The UN Climate Change Conference is today the highest negotiating body for implementing the provisions of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), the Kyoto Protocol (KP) and the Paris Agreement (PA). These events started in 1995 and were initially small working sessions. Over time, they have become one of the largest forums convened under the auspices of the UN and other international organizations.
Negotiations at the Conferences have become increasingly multifaceted and have a very rich agenda. The number of official government delegations from around the world, experts of various levels, civil society representatives and the media is growing.
Climate change includes both global warming caused by anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and the resulting large-scale changes in weather patterns. Since the mid-twentieth century, humans have affected the Earth’s climate system to an unprecedented degree and this has caused changes on a global scale. A major contributor to warming is greenhouse gas emissions, more than 90% of which are carbon dioxide (CO2) and methane. One of the main sources of these emissions is the burning of natural fuels (coal, oil, and gas) for energy consumption, agriculture, and logging. When greenhouse gas concentrations increase, the global surface temperature of the Earth also rises.
Climate change can lead to environmental disasters such as rising temperatures, increased storms, droughts, species extinction, food shortages, increased health risks and rising sea levels. Therefore, all countries in the world should do their best to prevent environmental disasters by considering the above-mentioned factors.
To prevent environmental disasters and climate change, the world’s oil and gas producing countries must reduce their use of oil and gas and accelerate their transition to renewable energy sources. In this context, the COP28 conference assessed the renewable energy potential of the participating countries and exchanged views.
It should be noted that the Azerbaijani delegation also took part in the COP28 event held in Dubai this year.
The main goal of the Azerbaijani delegation was to share best practices in the field of climate change and promote discussion on sustainable approaches in the field of humanitarian demining, as well as to draw attention to the importance of protecting ecosystems while ensuring the security of communities.
We would like to note that despite the end of the 44-day war between Azerbaijan and Armenia, there are still difficulties related to demining Garabagh. The planted landmines in the territory of Garabagh have had a serious impact on the environment of Azerbaijan. Among these impacts, the main factor has been serious damage to agriculture. The main purpose of the presentation at this conference was to discuss and address the problem of mined areas in Azerbaijan.
It is worth noting that Azerbaijan is one of the countries that has a high potential for renewable energy sources. Thus, the potential of renewable energy sources in Azerbaijan amounts to 200 GW.
Even though Azerbaijan is rich in energy resources, i.e. oil and gas, and the country is known as an energy exporter in the world, the use of renewable energy sources has always been at the center of attention. Energy security and diversifying it with the help of green energy has been one of Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev’s main goals. For this purpose, he signed a decree on establishing the State Agency for Renewable Energy Sources on September 22, 2020. In addition, legislation, laws, and regulations have been adopted in the country for the development of the renewable energy sector.
Speaking at the COP28 event, Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov noted that Azerbaijan has already started cooperation in the field of green energy with seven international companies. Becoming a green developing country and achieving a clean environment by 2030 has been identified as one of the national priorities for socio-economic development. Azerbaijani Energy Minister Parviz Shahbazov held a meeting with Vice President of Vestas Company Morten Dyrholm.
The minister noted that Azerbaijan’s projects and plans for green energy were discussed at the meeting. In addition, the parties considered the possibility of the production of wind turbines in Azerbaijan. Parviz Shahbazov said that the production of turbines by Vestas in Azerbaijan will accelerate the transition to the use of wind energy.
The representative of SOCAR in his speech at the COP28 conference also stated that the main goals of the company are to reduce to zero flaring in the process of gas production and reduce the intensity of waste.
One of the steps that demonstrates how much Azerbaijan attaches importance to environmental issues and green energy is its eagerness to hold COP29 in Baku. The said event will be a good opportunity for Azerbaijan and other countries to come together once again not only for negotiations but also for action. I think that COP29 will become a conference not only for discussion but also for decisions and actions.
Besides, holding COP29, one of the largest and most important interstate conferences in Azerbaijan in 2024, is another triumphant victory of President Ilham Aliyev. It is one of the biggest successes of our foreign policy. At the same time, it is a solid response to some circles that have been waging a dirty campaign against Azerbaijan lately.
In addition, the conference will further enhance Azerbaijan’s reputation. It should be noted that many international conferences have been held in Azerbaijan in recent years. Azerbaijan is a member of a number of international organizations such as United Nations Organization – UNO, Organization for Security and Cooperation in Europe – OSCE, Non-Alignment Movement – NAM, Organization of Turkic-Speaking States – OTS, Council of Europe – CE, Organization of Islamic Cooperation – OIC, UNESCO, ISESCO, Commonwealth of Independent States – CIS and so on. This indicates that Azerbaijan is rapidly developing and integrating into the world community.
Today, the political and economic potential of the Republic of Azerbaijan has increased, our country has become a political and economic center in the region, and its influence and position in the international political arena have been further strengthened. These successes are the logical result of the political course once defined by the National Leader Heydar Aliyev and now successfully pursued by President Ilham Aliyev.
Regarding COP29, President Ilham Aliyev chaired a meeting on December 15, 2023, which once again confirmes the seriousness that Baku attaches to the issue. As the President said the decision to hold the conference in Baku had been taken by countries all over the world a few days ago, and thus Azerbaijan was once again given great trust and respect.
“We deserve it, as a result of our policy we have taken very strong positions in the world. Respect for Azerbaijan in the international arena is growing day by day, and we have earned this respect with our deeds, work and policy. Our independent policy, principled position, adherence to international law, loyalty and at the same time restoration of sovereignty on the territory of the country have further increased respect for us,” President Ilham Aliyev said.
At COP29, 10 thousand foreign delegates will come to Azerbaijan. According to some estimates, about 70-80 thousand foreign guests will visit the country. Needless to say, like other events, Azerbaijan will hold COP29 at a high level and it will be another great success.