EU Council conclusions ahead of COP28

COP28

From November 30 to December 12, Dubai will host the 28th edition of the event. Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change – COP28. Accordingly, the Council of the European Union approved conclusions that contain the EU’s general negotiating position for the meeting.

Council of the European Union, in its conclusions before the COP28, underscores the extremely urgent need to strengthen the global response to the climate crisis by significantly accelerating global greenhouse gas emission reductions and adaptation and sustainable development measures, as this is the only way to combat climate change and ensure a better standard of living and well-being for people around the world, while protecting nature and ecosystems.

Key EU conclusions ahead of COP 28

  1. More ambitious global goals for climate neutrality

Member states emphasize that global climate ambitions need to be higher to be able to limit temperature increases to around 1.5°C, in line with the Paris Agreement. They stress that the total contributions set at the national level and their updates and implementation are currently insufficient to meet this goal. They also point out that all parties should revisit and set 2030 targets before COP28, and publish or update long-term low-carbon development strategies accordingly. This mainly concerns the world’s largest economies.

2. phasing out fossil fuels and increasing renewable energy capacity

The conclusions stress that the transition to a climate-neutral economy will require a global and gradual phase-out of fossil fuels with unabated emissions. It is important that the energy sector be largely free of fossil fuels long before 2050. The transition to a fully or predominantly low-carbon global energy system must be pursued between 2030 and 2039, leaving no room for new coal-fired energy. There are already widely available, cost-effective zero-emission measures in this sector, which have many benefits, including. for sustainable development, human health and air quality, but also for job creation and energy security. The council is also calling for the earliest possible start to phase out fossil fuel subsidies if they do not serve poverty eradication or a just transition.

The council is calling for global action to triple installed renewable energy capacity, to 11 TW, and to double the rate of energy efficiency improvements by 2030. In doing so, the national energy mixes of each country should be kept in mind. The Council points out that cooperation with developing countries is a must if we want to meet the challenges and ensure the benefits of the transition.

3. more intensive climate change mitigation and adaptation

The Council stresses the importance of successfully completing the first global review at COP28. The summary is a core element of the Paris Agreement and will bring concrete recommendations on how to carry out enhanced, immediate and ambitious mitigation actions and adapt to climate change. The ministers also welcome the launch of a work program on climate change mitigation and for a just transition, as well as a dialogue on a global goal in this area.

In doing so, the Council stresses that all parties must integrate climate change adaptation and resilience into existing policies and programs in all relevant sectors. He notes that the EU and member states are increasingly pushing for the implementation of adaptation strategies and plans and are mainstreaming the issue into relevant EU sectoral policies.

4 Funding climate action to avoid loss and damage

Member states appreciate the efforts that many countries and institutions are making to support solutions that eliminate the loss and damage caused by the negative impacts of climate change. They realize that existing funding mechanisms must be strengthened. They also know the potential of multilateral development banks and international financial institutions in this regard. The ministers are calling on all countries to do more and mobilize financial resources from various sources to support climate action. They are also looking forward to discussing climate change financing at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council meeting on October 17, 2023.

In addition, the EU is determined to work with all parties to:

  • Continue to promote the implementation of the enhanced transparency framework;
  • Continue to promote pluralistic discussion of the future of the UNFCCC, with particular emphasis on improving the efficiency of the process and facilitating participation;
  • Accelerate the implementation of the Glasgow Agenda for Climate Empowerment Action (ACE) and its associated action plan;
  • address the gender aspect to realize the full potential of climate policy;
  • to make progress in discussions within the framework of the Sharm el-Sheikh Joint Work Program on the implementation of climate action in relation to agriculture and food security;
  • Adoption of an action plan outlining the program’s activities until COP31 (2026).

Highlights of COP28

The Conference of the Parties (COP) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) takes place every year. Its task is to set climate ambitions and responsibilities, and to define and evaluate climate action. The main punts of COP28 are:

  • first global review;
  • climate change mitigation work program;
  • Global climate change adaptation target;
  • Climate change financing, including financial arrangements for loss and damage.

The EU and its member states are parties to the convention, of which there are 198 in total (197 countries and the European Union). At international climate summits, the Community is represented by the rotating Council Presidency together with the European Commission.

Representatives of the political, economic and scientific worlds met in Katowice, Poland, on October 5-6 this year, two months before the UN Climate Summit in Dubai (COP28), to develop a common position for the upcoming deliberations. You can read more about this in our article “PRECOP28 climate conference – Katowice’s Spodek and Congress Center will be powered by green energy“.

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