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The country of Azerbaijan has selected a 28-member committee for Cop29 to address climate change, but no women were included in the appointments.
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The country of Azerbaijan has selected a 28-member committee for Cop29 to address climate change, but no women were included in the appointments.

The president of Azerbaijan, Ilham Aliyev, has declared that the organizing committee for the Cop29 global climate change summit in Azerbaijan this December is composed of 28 males and zero females.

The She Changes Climate campaign group criticized the decision as “backward” and stated that climate change has a global impact, not just on certain regions. On the other hand, 63% of the organizing committee for the Cop28 climate summit, which took place in the United Arab Emirates last month, consisted of women.

The majority of the members on the Cop29 committee are government officials or ministers, with the addition of the director of Azerbaijan’s state gas distribution network.

She Changes Climate released a statement expressing concern over the recent formation of a committee that they believe hinders progress towards achieving gender equality in addressing climate change. They are urging for equal representation in the leadership of this year’s climate talks, emphasizing that climate change is a global issue that affects everyone, not just a certain group.

For the second year in a row, the UN’s most important climate talks will be hosted by a petro-state heavily reliant on fossil fuel production. The Cop29 president-designate, who will be responsible for bringing together countries to drive climate action, is Mukhtar Babayev, the minister of ecology and natural resources.

Babayev previously spent 26 years working for the State Oil Company of the Azerbaijan Republic (Socar). Azerbaijan plans to increase its fossil fuel production by a third over the next decade, the Guardian revealed last week.

“We are once again requesting a separation between the fossil fuel industry and the Cop presidency, as environmental integrity continues to be a concern for us and numerous civil society organizations,” stated She Changes Climate.

Experts warn that a significant decrease in the usage of fossil fuels is necessary in order to prevent the severe consequences of the climate emergency. Additionally, 2023 has been identified as the hottest year on record by a significant margin.

Sultan Al Jaber, the president of Cop28, also held the position of chief executive at Adnoc, the state-owned oil company of the UAE. This caused concerns about potential conflicts of interest.

During a discussion with Mary Robinson, the leader of the Elders group, at the She Changes Climate event, Al Jaber expressed frustration that his comments were made public by the Guardian, causing controversy at Cop28. He claimed that there is no scientific evidence to support the need for a gradual elimination of fossil fuels in order to limit global warming to 1.5C above pre-industrial levels. He also argued that this elimination would not promote sustainable development, unless one intends to regress to a primitive lifestyle.

Oisín Coghlan, the chief executive of Friends of the Earth Ireland, posted on X: “Sweet Holy Jesus. 28 men 0 women to organise Cop29. Calling Mary Robinson of @TheElders: there’s another sultan-type we need you to have a word with.”

Cop28 reached a consensus among nations to shift away from using fossil fuels, marking the first instance where the issue of the climate emergency was addressed in a decision text. Following Cop28, Al Jaber announced his intention to proceed with the expansion of his oil company’s production of oil and gas.

Source: theguardian.com