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Hosting Cop29 ‘not on our radar’, says UAE

UAE Cop29 Reuters/Amr Alfiky
As hosts of Cop28 the UAE would continue to hold the presidency and preside over top-level negotiations if no host country for Cop29 is agreed
  • FT says tensions in Eastern Europe affecting Cop29 host bids
  • UAE would continue to hold presidency if no host decided
  • Cop28 spokesperson says only UN can decide on host nation

The UAE has played down reports that it plans to host next year’s Cop climate change summit, saying it is focused on running a successful Cop28 in Dubai this year. 

A Cop28 spokesperson told AGBI that Cop29 “is not even on our radar”. 

The UK’s Financial Times reported on Monday that the UAE wants to put itself forward to also host the 2024 UN climate change event. It is already staging this year’s summit later this year.

Under UN rules, the next event is due to be hosted by an Eastern European country. However, the bidding process has become gridlocked by geopolitical tensions following’s Russia’s invasion of Ukraine, the FT reported. 

Azerbaijan and Armenia were the frontrunners until this month, but the former’s capture of the disputed territory of Nagorno-Karabakh in September has escalated tensions between the two countries, and also with Russia. 

Germany, which is home to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), is the default host under Cop rules if no other option can be found. The UAE would continue to hold the presidency – meaning it would preside over the top-level climate change negotiations.

The FT cited sources as saying that if this was the case, the Emirates would also want to host the event. 

But Cop28’s organising body said the matter of which country will host Cop29 will be decided by the UN only.

“We remain focused on delivering ambitious climate action at Cop28,” the spokesperson added. 

“The question around the host country for Cop29 is decided based on the procedures provided by the UNFCCC.”

Staging Cop29 would allow the UAE to maintain influence over global climate change policy as pressure to meet targets set by the 2015 Paris Agreement intensifies.  

Under the Paris Agreement, participating nations pledged to take action to mitigate the effects of climate change and keep global warming to a maximum increase of 1.5C.