(MENAFN- The Peninsula) AFP
Dubai: Azerbaijan said Saturday it secured a consensus to host COP29 next year, which would be the second straight UN climate summit in a major producer of fossil fuels.
"I am delighted to announce that there is an overall consensus on the candidacy of Azerbaijan to host COP29," Mukhtar Babayev, minister of ecology and natural resources, said at COP28 in Dubai.
"We are committed to working inclusively and collaboratively with everyone to ensure the success of COP29," he said.
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The Dubai summit, which is scheduled to close Tuesday, must formally approve the next host country.
But Babayev said Azerbaijan had won the support of the group of Eastern European nations, whose turn to lead the climate summit is next year, as well as the United Arab Emirates, this year's host.
Debate at the Dubai summit has focused on whether to seek an end to fossil fuel extraction.
COP28 president Sultan Al Jaber is also the head of the UAE's national oil company but has struck a moderate tone, saying that a phase-down of fossil fuels responsible for climate change is inevitable.
Azerbaijan cleared a major hurdle this week when its historic rival Armenia said it would withdraw its own bid to lead COP29 and back its neighbour as the two seek to repair relations.
Babayev said that Azerbaijan would pursue clean technologies in reconstruction of Nagorno-Karabakh.
"We are determined to transform these territories into a carbon-neutral zone by 2050," Babayev said.
He said Azerbaijan supported the UN-backed ambition of checking warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.
Bulgaria had also sought to hold COP29 but dropped its bid after strong opposition from Russia, which did not want the summit to take place in a member of the European Union.
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