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Azerbaijan Reportedly Selected to Host COP29

A group of Eastern European countries has chosen Baku, Azerbaijan to host next year’s COP29 climate talks. This was stated by two sources in the COP28 meeting room where the decision was made.

Eastern Europe took longer than usual to make a decision due to conflicts in the region. On Thursday (7/12), Armenia dropped its opposition to Azerbaijan’s offer as part of peace talks between the two.

According to a Climate Home News report , Russia blocked any European Union member from hosting thereby thwarting Bulgaria’s bid. Serbia, Moldova and Armenia are also involved in this debate.

E3G negotiations analyst Tom Evans described it as an “unusual and unexpected” choice because Azerbaijan does not have a long track record of diplomacy at the UN climate agency.

Azerbaijan derives two-thirds of its revenue from oil and gas, one of the highest percentages in the world and greater than COP28 host, the United Arab Emirates.

Azerbaijan Controversy The country has been ruled for 20 years by Ilham Aliyev, who took over as president from his father. According to Human Rights Watch , the government held at least 30 political prisoners in its prisons as of 2022.

The campaign group said that restrictive laws continue to prevent non-governmental organizations from operating independently. In addition, there are restrictions on the media and systemic torture of detainees.

The Azerbaijani government in recent years has made great efforts to host high-profile international events. Azerbaijan brought the Europa League football final and the Formula One Grand Prix to its capital, Baku.

In 2020, Azerbaijan and neighboring Armenia fought a six-week war that killed thousands of people over the Nagorno-Karabakh enclave. Last year, the Azerbaijani government hired a British public relations firm to publicize its accusations that the Armenian government had damaged Nagorno-Karabakh’s environment.

Experts told Climate Home News at the time that these claims were misleading, as the forests were depleting more quickly after Azerbaijan took power. They also stated that these claims had elements of propaganda.

Source : Katadata