Azerbaijan president: COP29 won’t stop us investing in ‘god-given’ gas

By Gabriel Gavin, Karl Mathiesen | 04/29/2024 06:16 AM EDT

President Ilham Aliyev used a Berlin climate speech to push for major foreign investments to boost its natural gas exports to Europe.

Azerbaijan's President Ilham Aliyev.

Azerbaijan President Ilham Aliyev is shown. Azerbaijan is host of the United Nations' next climate talks. Andreea Alexandru/AP

Ilham Aliyev, president of Azerbaijan — the host of the U.N.’s next climate talks — used a major address Friday to send Europe a pointed message: You need our gas.

The country’s fossil fuel reserves were “a gift of the gods,” Aliyev told a gathering of ministers in Berlin on Friday — and, he added, divine aid for Europe as it shifts off Russian energy supplies.

Azerbaijan’s hosting of the COP29 talks in November has drawn attention to its plans to massively expand natural gas extraction. An analysis from NGO Global Witness, seen by POLITICO, suggests the country’s plans would generate carbon dioxide emissions equal to Russia’s entire annual output.


Aliyev defended that expansion, calling it Azerbaijan’s “responsibility” to respond to Europe’s needs.