COP29: Azerbaijan at the forefront of climate leadership

By Isaac M June 5, 2024

Climate action stands at the forefront of global efforts to combat the climate crisis. Measures aimed at reducing emissions, mitigating impacts, and building resilience are crucial in safeguarding ecosystems and ensuring a livable planet for future generations. The Conference of Parties (COP) plays a pivotal role in driving progress towards these goals. With the world’s attention focused on finding solutions to the climate crisis, this conference offers a unique opportunity for states to come together, forge partnerships, and chart a course towards a more sustainable and resilient future. Through its annual meetings, COP continues to play a vital role in mobilizing efforts to address the urgent and complex challenges posed by the climate crisis.

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As preparations for COP29, set for November 2024, unfold, Azerbaijan emerges as a proactive leader in the global fight against climate change. Through a variety of initiatives aimed at lessening its environmental footprint, Azerbaijan prepares to host the most significant event in the global climate action agenda. With notable progress in adopting renewable energy sources and reducing greenhouse gas emissions, Azerbaijan demonstrates its commitment to sustainability on the world stage. Its commitment to collaborative efforts is evidenced by its involvement in major environmental agreements such as the Paris Agreement and the Kyoto Protocol. Additionally, Azerbaijan’s recent endorsement of the Global Methane Pledge underscores its dedication to tackling methane pollution and reducing greenhouse gas emissions.

In conjunction with COP29 to be held in Baku, the Azerbaijani-American Youth Federation (AAYF) conducted an interview with Dr. Steve Cohen, Director of the Research Program on Sustainability Policy and Management at The Earth Institute, Columbia University who particularly emphasized the pivotal role of youth in driving climate action, stressing the urgency of addressing environmental challenges to ensure a sustainable future. He underscored the importance of educational institutions in shaping environmental consciousness, citing Columbia University’s pioneering research efforts and dedication to tackling climate issues.

In this realm, within the sidelines of ECOSOC Youth Forum at the UN Headquarters in New York, the COP29 Youth Climate Champion Leyla Hasanova established a space for youth to voice their climate-related priorities and advocate for the inclusive agenda of the COP29 as the youth leading the change against climate change. Chairperson of the AAYF, Gunay Mammadova and the Director for Professional & Academic Development, Mehriban Huseynova attended the sideline events related to the COP29 stressing the urgency of youth involvement and the global temperature below 1.5C similarly signified in the speech of the Secretary-General of the UN, Mr. António Guterres during the event. Among the other concerning climate issues, 1.5C temperature goal will guide the discussions at COP29. 

Photo credits: Official social media account for COP29 Azerbaijan.

During the interview, Dr. Cohen also highlighted the transformative potential of technology in advancing climate goals, citing innovations in renewable energy and climate monitoring as catalysts for change. With digital platforms facilitating global collaboration and mobilizing public support, technology emerges as a powerful tool in the fight against climate change. As COP29 approaches, the focus shifts to sustaining momentum and fostering enduring changes in environmental awareness. Education, policy implementation, and international collaboration are key pillars in translating COP-29 commitments into tangible results.

In the aftermath of COP29, the challenge lies in perpetuating the urgency of climate action and cultivating a lasting commitment to environmental stewardship. With Azerbaijan at the forefront of climate leadership and youth engagement driving grassroots activism, there is hope for a sustainable future built on collective action and global solidarity.

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