COP29 Baku: Merits and demerits of hosting climate summit

    ANALYTICS  18 December 2023 - 17:51

    Fuad Muxtar-Agbabali

    The announcement of Azerbaijan's hosting the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP29) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2024 in Baku has sparked both excitement and skepticism.

    As the nation gears up to welcome nearly 100 foreign leaders and around 70,000-80,000 foreign visitors, the event's potential benefits and drawbacks are a topic of considerable interest.

    This article is exploring the pros and cons of hosting the climate summit in Baku, scheduled for December 2024.

    Pros: Global visibility, political & diplomatic opportunities

    Hosting COP29 provides Azerbaijan with an unprecedented opportunity for global visibility. The expected presence of hundreds of foreign leaders offers a platform for diplomatic engagements, potentially fostering international collaborations and partnerships.

    On December 12, 2023, President Ilham Aliyev shared a post on his X social media account on Azerbaijan’s hosting the COP29 in Baku in 2024, underscoring his government’s adherence to the green agenda.

    “Azerbaijan consistently supports global climate action and implements various energy efficiency measures. Clean environment and green growth are among our national priorities. Renewable energy is gaining momentum in Azerbaijan. Hosting the 29th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP29) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in 2024 stems from our determination to contribute to global efforts to cope with climate change. I sincerely thank all countries for their valuable support of Azerbaijan’s bid. We will spare no effort to make the COP29 a success story,” the president’s tweet read.

    Speaking at the first meeting on the holding of the COP29 on December 15, Azerbaijani President Ilham Aliyev manifested the relevance of the global event for the country, adding that the importance of this event, among other things, also consists in the fact that this decision was made two and a half months after the anti-terror operation.

    “Thus, the entire world community has once again expressed support for Azerbaijan. I should also note that the decision to hold the COP29 conference in Baku has been made with the consent of every member of the international community. The unanimous position has been demonstrated here again,” the Azerbaijani president said, adding that "however, the international community already sees that even Armenia has come to terms with this situation, and the decision to hold the COP29 conference in Azerbaijan is further evidence of that. Of course, the hosting of large-scale international events places a great responsibility on us. However, we have already hosted several major international events so far. Actually, we have hosted the International Astronautical Congress with great success this year. Everyone knows that this prestigious international event has been held in Baku for the second time…

    "Of course, COP29 does not compare with any of the events held so far – even if we recall the European Games when 5,000 athletes and about 3,000 guests accompanying them came to Azerbaijan. However, tens of thousands of foreign visitors will come to our country for COP29, and Baku will become the center of the world for two weeks. According to some estimates, about 70,000-80,000 foreign visitors will come to our country during this period. I believe that COP is one of the most prestigious international events in the world. From the point of view of the number of countries represented, it is no inferior to the UN General Assembly. Therefore, we should immediately start all preparatory work. We don't have too much time – less than 11 months. Therefore, I thought that I should chair the first meeting and give all the necessary instructions. I do not doubt that we will hold the COP29 international conference at a high level and that it will be yet another great success for our country and people. I will be regularly updated on the progress in the implementation of these instructions," the president said.

    Normally, COP summits bring together world leaders along with top government officials, experts, economists, climatologists, journalists, bloggers, and business CEOs. The enormous efforts in hosting the global event will not be futile and the whole undertaking will magnify and augment the international standing and sway of Azerbaijan on the wider regional political agenda as NAM has been doing.

    Economic boost

    The influx of 70,000-80,000 foreign tourists is expected to stimulate the local economy significantly. Increased tourism can lead to higher revenue for businesses in the hospitality, transportation, and service sectors.

    In December 2024, hundreds of high-ranking guests from dozens of countries will visit Baku, as well as Azerbaijan’s tourist centers across the country, and the national businesses, the tourism sector, and transport infrastructure will bear the brunt of the burden.

    Preparing for and holding such a high-profile event often involves substantial infrastructure development. The government's investments in facilities such as conference venues, transportation networks, and accommodations can have long-term benefits for the host city though Azerbaijan may not need to construct new facilities. The reason for this is that Baku already played host to several

    Azerbaijan will get the opportunity to also showcase environmental initiatives and prove its commitment to environmental sustainability and climate action. The country can use the event to highlight ongoing initiatives and demonstrate its dedication to addressing global environmental challenges.

    As the Azerbaijani president underscored in his speech, “Azerbaijan will assert itself in this field as an oil and gas country and everyone in the world will see again that our agenda is related to green energy. The creation of green energy and the transportation of green energy to world markets are currently the priorities of our energy policy. This is a reality and the whole world will see it again”.

    The COP29Baku is also believed to be conducive to the transfer of knowledge and technology. The summit is to provide a platform for knowledge exchange and technology transfer. Azerbaijan can benefit from exposure to cutting-edge technologies and best practices in the field of climate change mitigation and adaptation.

    Cons: Financial burden

    Organizing an event of this magnitude comes with significant costs. The financial burden of hosting COP29, including infrastructure development and security measures, could strain the national budget and resources though the Azerbaijani government is believed to arrange the event at the expense of other sectors.

    Hosting numerous foreign leaders and a large number of tourists may pose security challenges and the Azerbaijani law-enforcement agencies have to mobilize their resources to cope with security challenges regional ill-wishers may plot, especially given similar incidents in the past. Some citizens may view the hosting of such a high-profile event as a misallocation of resources, especially if the perceived benefits do not trickle down to the general population.

    Conclusion

    The decision to host COP29 in Baku offers Azerbaijan a unique opportunity to showcase its commitment to global environmental issues and engage in diplomatic efforts on the world stage. However, the potential drawbacks, including financial strain, environmental impact, and security concerns, cannot be ignored. Balancing the benefits and challenges will be crucial for ensuring the success of the event and leaving a positive and lasting impact on both the global community and the host country.

