'Invest today to save tomorrow': Focus on finance as Cop29 countdown begins

Azerbaijan will urge donors to dig deep so that green pledges of Cop28 in UAE can be met

Azerbaijani minister Mukhtar Babayev is president-designate of the Cop29 climate summit in Baku this November. AP
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Azerbaijan will urge wealthy nations and companies to "invest today to save tomorrow" when it takes over from the UAE as chair of global climate talks.

Finance will be a key focus of the Cop29 summit taking place in Baku in November, said its president-in-waiting Mukhtar Babayev.

Speaking at preliminary talks in Berlin on Thursday, he said Cop29 needs to "put in place the right conditions to enable action".

The UAE's Cop28 team said it was "engaging in discussions" at the Berlin talks on energy, finance and "accelerating implementation" of what was agreed in Dubai last year.

Almost 200 countries agreed at Cop28 to move away from fossil fuels and expand renewable energy in a quest for rapid emissions cuts.

The text of the Dubai deal is the basis on which countries must now update their national climate plans, due by 2025.

In the updated plans due by Cop30 "we will see whether we have turned the Dubai commitments into reality", German Foreign Minister Annalena Baerbock said.

However, it is estimated that poorer countries will need almost $6 trillion to make this happen and finance is a regular sticking point of summits.

A key objective for Cop29 will be to set a new funding target to replace a long-delayed pledge of $100 billion a year for developing countries.

"We know that the world needs to increase overall flow of climate finance by several multiples," said Mr Babayev, who is Azerbaijan's Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources.

"We invest today to save tomorrow," he said. "We want everyone to focus on our collective interest to confront the climate crisis."

The Azerbaijani Cop29 team is working in a "troika" with the UAE and Cop30 host Brazil to ensure a common approach from summit to summit.

One theme being picked up from Cop28 is giving the private sector a key role in providing the necessary funds.

Private companies will be asked to "come to Cop29 ready to show how they are allocating capital and ensuring investment decisions are aligned with our climate goals", Mr Babayev said.

He said financial markets should help make climate action economically viable so that "protecting the planet pays".

Calls for major lenders such as the World Bank to adopt more climate-minded policies have been growing but there has not yet been "adequate and sufficient action", he said.

Anticipating further tough talks, he admitted that finance "has been one of the most challenging topics of climate diplomacy over the years".

"We are listening to all parties to understand their concerns ... so that we can deliver a fair and ambitious new goal," he said.

With finance as one "pillar" of Cop29, a second will be encouraging more ambition from the 195 countries signed up to the Paris Agreement.

The agreement's goal is to limit the global temperature rise to 1.5°C above a pre-industrial benchmark.

The troika of Azerbaijan, UAE and Brazil is working to ensure that countries "receive all the support they need" to design new plans, Mr Babayev said.

"Last year we set many historic global targets ... it is time for everyone to make the contribution on the basis of equity," he said.

Updated: April 25, 2024, 2:31 PM