• Press Release

Global: COP29 Climate Summit in Azerbaijan Must Put Human Rights at its Core

March 20, 2024

(Mladen Antonov/AFP via Getty Images)

Ahead of an initial meeting on March 21 to discuss the agenda for this year’s COP29 United Nations climate summit in Baku in Azerbaijan in November 2024, Amnesty International’s Climate Policy Advisor, Ann Harrison, said:

“This meeting can help set a course towards a successful COP29 in Azerbaijan by placing human rights at its core, including by identifying a clear pathway to a full, fast, fair and funded fossil fuel phase out. In practical terms, this means COP29 must focus on vastly scaling up targets for climate finance, primarily from states that have been the largest historical emitters of greenhouse gases and others in a position to do so, particularly G20 and high-income fossil fuel-producing nations.

“They must help fund necessary adaptation measures and a just transition to renewable energy in lower income states, as well as make binding commitments to adequately capitalize the loss and damage fund being set up to help communities and individuals suffering the unavoidable impacts of global warming.

“Existing climate finance pledges to provide US $100 billion a year have been missed, so trust must now be restored by the rapid delivery of the trillions of dollars needed to quickly meet the challenges the climate crisis poses to the human rights of billions of people, especially the most marginalized who often suffer the worst.

“The rights to freedom of expression, association and peaceful assembly should always be respected and protected by states. However, COP29 is being hosted in an authoritarian petrostate with a shocking record of human rights violations, including clamping down on environmental protests and arresting journalists. We call on Azerbaijan to halt these violations and to undertake meaningful reforms before and beyond COP29 to meet its human rights obligations.

“We are also calling on COP29’s organizers to fully enshrine and guarantee human rights in the Host Country Agreement and allow the full, free and effective participation of civil society at the meeting. This agreement must be made public and accessible, in line with agreed UNFCCC decisions, so COP29 attendees can make informed decisions regarding their participation. It must also contain effective guarantees against reprisals and retributions for voicing dissenting opinions, including environmental concerns.”


Approximately 40 ministers will be among those meeting in Copenhagen between March 21-22, 2024 to discuss COP29 and progress towards the implementation of decisions made at COP28 in Dubai. The meeting is chaired by COP28 President Sultan Ahmed al-Jaber alongside incoming COP29 President-Designate Mukhtar Babayev and Denmark’s Minister for Development Cooperation and Global Climate Policy, Dan Jørgensen

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