Mukhtar Babayev,

Azerbaijan’s Minister of Ecology and Natural Resources, Mukhtar Babayev, has been named president-designate of the UNFCCC COP29 climate conference, scheduled to hold in 2024.

Babayev previously headed Azerbaijan’s state oil company, SOCAR, before being appointed minister in 2018.

He will be the second consecutive oil executive to head a COP conference, after United Arab Emirates’ Sultan Al-Jaber, the head of state oil company ADNOC, who chaired the conference last year.

Environmentalists frowned at Sultan Al-Jaber’s choice for the COP presidency, pointing to him having a conflict of interest as someone who ran the UAE’s national oil company.

However, he ultimately oversaw a breakthrough global agreement at the summit to transition away from fossil fuels, converting some sceptics into fans.

Baku’s presidency over the next COP conference resulted from “fraught negotiations,” it was gathered.

The decision has garnered criticism from environmentalists, who worry about the presidency being granted to another oil and gas-reliant nation.

“The world will need more action to phase out fossil fuels at COP29 and, as a major oil producer, Azerbaijan will need to listen to its critics,” a source stated.

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