COP29 still without host as Russia blocks Bulgaria’s bid

Russia, which is facing sanctions from the European Union due to its war in Ukraine, is objecting to the idea of hosting COP29 in an EU member country and is hindering Bulgaria’s proposal, Reuters reported on Wednesday.

The opening days of COP28 barely mentioned COP29, unlike previous years, when speakers usually acknowledged the next COP host to show that the world’s climate action plan is set for years ahead.

By this stage, the next host is usually preparing for the summit and establishing the diplomatic foundations for their presidency.

According to UN regulations, it is the turn for an eastern European country to host a COP. However, the requirement for unanimous agreement from all countries in the region has been rendered virtually unattainable due to the conflict in Ukraine.

The other two potential hosts, Armenia and Azerbaijan, who have been long-term adversaries, are not considered options because they refuse to support each other’s bids.

Last week, the current COP28 President, Sultan Al-Jaber called on eastern Europe to expedite and conclude discussions regarding the host of COP29.

He also appointed a negotiator to assist in finding a solution by December 12, the scheduled end of this summit.

UN regulations stipulate that the responsibility of hosting should rotate among the five global regions, and there needs to be a consensus among the countries in the designated region about who will assume this role.

In the absence of such an agreement, unconventional solutions are being considered.

Delegates have suggested a model where one country assumes the presidency while another hosts the event, effectively dividing the responsibilities of guiding and hosting the discussions.

This approach would enable smaller eastern European countries, which may lack the infrastructure for a large summit, to take on the presidency.

The actual event could then be held at the UN climate body’s headquarters in Bonn, Germany.

The UAE stated that it has no intentions to host again, but it has entirely dismissed the idea.

If a host is not found, the event could take place in Germany, with the UAE holding onto the presidency for another year.

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