IEA Executive Director meets with President of Azerbaijan and leading ministers in Baku

Fatih Birol In Baku

Discussions cover wide range of energy and climate priorities, with focus on IEA support for COP29 climate change conference that Azerbaijan will host in November

IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol met with President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and government ministers in Baku this week as the country prepares to host the COP29 climate change conference in November.

At the Presidential Palace, Dr Birol had a bilateral meeting with President Aliyev in which they discussed a range of energy and climate priorities, including preparations and expectations for COP29. They also spoke about issues such as the importance of energy storage, the need to expand grid development and efforts to reduce methane emissions.


President of Azerbaijan Ilham Aliyev and IEA Executive Director Fatih Birol

In a separate meeting, Dr Birol and Azerbaijan’s Minister for Energy Parviz Shahbazov discussed the country’s clean energy ambitions and its plans to improve regional integration and cooperation on renewable energy through its ‘green energy corridor’ initiative.

Dr Birol then met with COP29 President-Designate Mukhtar Babayev to discuss how Azerbaijan and the IEA can work together to ensure the climate conference delivers a successful outcome. To build momentum, the IEA and Azerbaijan agreed to co-host a major event aimed at accelerating implementation of the growing number of pledges to cut methane emissions from fossil fuels – a critical step for keeping the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 °C within reach.

The two-day signature event will take place in Baku in September and will bring together high-level participants from governments, international organisations and the private sector to discuss the imperative of moving from pledges on methane to action, as well as the key strategies for accelerating progress ahead of COP29. 

The IEA and COP29 are already working together, in partnership with the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, on a series of High-Level Energy Transition Dialogues to build consensus ahead of the climate change conference in Baku in November. The first High-Level Dialogue took place at the IEA headquarters in Paris last month, and the second will be held in London on 24 June. During their meeting this week, Dr Birol and Minister Babayev reviewed plans for the upcoming dialogues.

In Baku, Dr Birol also met with Minister of Economy Mikayil Jabbarov and Rovshan Najaf, President of the State Oil Company of the Republic of Azerbaijan (SOCAR). Their wide-ranging discussion covered topics such as the outlook for international energy markets, including trends in oil and natural gas, and matters related to climate finance in the context of COP29.