be some other key issue in the back of the verdict to host COP29. As a rustic identified most commonly for its oil and fuel assets, Azerbaijan might see the local weather convention as a chance to diversify its economic system and show off its doable as a renewable power hub within the area. Azerbaijan’s aspiration to switch herbal gas-powered electrical energy technology with as much as 4 gigawatts (GW) of renewable electrical energy capability is aligned with the worldwide development towards cleaner and extra sustainable power resources — a development that, crucially, might faucet into funding passion from Western corporations. Thus far, Azerbaijan has no longer been specifically a hit in attracting Ecu or American traders to its renewable tasks; nevertheless it has stuck the attention of Saudi Arabia’s ACWA Energy and the United Arab Emirates’ Abu Dhabi Long term Power Corporate (Masdar). Masdar signed two sun and one onshore wind energy settlement with a complete capability of one GW, whilst ACWA is creating a 240-megawatt wind energy plant.

After all, webhosting COP29 and reprioritizing local weather problems may just additionally open alternatives to make stronger Azerbaijan’s dating with Armenia by way of that specialize in bilateral renewable tasks in bordering areas. Such tasks may just function a impartial and positive platform to convey the 2 previously warring international locations in combination. It’ll be necessary to seem past transnational logistics and effort corridors, that have led to issues between the 2 neighbors previously. Since past due 2020, Azerbaijan and Armenia had been at loggerheads over the Zangezur overland transit hall, for instance — a idea that would supply Azerbaijan get entry to to its Nakhchivan enclave by the use of southern Armenian territory and bodily attach Turkey with the Caspian area. In spite of agreeing to its implementation, Yerevan has persisted to tug its ft because of home issues over the hall undermining Armenian sovereignty. Alternatively, the opportunity of renewable power collaboration seems to be extra believable in gentle of Armenia’s give a boost to for Azerbaijan’s COP29 host-nation candidacy, which marked the primary vital thaw in members of the family between the 2 international locations.

Following back-to-back COPs held within the Center East, this yr’s marquee local weather trade match, hosted by way of Baku, is expected to boost vital consciousness and comprehension of local weather trade within the South Caucasus and broader Eurasian area. To make sure the luck of COP29, the organizers will want to adopt vital efforts to advertise the local weather trade motive on a world scale, together with in depth lobbying to inspire states and personal teams to speculate extra in net-zero insurance policies. Azerbaijan’s revel in imposing massive, strategically necessary transnational tasks such because the Baku-Tbilisi-Ceyhan oil pipeline and the Southern Fuel Hall might be value emulating on this regard.


Rauf Mammadov is a Non-Resident Pupil at MEI, that specialize in problems with power safety, world power business developments, in addition to power members of the family between the Center East, Central Asia, and South Caucasus. 

Photograph by way of Gary Hershorn/Corbis by the use of Getty Photographs

The Center East Institute (MEI) is an unbiased, non-partisan, non-for-profit, instructional group. It does no longer have interaction in advocacy and its students’ evaluations are their very own. MEI welcomes monetary donations, however keeps sole editorial regulate over its paintings and its publications mirror simplest the authors’ perspectives. For a list of MEI donors, please click on here.



Please enter your comment!
Please enter your name here

Share post:


More like this

‘Mini Kipper’ gifts Kiprusoff with customized masks in full-circle second

When you sought after any indication of simply...

Fisker tumbles 34% on caution; CEO hopes to near financing care for OEM ‘once conceivable’

Fisker (FSR) unloaded a cache of unhealthy information...

Source of revenue-Pushed Compensation Plan Recertification Pause Prolonged

Scholar mortgage debtors now have till past due...