Challenges of Climate Change & COP29

Global temperatures have already risen 1.1°C, rising due to increasing global greenhouse gas emissions, which reached record highs in 2021.

Climate change has been playing havoc in many countries of the World including Pakistan in the last few years. Greenhouse gases and Carbon emissions have been declared re­sponsible for the destruction by heat waves, floods, and droughts in the last two decades in dif­ferent parts of the globe. The temperature of the earth is ris­ing which has altered the rou­tine of weather and rainfalls caus­ing floods that take lives and destroy homes and infrastructure. Droughts cre­ate sand and dust storms. It affects food production and the scarcity of water as well. These impacts can be reduced only by controlling the temperature of the earth. It requires us to collectively strive to shape the future of our planet.

Global temperatures have already ris­en 1.1°C, rising due to increasing glob­al greenhouse gas emissions, which reached record highs in 2021. United Na­tions Framework Convention on Climate Change, The UNFCCC secretariat (UN Cli­mate Change) is the United Nations enti­ty tasked with supporting the global re­sponse to the threat of climate change. The Convention has near universal mem­bership (198 Parties) and is the parent treaty of the 2015 Paris Agreement. The main aim of the Paris Agreement is to keep the global average temperature rise this century as close as possible to 1.5 de­grees Celsius above pre-industrial levels.

The United Nations Climate Change Conference is held every year with the title of COP to seek strategies to save hu­manity from disasters of climate change. COP28 was held in UAE last year while COP29 will be hosted by the Republic of Azerbaijan at the capital city of Baku sit­uated at the coastline of the Caspian Sea.COP29 will continue from 11 to 22 No­vember 2024. Thus Azerbaijan is the in­coming Presidency of this international activity. Around 70-80 thousand foreign guests are expected to attend the con­ference. The “Troika” mechanism among the United Arab Emirates, Azerbaijan, and Brazil regarding the COP is a com­mendable step.

The goals set in COP28 for COP29 are the; Beginning of the End for the Fossil Fuel era; New funding for loss and dam­age; Enhancing global efforts to strength­en resilience; Linking climate action with nature conservation; and Ramping up practical climate solutions.

For a country that has rich fossil fuel resources, taking the second option and stepping into the non-fossil fuel sector is harder than any other country but Azer­baijan is successfully doing it. The state has taken measures to adopt laws, rules, and design programs related to a transi­tion to green energy and to combat cli­mate change in the last few years.

The National Leader, Heydar Aliyev shaped the financial future of the state with oil and gas resources that helped Azerbaijan to secure financial stability as well as economic independence President Aliyev outlined a renewable energy poli­cy as the Caspian Sea offers significant po­tential in achieving these green goals.

Azerbaijan is focusing on a significant increase in the proportion of renewable energy sources within total installed elec­tricity capacity, targeting to achieve 30% by 2030 which is equal to the level in 1990. Nationally Determined Contribu­tions this year set a longer-term target of 40% reduction in greenhouse gas emis­sions by 2050.

President Ilham Aliyev declared 2024 as the “Green World Solidarity Year” in Azerbaijan. It expresses the resolve of the Azerbaijan nation to global climate action. The dedication towards the topic demon­strated by the leader of the state indicates that a lot of homework has already been done that will be of great help to Azerbai­jan in hosting the COP29.

The extensive post-conflict rehabili­tation, reconstruction, and reintegra­tion efforts in the liberated territories are based on climate-friendly, environ­mentally clean technologies, as well as “smart” and “green” approaches to trans­form these territories into “Carbon Neu­tral” zones by 2050.

The Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources Mukhtar Babayev is the Pres­ident-Designate of COP29. He visited Türkiye, Germany, the UAE, and Kenya to discuss issues arising from the coun­try’s COP29 chairmanship. He is expected to conduct more visits and the next visit would be to China.

Azerbaijan’s level of preparedness re­ceived a positive assessment from the UN. The Presidency and the incoming Presi­dency will engage Parties throughout the year at ministerial, Heads of Delegation, and technical levels, as appropriate, to lay the groundwork needed to deliver a suc­cessful COP 29. To ensure coherence, the Presidencies will work closely with the Chairs of the subsidiary bodies, with the support of the secretariat, on a common vision towards COP 29.

The Organizational Committee for COP29 held its session in Jan 2024 with the responsibility of implementing and overseeing the agenda and beginning preparations for the conference in a be­fitting manner. Mr. Samir Nuriyev is the Chairman who is the Head of the Presi­dential Administration of the Republic. It clearly mentions that President Ilham Ali­yev is looking after the arrangements and preparations from his office directly.

How keen is Azerbaijan to take cli­mate action following the path set by the UN can be seen in the presence of Pres­ident Ilham at COP28 in Dubai. He met with the Secretary-General UN Mr. An­tonio Guterres and the President of UAE Sheikh Mohamed bin Zayed Al Nahyan. Mukhtar Babayev, the representative of Azerbaijan in COP28 shared the mea­sures taken by the state so far in his ad­dress to COP28 in UAE.

Azerbaijan is enhancing energy effi­ciency, transitioning to low-emission transportation, introducing innovative solutions in urban transport systems, adopting low-carbon clean technologies in industry, improving waste manage­ment systems, and increasing forests.

Pakistan produces less than 1% of the world’s carbon yet is suffering the big­gest consequences of climate change which is a tyranny of its own kind. Pak­istan is facing the highest climate disas­ter risk in the whole world. in the 2019 Inform Risk Index, Pakistan was the 18th worst-hit country in 191 countries. With respect to multidimensional poverty, the ranking is 37 in 191. The floods, Tropical Cyclones, and Droughts have caused huge damage to infrastructure and lives in Pak­istan. The economic impacts are counted in more than 24 Billion PKR in Floods of 2022 only. Climate disasters pose chal­lenges to public health, and food security and affect society as a whole. COP29 will provide another opportunity for Pakistan to participate and draw the attention of the countries towards the compensation by the states that have the largest emis­sions from their industries.

Tazeen Akhtar
The writer is a Member standing committee of CPNE, Islamabad, and is an expert on the South Caucasus. He can be reached at

Tazeen Akhtar
The writer is a Member standing committee of CPNE, Islamabad, and is an expert on the South Caucasus. He can be reached at

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