Who Will Host COP29? Latest Updates 2024

Stay up-to-date on the location of COP 29 and the controversies surrounding its choice of venue. Get the latest insights into this crucial climate summit.

Ryan Diyantara
February 25, 2024

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COP29, slated to take place in Azerbaijan, follows the contentious COP28 held in the UAE, a major oil producer. With Azerbaijan planning to increase its gas production significantly in the next decade, fossil fuel companies are projected to invest heavily in its gas fields. Although COP28 concluded with an agreement hailed as the "beginning of the end" for the fossil fuel era, COP29 faces pressure to accelerate the transition to renewable energy amidst the backdrop of the world's hottest-ever year.

What is COP29?

COP29, also known as the Conference of the Parties (COP), is a United Nations initiative bringing together diplomats, heads of state, and climate advocates from all 197 member countries to address climate change. Following COP28's commitments to conduct a global stock take every five years and replenish The Green Climate Fund, concerns remain over compromises made, particularly regarding military emissions and the administration of the Loss and Damage Fund by the World Bank. Despite some contributions, pledges to the fund fall short of the amount needed to address climate-related losses and damages effectively.

What were the results of COP28?

COP28 President calls for improved adaptation finance for vulnerable  nations at Climate and Development Ministerial - المستقبل الاخضر

One of the main outcomes of last year's COP summit was the introduction of the world's first 'global stocktake' aimed at keeping the global temperature increase below 1.5°C. This stocktake allows countries and stakeholders to assess progress toward meeting the goals of the Paris Climate Change Agreement, highlighting areas of success and areas needing improvement. Scheduled to occur every five years, it seeks to bridge the gap between the commitments of the Paris Agreement and current climate policies.

Additionally, COP28 saw a second round of funding for The Green Climate Fund, amounting to £10.08 billion. However, despite some positive aspects, the overall outcome of COP28 was overshadowed by compromises, particularly regarding the climate impacts of militaries and wars. Military emissions were not addressed, and governments made no commitments to reduce emissions from military activities.

Concerns were also raised about the administration of the Loss and Damage Fund by the World Bank, with a fee of 24%, prompting calls for an independent fund due to doubts about the World Bank's environmental credentials and transparency. Furthermore, dissatisfaction arose among PICs and developing countries regarding the total pledges to the new Loss and Damage Fund, amounting to just over $700 million (£556 million), far below the required £314 billion.

Who will host COP 29?

In November, the summit is scheduled for Azerbaijan, as part of the UN's rotation among its five regional groups for hosting COP. This year, it's Eastern Europe's turn.

The decision to select Azerbaijan followed tense regional dynamics, with Russia blocking EU countries' bids, and Azerbaijan and Armenia opposing each other's proposals. Eventually, Armenia withdrew its bid, leading to Azerbaijan's unanimous selection by Eastern European countries.

What's the climate crisis context for this year's conference?

Two-thirds of global experts express concern about extreme weather events in 2024, with the previous year marking the hottest on record globally. The looming threats include biodiversity loss, ecosystem collapse, resource shortages, extreme weather, pollution, and critical alterations to Earth systems, all ranking among the top 10 most severe risks anticipated in the next decade.

Record-high average air temperatures have been observed across major ocean basins and almost all continents. Despite the urgent need for action, political leaders persist in neglecting the planet's pressing issues. In November, Rishi Sunak's announcement of plans to issue new North Sea oil and gas licenses annually sparked outrage from environmentalists, who argue that such actions undermine efforts to achieve net-zero emissions.

Why is it controversial that COP29 will take place in Azerbaijan?

Azerbaijan chosen to host Cop29 after fraught negotiations | Cop29 | The  Guardian

Azerbaijan is poised to ramp up gas production by a third over the next decade. Fossil fuel companies, including BP, TotalEnergies, and Lukoil, are projected to extract 411 bcm of Azeri gas, emitting 781 million tonnes of carbon dioxide—over twice the UK's annual carbon emissions.

The region, where Azerbaijan is situated, heavily relies on fossil fuels economically, with companies expected to invest £32.5bn in the country's gas fields. However, this amount could fund the installation of more than 1,170 offshore wind turbines.

Concerns extend beyond environmental impacts to Azerbaijan's repressive regime, marked by widespread political corruption and crackdowns on civil liberties. Despite this, the European Commission's president, Ursula von der Leyen, signed an agreement with Azerbaijan's dictator, Ilham Aliyev, doubling gas exports to the EU by 2027.

Critics, like Dominic Eagleton from Global Witness, view this move skeptically, likening it to "putting our future in the hands of Azerbaijan, a petrostate propped up by oil supermajors." With Azerbaijan's increasing gas production, Eagleton stresses the importance of climate leadership over vested interests in oil and gas.

Also read: Everything You Need to Know about COP29 in Baku!

What are the desired outcomes for COP29?

Although the exact agenda for COP29 remains fluid at this stage, several recurring themes are expected to take center stage come November.

Given the critical nature of the next two years for climate action, it is imperative that governments at COP29 strive to establish a new financial target that accurately reflects the escalating urgency of climate change.

Enhancing the framework for monitoring and reporting countries' climate efforts is also likely to be a prominent topic, particularly in light of Azerbaijan's apparent contradictory actions.

Another significant focus of COP29 will involve urging wealthier nations to provide substantial financial support to climate initiatives in less affluent countries. This endeavor aims to mobilize £78.6bn annually by 2025 to address escalating climate challenges.

However, the UK's contribution to this funding is uncertain following revelations of potential plans to backtrack on its £11.6bn climate and nature funding pledge.

In essence, this year's summit seeks to advocate for sustainable development and push for more ambitious climate commitments from key member states, although the extent of its effectiveness remains to be seen.

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