Baku could accomodate 100,000 delegates, says Ambassador Image Credit: Stock photo/Pixabay

Dubai: Azerbaijan looks set to host next year's COP29 climate change summit, after winning backing from other Eastern European nations on Saturday.

Nations from the Eastern European region, which is due to host next year's summit, backed Baku's bid during the COP28 summit in Dubai, unblocking a geopolitical deadlock over the next global gathering to address climate change.

The COP28 Presidency congratulated Azerbaijan for being chosen to host COP29 next year. "We look forward to working together to continue building momentum on climate action, ensuring we keep 1.5°C within reach and leave no one behind," COP28 President Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, said.

For his part, Mukhtar Babayev, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan, expressed his gratitude to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Secretariat and the United Arab Emirates for their tireless efforts in organising this exceptional event, noting that the challenges being faced require collective work and dedication in achieving the goals and aspirations agreed upon jointly.

He said that Azerbaijan realises the critical importance of climate change mitigation efforts, the strong political will shown by the President of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the support of the Parties, pointing out that the member states of the Eastern European Group have been a decisive factor in Azerbaijan's success in hosting the 29th Conference of the Parties. He in this regard affirmed that his country's commitment to sustainability is not just a promise but a reality that is reflected in its national policies and actions.

He noted his country's commitment to close cooperation with the United Arab Emirates and Brazil, the host country of the 30th Conference of the Parties, to ensure a smooth transition and to continue the joint efforts. "We recognise the importance of the global response to climate change, and through joint initiatives, we aim to accelerate progress towards a sustainable future."

He expressed his gratitude to the United Arab Emirates and the COP28 President for the great efforts in driving climate action paths, pointing to the continuation of the momentum and building on the great successes achieved by COP28, and working together to ensure that COP29 in Azerbaijan becomes a symbol of hope and progress in the global efforts to combat climate change.

COP28 in UAE

Azerbaijan is not an EU member.

UN climate summit hosts are usually announced years in advance, and the deadlock over the COP29 host has left Baku with scarce time to prepare for the massive gathering.

Azerbaijan's Ministry of Foreign Affairs spokesperson Aykhan Hajizada told Reuters on Friday Baku was well equipped to hold it, with enough venues and amenities.

This year's UN climate summit in the UAE was the biggest yet, with more than 110,000 delegates registered.

Holding the presidency of a UN climate summit gives a country huge influence on its agenda and outcomes.

Azerbaijan is an oil and gas producer and a member of OPEC+.

Azerbaijan and Armenia announced a deal on Thursday allowing Baku to bid for COP29 without the threat of an Armenian veto.