After facing criticism, the organizers of the Cop29 climate summit have included more women on their committee.
The head of Azerbaijan has included 12 female members to the previously all-male organizing committee for the Cop29 international climate conference, which will be held in December in their country.
After the Guardian published the original list of 28 members on the committee, there was a negative response, leading to the decision to make changes. The She Changes Climate organization criticized the committee for being “regressive”, stating that climate change impacts the entire world, not just half of it.
Christiana Figueres, the leader of the UN’s efforts on climate change during the momentous Paris agreement of 2015, expressed her dismay at the all-male composition of the panel, deeming it “unacceptable and shocking.”
President Ilham Aliyev has recently expanded the committee by appointing an additional male member, bringing the total number of members to 29 men and 12 women. Some notable female additions include Umayra Taghiyeva, the deputy minister of ecology and natural resources, human rights commissioner Sabina Aliyeva, and Bahar Muradova, the chair of the state committee on family, women, and children’s issues.
Elise Buckle, co-founder of She Changes Climate, acknowledged that there has been some positive progress in achieving gender balance, but stated that there is still a long way to go before reaching a 50:50 ratio. She also noted that while there have been some improvements, they are not sufficient in addressing the issue.
The majority of individuals on the Cop29 committee are government officials, such as the leader of the state security service. The head of Azerbaijan’s state gas distribution network is also a member of the committee.
The UN’s primary climate discussions, known as Cop29, will once again take place in a petrostate heavily dependent on fossil fuel production. This comes after last year’s Cop28, which was held in the United Arab Emirates.
Mukhtar Babayev, the minister of ecology and natural resources, has been chosen as the Cop29 president-designate. In this role, he will lead efforts to unite nations in taking action against climate change.
Babayev has a 26-year history with the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (Socar). The Guardian recently reported that Azerbaijan aims to boost its fossil fuel output by 33% in the next ten years.
Experts warn that significantly reducing the use of fossil fuels is crucial in order to prevent the severe consequences of the climate emergency. Additionally, the year 2023 saw a record-breaking increase in global temperatures.
Sultan Al Jaber, the chief executive of Adnoc, served as the president of Cop28. This raised concerns about potential conflicts of interest.
At Cop28, a consensus was reached among nations to shift away from using fossil fuels, marking the first instance of acknowledging the role of climate change in an official decision. Following Cop28, Al Jaber declared his intentions to proceed with the expansion of his oil company’s operations in this sector.