COP29 host Azerbaijan plans to upgrade climate target

(Reuters, 14 Mar 2024) Azerbaijan, host of this year's U.N. climate change talks, hopes to upgrade its emissions reduction target in time for the event, the incoming president of the COP29 summit said on Thursday.

Azerbaijan's economy relies on oil and gas, and its existing target - to cut greenhouse gas emissions 35% by 2030 and 40% by 2050 versus 1990 levels - is far short of the net zero level scientists say the world must reach by 2050 to avoid the worst impacts of climate change.

Mukhtar Babayev, minister of ecology and natural resources, said his former Soviet nation had started preparations to consider updating its national climate change commitment (NDC). "It is not only a chance for Azerbaijan, but all other countries to prepare and announce the upgraded NDCs in Baku in November this year," Babayev told a Financial Times conference in London in a recorded interview. Babayev, who previously spent two decades at Azerbaijan's state-owed oil and gas firm, did not specify what the amended target would be. His appointment has faced criticism from campaigners and some climate scientists, for continuing a trend of those with deep ties to the oil and gas industry leading the world’s negotiations to combat climate change.

External link

Reuters, 14 Mar 2024: COP29 host Azerbaijan plans to upgrade climate target