According to popular belief, climate change policies that take into account potential conflicts can contribute to peacebuilding efforts. Similarly, peacebuilding and development policies that are resilient to climate change can serve as effective strategies for mitigating and adapting to the impacts of climate change.
Nevertheless, a new conflict zone was opened at COP28 when Haitham Al-Ghais, secretary general of the Organization of the Petroleum Exporting Countries instructed the members of the group to reject any agreement that would have an impact on the ongoing production and sale of oil, gas, and coal and to oppose any proposal or framework that specifically targets energy, such as fossil fuels, instead of addressing emissions. He described such plans and agreements as politically motivated campaigns targeting nations with abundant oil resources, jeopardizing the prosperity and future of their people.
He cautioned all members about the increasing pressure at the summit to focus on fossil fuels: “It seems that the undue and disproportionate pressure against fossil fuels may reach a tipping point with irreversible consequences”. His directive was communicated to the top ministers in all 13 OPEC countries, as well as 10 additional nations in the expanded group known as OPEC Plus, which includes Russia. This OPEC correspondence establishes a possible confrontation during the final days of the conference between the member states of the organisation and other countries, such as the European Union and the United States, which advocate for a global transition away from reliance on fossil fuels.
At the same time, there is also a chance that this COP could become a peace COP. On 7th December, in a joint statement of the Presidential Administration of the Republic of Azerbaijan and the Office of the Prime Minister of the Republic of Armenia, as a sign of good gesture, the Republic of Armenia supported the bid of the Republic of Azerbaijan to host COP29 by withdrawing its own candidacy. The Republic of Armenia and the Republic of Azerbaijan also expressed their hope that other countries within the Eastern European Group (EEG) would also support Azerbaijan’s bid to host. Immediately after the release of the joint statement, Bulgaria also withdrew its candidacy for hosting COP29. The European Union (EU) welcomed the joint statement by Armenia and Azerbaijan announcing several confidence-building measures, by saying that the EU concur with both countries that there is a historic chance to achieve peace in the region and is committed to supporting these efforts. Early Saturday afternoon Azerbaijan was confirmed as the EEG COP29 candidate, which climate summit will happen during the Hungarian Presidency of the Council of the European Union.
Policies and strategies pertaining to development, peacebuilding and climate change frequently lack cohesion and diverge from one another. Nevertheless, peacebuilding and mitigation/adaptation measures share a common nature, as they both necessitate inclusive and transparent social involvement.