At COP28, the European Union calls on all parties to take urgent action to bring down greenhouse gas emissions …reports Asian Lite News
The 28th United Nations Conference of the Parties (COP28) in Dubai is bound to make ambitious results in global climate action, Wopke Hoekstra, the European Union’s Commissioner for Climate Action, told the Emirates News Agency (WAM).
“We cannot leave Dubai without more ambition on climate mitigation,” he said on the sidelines of the conference.
“If we fail to reach the goals of the Paris Agreement, no amount of money will be enough to cover the damage. Just look at what’s already happening with a global temperature increase of 1.2 degrees,” Hoekstra pointed out.
EU’s single voice
At COP28, the European Union calls on all parties to take urgent action to bring down greenhouse gas emissions and respect all the commitments made under the Paris Agreement, he noted.
“As always, the 27 EU Member States speak with one voice, based on our common negotiating position. With our strong EU mandate, we will do our utmost in Dubai to drive forward climate action and build a greener future where nobody is left behind.”
The Commissioner observed that COP28 marks a crunch moment for global climate action. “The EU’s bar for success is high. There is no time to lose.”
Commitment to deliver a successful outcome
The commissioner said that in light of the several conversations he had with Dr. Sultan bin Ahmed Al Jaber, Minister of Industry and Advanced Technology, and COP28 President, he believes that “he and his team are very committed to delivering a successful outcome for the world and next generations.”
Hoekstra is confident that COP28 Presidency understand the need to facilitate the highest possible ambition, especially with regard to mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and climate finance.
Significance of Global Stocktake
He emphasised the significance of the first-ever UN Global Stocktake at COP28 – an exercise for all countries to look back at their progress on climate action after the Paris Agreement and draw conclusions on how much is still to be done.
“It is already clear that the world is not on track to limit global warming to 1.5 °C. But the window is still open. The Global Stocktake is a moment for all countries to reflect and act without delay. Every party needs to accelerate their climate ambitions.”
Hoekstra expressed his optimism that the word could still offer the next generations a 1.5-degree future [global warming limit]. “It requires that the entire world takes action to reduce emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change.”
Crucial Loss and Damage fund
Talking about operationalising the Loss and Damage Fund, a breakthrough achieved on the very first day of COP28, to which EU member states have made significant contributions, the commissioner said, “I want to make sure this fund becomes operational. It is important that the fund supports the most vulnerable and that every country that has the ability to contribute to the fund actually does so.”
He stressed it is important that every country in the world with the ability to contribute actually does so.
“This is our responsibility to act, and not only the EU, but the whole world. Equally, climate finance and how we actively support nations in the Global South to mitigate and adapt to climate change, need to be high on the agenda,” Hoekstra said.
He quoted a “good news”, the recent estimate of OECD (the Organisation for Economic Co-operation and Development) that said developed nations may have achieved their overdue promise of US$100 billion to help poorer countries cope with climate change in 2022. Of that, the EU and its 27 Member States contributed around US$30 billion (€28.5 billion), the commissioner said.
Need for urgent action
Talking about the urgent need to act, he said, “Climate change is a crisis that we all face.”
Every country in the world is already confronting the impacts, whether it is flooding after heavy rains, extended droughts, extreme weather events, or loss of habitats and livelihoods.
Science, meanwhile, is abundantly clear about what we need to do and keeps giving us warning calls in every report released, the commissioner pointed out.
“We cannot steer away from our climate goals – future generations across the world are depending on us. This is why, I will continue to push for the highest possible climate ambition in Dubai.”