The Future of Climate Policy: What Can We Expect at COP29?

COP29 President-Designate H.E. Mukhtar Babayev has outlined plans for COP29 in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November – with focus on climate finance

The Paris Agreement will continue to underpin the work of COP, COP29 President-Designate H.E. Mukhtar Babayev has confirmed.

“Failure to meet the 1.5 degree goal means that people would be left behind,” he says. 

“We all have a moral duty to avoid this outcome. Everyone has a duty to make sure their actions match their words.”

The United Nations Climate Change Conference or Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC, better known as COP29, will be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, in November, and will stand on two key pillars: enhance ambition and enable action.

The first pillar engages three key elements designed to support all parties to commit to enhancing ambition and implementation of the next generation of national plans for economy-wide emissions reductions:

  • Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) – in a bid to lead by example, Azerbaijan is working on submitting a 1.5-aligned NDC
  • National Adaptation Plans (NAPs) will be informed by the most recent climate science and be set out by 2025
  • Biennial Transparency Reports (BTRs) provide an inventory of emissions and overview of progress and investment that is essential to tracking climate progress.

The second pillar centres around how finances can build momentum and mutually reinforcing action.

“Climate finance will be an important part of the negotiations at COP29,” Mukhtar says.

“Finance is one of the key tools to turn ambition into action.”

COP29 will see a new climate finance goal designed to bring together interconnected elements of the global financial system, titled the New Collective Quantified Goal on Climate Finance. Mukhtar also emphasises that the private sector has a big role to play and hopes that companies will “come to COP29 ready to show how they are allocating capital and ensuring investment decisions are aligned with our climate goals”.

The leaders of global sustainable development

 Mukhtar has heralded COP29 as a place “to promote an inclusive process that delivers inclusive outcomes” and “create a space for everyone to engage in dialogue”. However, COP29 has already come under fire from executives around the world who did not see themselves represented in the leadership team. 

The original 28 members of the COP29 committee were all male. The COPs do not have a great history with gender equality, with only five of the previous 28 COP President positions being held by women. 

Meet COP29 President-Designate H.E. Muhktar Babayev
  • Azerbaijan’s minister for Ecology and Natural Resources since 2018
  • Previously worked at Socar, Azerbaijan's state-owned oil and gas company for a quarter of a century, including as Vice President for Ecology
  • Did not attend COP26 or COP27
  • Works to encourage Azerbaijanis to preserve the environment

Like COP28, the COP29 President has spent most of his career working in the oil and gas industry – which has contributed to the conversation around COP leadership.

Mukhtar however is committed to seeing real progress towards the goals set out in the Paris Agreement at COP29.

“When the world comes to COP29 in Azerbaijan, we want everyone to focus on our collective interest to confront the climate crisis,” he concluded. 

“This can be the time when we empower everyone – youth, NGOs, Indigenous communities – to move forward in solidarity for a green world.”

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