New leaders to have same climate obligations

The upcoming leaders elected worldwide this year will be held to the same climate commitments as their predecessors, cautioned the chief of this year’s UN climate summit. Cop29, scheduled for November in Azerbaijan, coincides with a crucial period marked by significant elections across the globe, from the UK, the EU, and the US to India and Russia. Despite potential changes in leadership, new administrations will still be required to address the imperative of reducing greenhouse gas emissions and combating global warming, emphasized Mukhtar Babayev, the incoming president of Cop29.

Babayev stressed the continuity of climate policies irrespective of election outcomes and underscored the imperative for all governments to honor their commitments in tackling the climate crisis. Emphasizing optimism, he expressed determination to work towards positive outcomes by engaging with countries to advance climate agendas.

While refraining from singling out specific states, Babayev acknowledged the significance of the US election, characterizing it as an intriguing process. He highlighted ongoing collaboration with the current US administration and expressed optimism about working together to develop agendas and achieve mutual targets.

Despite Azerbaijan’s significant reliance on fossil fuels, Babayev outlined the government’s efforts to transition towards renewable energy sources and decarbonize the economy. He underscored Azerbaijan’s commitment to investing in green energy initiatives and transitioning towards a sustainable energy mix.

Addressing concerns about holding a climate summit in a fossil fuel-dependent country, Babayev emphasized Azerbaijan’s potential to serve as a bridge between different regions and highlighted support from neighboring Armenia. He also mentioned the adoption of a “troika” system by the UN to coordinate efforts between previous and future hosts of climate summits.

Climate finance is expected to be a key issue at Cop29, particularly concerning funding for developing countries to transition to clean energy. Babayev called for increased involvement from the private sector and international financial institutions in financing climate initiatives in developing nations.

Despite challenges, Babayev reiterated the importance of maintaining focus on the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius, as outlined in the Paris Agreement. He expressed optimism about the potential for action and implementation of agreements reached at previous COPs to address climate change effectively.

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