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Azerbaijan gets nod to host COP29 climate summit  – POLITICO

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DUBAI, United Arab Emirates — Next year’s COP29 climate summit is set to take place in oil-rich Azerbaijan after Eastern European countries resolved a political deadlock on Saturday. 

Geopolitical tensions had left the 2024 conference in limbo for months, with Russia blocking EU countries from hosting and feuding neighbors Armenia and Azerbaijan vetoing each other. 

But after Armenia and Bulgaria formally withdrew their bids earlier this week, the 23-country Eastern European group backed Azerbaijan during a meeting on Saturday, Bulgarian Environment Minister Julian Popov told POLITICO. 

Earlier on Saturday, Mukhtar Babayev, Azerbaijan’s minister of ecology and natural resources, said in a speech that he was “delighted” to announce that there was overall consensus on Azerbaijan’s candidacy to host COP29. 

“We are very grateful to all countries, in particular to the Eastern European group and the host United Arab Emirates for their support,” said Babayev. “We are committed to working inclusively and collaboratively with everyone to ensure the success of COP29. May COP28 lead us forward toward a more sustainable and secure future for all.”

Baku’s bid will still have to be voted on by the entire COP plenary, but that is usually a formality. 

If confirmed, next year’s summit will once again take place in a major oil- and gas-producing country.

The UAE, host of this year’s COP28, is the world’s seventh-largest oil producer. Fossil fuels make up more than 90 percent of Azerbaijan’s exports. And the host of the COP30 climate talks in 2025, Brazil, has just announced it would join the OPEC+ oil cartel.

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