Navigating COP29: Global Dialogue On Climate Action

(MENAFN- AzerNews)
Navigating COP29: Global Dialogue On Climate Action Image
Ulviyya Shahin Read more

The 29th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP29) to theUnited Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) willbe held in Azerbaijan in 2024.

The main purpose of this event is to evaluate progress incombating climate change worldwide. Since the mid-1990s,discussions within this framework conference have focused on theKyoto Protocol, which contains mandatory legal obligationsregarding the limitation of emissions of greenhouse gases fromdeveloped countries.

In sessions held between 2011 and 2015, the Paris Agreement,considered the most significant international document in the fightagainst climate change, was discussed and adopted in 2015. To date,195 countries, including Azerbaijan, have joined thisagreement.

With British expert Neil Watson's vast expertise, Azernews aimsto shed some light on the readiness of nations to address pressingclimate issues, the potential impact of COP on global unemployment,innovative proposals for reducing fossil fuel dependency,Azerbaijan's role as the host nation, and the support needed forits mission.

Navigating COP29: Global Dialogue On Climate Action Image

Azernews presents the interview:

Q. Dear Neil Watson, as we know, COP is an internationalevent dedicated to discussing climate change issues with theparticipation of world countries and finding solutions to similarproblems. The readiness of world countries to address these issuesis the most pressing issue. So, do you think the world is ready forthis?

A. COP29 is an extremely important event forthe entire world, as climate change impacts us all, regardless ofgeography or religion, and all the world's eyes will be on Baku,the host. The question is whether the world is prepared for thistransition. The world is in recession for numerous factors, notleast the impact of the Covid-19 pandemic, the ramifications of theRusso-Ukrainian conflict, the immigration crisis, and the divisionbetween the first and third worlds is exacerbating. Without westernassistance, there is no way that new technologies andinfrastructure, particularly related to energy generation andimplementation of electric vehicles, can be rolled out acrossAfrica, Asia, Latin America and much of the post-Soviet space. Thecountries lack the economies to undertake this themselves, andwestern economies have shrunk. Furthermore, such issues as theinterlinked Russian and Iranian threats and re-emergence of ISISare dominating the news agenda. I cannot believe that all countrieswill achieve the COP targets without serious decisions beingmade.

Q. World experts are quite optimistic about the COPevent. In your opinion, what exceptional significance can thisinternational event have in reducing unemploymentworldwide?

A. Climate change will cause some unemployment,particularly amongst those engaged in traditional oil and gasexploitation and transportation. However, it will create jobsregarding the construction and maintenance of new energyinfrastructure; the production and sale of new electric vehicles atan earlier stage than is normally necessary; and the production,installation and maintenance of renewable energy technologies etc's impossible to estimate how many jobs will be lost and how manywill created, but I would assess that more jobs will be createdthan lost.

Q. Currently, many countries in the world are dependenton fossil fuels, and it is possible to gradually reduce thisdependency. What new proposals do you think COP29 could put forwardon this issue?

A. I am of the view that there is a greaterneed for holistic and joined up thinking, taking into account allaspects of ending fossil fuel dependence and transitioning to newmethods. Hydrocarbons have had a very negative impact on theenvironment and human psychology, which is naturally driven bygreed. We need to step away from greenwashing old technologies oraspects of new technologies that have their own environmentalimpacts. It's imperative that political gain, national divisionsand the desire to retain super-normal profits are set aside so thatnew technologies can benefit from the economies of scale andreplication across the world. Climate change impacts us all andcarbon-neutrality will benefit us all.

Q. How is Azerbaijan's role evaluated on a global scaleregarding the organization of COP29?

A. As I said earlier, the eyes of the worldwill be on Baku, as COP29 host. The organisation must not beostentatious and must be aligned with the minimization ofenvironmental impact. This is an opportunity for Azerbaijan totransform its image away from being a hydrocarbons producer; endaccusations of being a 'poacher turned gamekeeper', as was the casewith Dubai, the previous host; and to reassert its ownership ofKarabakh in the eyes of the world, not least as the reconstructionin the liberated territories will take the form of Smart towns andcities.

Q. What support do you believe Azerbaijan requires tosustain its mission?

A. Azerbaijan needs fulsome support from allcountries, as it hosts COP29 whilst simultaneously entering apost-war scenario and striking a bilateral peace deal with Armenia participating countries – including Armenia, which endorsedAzerbaijani hosting the event and will send a delegation – need tostep away from their political and profit-driven agendas and takeserious steps and make realisable and holistic pledges that willachieve the ideals of COP29.



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