Oil and gas countries should participate in climate talks, Azeri leader says in defense of COP29 President

Zulfugar Agayev, Bloomberg January 14, 2024

(Bloomberg) – Azerbaijan’s President Ilham Aliyev said it’s important for oil- and natural gas-exporting nations to host global climate talks, particularly as they are also seeking to develop clean-energy sources.

Mukhtar Babayev, Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources of the Republic of Azerbaijan

One of the birth places of the oil industry, Azerbaijan was chosen to host COP29 this year. The Caspian Sea nation is the third oil and gas exporter in a row to host the talks after the United Arab Emirates last year and Egypt in 2022.

“I think it’d be more important to hold such events in countries that produce oil and gas, and which have a history of oil and gas,” Aliyev said in comments on his website. Azerbaijan, like the UAE, can live without clean energy but is investing in renewables to “contribute to our common cause,” he said.

The Azeri leader last week appointed his Ecology Minister Mukhtar Babayev as COP29 president-designate, drawing criticism as Babayev previously served in the state oil and gas company SOCAR. Aliyev rejected the criticism as a “dirty campaign” against his government, saying Babayev was in charge of environmental issues at SOCAR.

Azerbaijan is the largest oil producer in the former Soviet Union after Russia and Kazakhstan and has also emerged as a natural gas exporter to Europe since 2020. The country shipped almost 12 Bcmg to Europe last year and plans to increase the exports to 20 Bcm by 2027.

Connect with World Oil
Connect with World Oil, the upstream industry's most trusted source of forecast data, industry trends, and insights into operational and technological advances.