    Also, ahead of the COP29, Azerbaijan in cooperation with UAE's Masdar Company implemented several green and wind energy projects near Baku, Azerbaijan. The government is planning to turn de-occupied Karabakh into green energy zones and several projects are already in place.

    Caliber.Az

    Subscribe to our Telegram channel


Read also

Azerbaijan's diplomatic masterstroke: Return of occupied villages marks strategic achievement New geopolitical reality

21 April 2024 - 11:43

Azerbaijani President's triumph, troubled Georgia, and a duel in the Middle East Caliber.Az weekly review

21 April 2024 - 11:22

Early Russian withdrawal from Karabakh: how has Azerbaijan’s ‘calculated risk’ strategy paid off? Contemplations with Orkhan Amashov

21 April 2024 - 10:03

Rogun Hydropower Plant in action and Tajikistan’s energy needs Blessing or curse?

19 April 2024 - 17:37

France's ambassador recall from Azerbaijan A symbolic gesture or strategic misstep?

19 April 2024 - 18:00

Pro-Armenian senator urges US to cut military aid to Azerbaijan French MP questions US diplomatic response

20 April 2024 - 11:47
ADVERTS
Video
Latest news

    Residents of border villages protest as Armenia, Azerbaijan agree on delimitation

    22 April 2024 - 09:17

    Fossil of largest snake to have ever existed found in western India

    22 April 2024 - 09:03

    Skies fill with color at Chinese kite festival

    22 April 2024 - 08:01

    Turkish KAAN: Second prototype nears completion

    flight tests next

    22 April 2024 - 06:02

    World’s largest neuromorphic computer by Intel works like human brain

    22 April 2024 - 04:03

    Lesser known UNESCO sites to visit in 2024

    from Luxembourg to Swiss wine country

    22 April 2024 - 02:04

    Amazonian town putting world cities to shame

    22 April 2024 - 00:04

    Botswana president: Europeans care more about elephants than people

    21 April 2024 - 22:00

    Nigerian chess champion plays for 60 hours in Times Square

    breaking marathon record

    21 April 2024 - 20:03

    Massive river flooding expected in China's Guangdong, threatening millions

    21 April 2024 - 18:30

    Syrian president expresses confidence in Russia's victory in Ukraine

    21 April 2024 - 18:03

    Scientists assess land subsidence in China’s major cities

    21 April 2024 - 17:52

    Hamas leader proposes two stages of political settlement

    21 April 2024 - 17:41

    Satellite analysis allegedly confirms "Israeli strike on Iranian air base in Isfahan"

    Report by Iran International

    21 April 2024 - 17:26

    Norway welcomes border delimitation agreement between Azerbaijan and Armenia

    21 April 2024 - 17:09

    Türkiye denies claims on sharing with Israel info on Kurecik radar base

    21 April 2024 - 16:52

    Türkiye detains 36 suspects linked to Daesh in nationwide raids

    21 April 2024 - 16:34

    Global trends and Azerbaijan's oil industry

    Second wind of ACG field

    21 April 2024 - 16:24

    Türkiye aims "to bring the massacre in Gaza to an end", says MFA spokesman

    21 April 2024 - 16:13

    Ukrainian, Western leaders laud US aid package

    While the Kremlin warns of "further ruin"

    21 April 2024 - 15:57

    Missile strike on Sevastopol reportedly sets fire on Russian ship

    21 April 2024 - 15:41

    Azerbaijani police find artillery shells in Gubadli

    21 April 2024 - 15:26

    Greece kickstarts peace march against US-NATO-EU wars

    21 April 2024 - 15:12

    Lithuania, Poland conducting military exercises

    21 April 2024 - 14:54

    Israel attacks Hezbollah military targets in Lebanon

    21 April 2024 - 14:40

    Russia attacks 20 settlements in Ukraine’s Kherson

    21 April 2024 - 14:26

    S. Korea, Ukraine sign framework agreement

    21 April 2024 - 14:11

    Over 8,000 people still in evacuation centres due to floods in Kazakhstan

    21 April 2024 - 13:56

    Dozens of deals scheduled to be signed during Erdogan's visit to Iraq

    21 April 2024 - 13:39

    Diplomatic World Sweden shines light on Azerbaijan's landmine challenge

    That hinders reconstruction

    21 April 2024 - 13:24

    UNGA president welcomes Azerbaijan's efforts in transition to green energy

    21 April 2024 - 13:04

    Two Japanese helicopters crash during drill

    One dead, seven missing

    21 April 2024 - 12:48

    Scale of Iran's attack on Israel shocks US

    21 April 2024 - 12:33

    Russia attacks 13 communities in Ukraine's Sumy, injuring 1

    21 April 2024 - 12:16

    Honorary Consulate of Uzbekistan opened in Azerbaijan's Ganja

    PHOTO

    21 April 2024 - 11:59

    Azerbaijan's diplomatic masterstroke: Return of occupied villages marks strategic achievement

    New geopolitical reality

    21 April 2024 - 11:43

    Israel to summon ambassadors of 6 countries that voted for Palestinian UN membership

    21 April 2024 - 11:22

    Azerbaijani President's triumph, troubled Georgia, and a duel in the Middle East

    Caliber.Az weekly review

    21 April 2024 - 11:22

    US military aid to Israel sparks outrage from Palestinian leadership

    21 April 2024 - 11:06

    Azerbaijani minister: Middle Corridor - important for China, Central Asian countries

    PHOTO

    21 April 2024 - 10:50

All news