COP28, EC heads reaffirm commitment to deliver on ‘ambitions’

<p>Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 president-designate (left), and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission <em>(WAM)</em></p>

Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, UAE Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 president-designate (left), and Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission (WAM)

BRUSSELS – Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology and COP28 president-designate, recently met with Ursula von der Leyen, president of the European Commission (EC), and reaffirmed their commitment to work together to facilitate the “highest possible ambition” for this year’s COP28 climate conference.

The leaders released a joint statement following a meeting at the European Commission headquarters in Brussels, Belgium.

Also attending the meeting were Franz Timmermans, EU Commission executive and vice president for the European Green Deal; Josep Borrell, EU High Representative for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy; Ambassador Lana Zaki Nusseibeh, United Arab Emirates (UAE) Permanent Representative to the United Nations and Special Envoy to the EU; and Mohamed Al Sahlawi, UAE ambassador to the Kingdom of Belgium.

The statement highlighted a common vision for a just energy transition that leaves no one behind and that promotes policies and investments that scale up renewable energy while working towards an energy system that is free of unabated fossil fuels while ensuring energy security, accessibility and affordability.

Dr. Al Jaber said, “Europe, and the European Union, are already playing a leading role in climate action, and will be vital and trusted partners at COP28. We appreciate the European Commission’s support for our call to triple renewable energy by 2030. We can’t achieve our shared objectives unless we work together in a collective effort.”

The COP28 president-designate and EC president urged all governments to align their national efforts with the shared commitment to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement, including pursuing efforts to keep global temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius within reach.

With the first Global Stocktake of the Paris Agreement concluding at COP28, the leaders also agreed on the importance of ensuring that it informs climate action going forward, setting out pathways for emissions reductions, enhanced resilience and finance flows that are aligned with climate objectives.

Both organizations will work together in multiple areas to drive a just energy transition, including targeting tripling renewable energy capacity by 2030 and doubling clean hydrogen by unlocking global cross-border trade.

Operationalizing funding arrangements for the loss and damage fund to assist the most vulnerable communities was seen as key, with both parties supporting the full implementation of the USD100 billion delivery plan so that the goal can be met in 2023.

Doubling adaptation finance from 2019 levels will help ensure that all countries remain focused on supporting climate action, and the COP28 presidency and the EC will also look to deliver on commitments made on existing facilities, such as the Green Climate Fund.

Both organizations will also look to lay the groundwork for a larger mobilization of climate finance from all sources that meets the needs of developing countries to embark on the energy transition.

This will include advancing reforms to existing international financial institutions and identifying innovative mechanisms that will accelerate climate action and unlock private finance flow to emerging markets and developing economies.

“Capital will be key across every climate pillar – and what I have heard repeatedly on my travels is that climate finance is nowhere near available, affordable or accessible enough,” Dr. Al Jaber said.

The Commission also expressed its support for the initiative of the incoming COP28 presidency to organize the first-ever health day and climate-health ministerial.

The European Commission and the incoming COP28 presidency intend to maintain close coordination at the political and technical level in the coming months, working together at a number of events.

These include the Summit for a New Global Financing Pact on June 22 and 23, Ministerial on Climate Action on July 13 and 14, G20 Energy Ministers Meeting on July 22, G20 Environment and Climate Sustainability Ministers Meeting on July 28, G20 Leaders Summit on Sept. 9 and 10, UN Secretary General’s Climate Summit on Sept. 20, and multiple regional political fora around the world.

“Combatting climate change will require a collective effort – and that means everyone, everywhere” Dr. Al Jaber said. “We need solidarity, unity and partnership across all sectors and between all stakeholders to move from goals to getting it done. COP28 must be a COP of action and a COP for all if we are to deliver the system-wide transformation that the world needs.”

Over the course of his visit to Brussels, Dr. Al Jaber also held meetings with Charles Michel, president of the European Council. (WAM)