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UN COP29 Leader Urges US to Keep Climate Pledges Even If Trump Elected

The incoming host of the next COP summit has called on the U.S. and other nations to maintain their climate commitments, even if Donald Trump is elected as president in November.

In his third media interview since being named president-elect of the COP29 summit—due to be held in Baku, Azerbaijan, the week after the U.S. election—Mukhtar Babayev told Newsweek: “We hope that all the countries, including the United States, will demonstrate their readiness to fulfil their obligations, to fulfil their readiness” to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees above pre-industrial levels.

Trump has premised his 2024 presidential campaign’s energy policy on increasing domestic fossil fuel production, telling supporters at a rally in January that: “We’re going to drill, baby, drill” in order to keep gas prices low.

Those close to the former president have also intimated his intention to repeal the Inflation Reduction Act—a landmark piece of Biden administration legislation that provides $500 billion in investment for the infrastructure necessary for the transition to a green economy—if re-elected.

Asked about how he might convince an incoming President Trump to maintain America’s pledges to curb emissions, Babayev responded: “I think it is [a] very critical time for the world.

“We hope that all countries will fulfil their obligations and intentions to provide [for that] 1.5 [Celsius, 2.7 degrees Fahrenheit] limit. That’s why I think, and I hope, that all the countries will demonstrate their readiness and—by action—their activities to provide this target.”

Azerbaijan’s minister of ecology and natural resources added that his team would continue to work with the current White House administration in the lead up to COP29 on maintaining the climate agenda it had already adopted.

He also laid out his intentions for the climate conference—to secure continued cooperation on curbing global warming and broker a financing agreement for poorer countries—and urged nations to consider “all possibilities” on reducing carbon emissions amid the ongoing and environmentally costly Russian invasion of Ukraine.