The Presidency of the 29th Conference of the Parties (COP29) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which will take place this November in Azerbaijan, held its first press conference on April 15, 2024, Report informs.

The press conference heard from COP29 President Designate Mukhtar Babayev, Lead Negotiator Yalchin Rafiyev, Chief Executive Officer Elnur Soltanov, Chair of the COP29 Operating Company and Chief Operating Officer Narmin Jarchalova, UN Climate Change High-Level Champion Nigar Arpadarai, and UN Youth Climate Champion Leyla Hasanova.

Talking about preparations for the conference, Mukhtar Babayev said that holding COP29 in Azerbaijan shows the confidence of the international community in Azerbaijan’s policies at national and International level under the leadership of President Ilham Aliyev, including its determination to make a contribution to tackling the problem of climate change. Mukhtar Babayev said that Azerbaijan has taken on the COP29 presidency with the unanimous support of other countries, and that, as president and host of COP29, our country will make every effort to strengthen global solidarity on climate change.

Mukhtar Babayev described Azerbaijan’s green transition as a national priority. The country has joined the Global Methane Pledge, which envisages a voluntary commitment by states to reduce methane emissions and has set a target of generating 30 per cent of electricity from renewable sources by 2030. He said that Azerbaijan has, moreover, adopted a target of reducing emissions of greenhouse gases by 35 per cent by 2030, and 40 per cent by 2050, taking 1990 as its baseline.

As part of the global community, Azerbaijan too is facing the complications of climate change, Mukhtar Babayev said, mentioning in particular the problems of desertification and the fall in water levels in the country’s rivers and the Caspian Sea.

The meeting with the media also touched upon expected outcomes from COP29. The Chief Negotiator and Deputy Foreign Minister of Azerbaijan, Yalchin Ratiyev, said that as part of its mandate as a conference host, Azerbaijan approaches negotiations with all parties involved through a lens of transparency, inclusivity, and neutrality. The main topics of COP29 negotiations, including climate finance, are under comprehensive discussion with all parties, and intensive work is being done on possible ways to steer the negotiations to a successful outcome.

The conference will be a platform for broad discussion and action on accelerating the transition to green energy, COP29 Chief Executive Officer Elnur Soltanov said, expressing his confidence that new opportunities will arise for Azerbaijan to meet the responsibilities it has already undertaken in this regard. Elnur Sottanov said that Azerbaijan will lead the negotiations at the conference and not limit its role to its mandate as host. In this regard, the whole world will focus its attention on Baku in November this year.

Narmin Jarchalova, Chairperson of the COP29 Operating Company and Chief Operating Officer, said our country has already hosted a variety of international events, but in terms of scale and number of participants, COP29 will be the largest hosted by Azerbaijan. She said that Baku Stadium has been chosen as the venue for the conference. This decision took into account the advice of the UN (UNFCCC) and the experience of previous conferences of the parties. The venue’s infrastructure has already proven efficient and sustainable at large-scale events. She said that the Blue and Green Zones for COP29 will fit neatly on the stadiuin territory, and a plan for the venue is being drawn up in coordination with the UN organizing team to reduce to a minimum the negative impact on the environment. Additional buildings wil be set up around the stadium itself so that all the plenary sessions of the conference can be held in a single space.

Further information will be provided on hotels for visitors, and a single international platform incorporating all the accommodation options is to be launched soon.

Commenting on the participation of civil society representatives and the private sector in COP29, the UN Climate Change High-Level Champion for COP29, Nigar Arpadarai, stressed the importance of their involvement in discussing and adopting key decisions.

Leyla Hasanova, the UN Youth Climate Champion, said that work with young people had a prominent role in the Conference of the Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change. Touching on the importance of existing experience and global projects in this area, she outlined measures to expand youth development, exchange experience, and ensure young people’s involvement in global processes.

The COP29 logo was presented at the press conference. The logo reflects the multifaceted initiatives of the COP29 presidency and is based on a synthesis of the symbols of the buta, leaf, and drops of water in the context of the importance of natural resources. It acknowledges ecological vulnerability and Azerbaijan’s rich cultural heritage.

With its roots in Azerbaijan’s history and its timeless cultural heritage, the buta motif embraces sustainability and innovation, and forms a bridge between the past and the future. The combination of buta motifs represents unity, and in depicting drops of water, the buta motifs also represent five different elements-flora and fauna, air and wind, water, energy, and the universe. In an era of heightened climate challenges, the COP29 logo reflects the importance of seamless relations between humanity and the environment, ecologically sensitive behavior, and results-oriented action.