Cop29 host Azerbaijan to hike gas output by a third over next decade

Cop29 host Azerbaijan to hike gas output by a third over next decade

Environmentalists condemn news of higher forecast production which is also seen as a conservative forecast.

Azerbaijan, which is hosting this year’s UN climate talks, plans to increase its fossil fuel production by a third over the next decade, according to an analysis shared exclusively with the Guardian.

The forecast indicates the Cop29 host will grow its annual gas production by about 12bn cubic metres (bcm) over the next 10 years, which is considered a crucial period in which global leaders must cut fossil fuel production if they hope to limit global heating.

Azerbaijan owns one of the world’s largest gasfields, Shah Deniz in the Caspian Sea, and the country is expected to extract 411bcm of gas over the next 10 years, according to data sourced by the campaign group Global Witness from analysts at Rystad Energy. This would emit 781m tonnes of carbon dioxide – more than two times the annual carbon emissions of the UK.

The figures are based on an analysis of Azerbaijan’s current gas production, plus its reserves approved for development and those that have been assessed by oil and gas companies but have not yet been cleared to develop. They suggest that the country’s annual gas production is likely to rise from an estimated 37bcm this year, to 49bcm a year in 2033.

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