Dr Sultan Al Jaber (right), COP28 President, with EU Climate Commissioner and Chief COP28 Negotiator Wopke Hoekstra in Brussels on Monday Image Credit: Supplied

Brussels: COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber and European Union (EU) Climate Commissioner and Chief COP28 Negotiator Wopke Hoekstra met today in Brussels, and declared their shared conviction that COP28 must achieve the “highest possible ambition”.

Dr Al Jaber and Hoekstra issued a joint statement outlining several key elements that frame ambitious outcomes at COP28, declaring that “COP28 must accelerate practical action on mitigation, adaptation, loss and damage and climate finance and build a fully inclusive COP28 that leaves no one behind”.

The two also welcomed the “very positive outcome” of talks in Abu Dhabi earlier this month on fully operationalising the Loss and Damage Fund. The recommendation from the talks will be taken forward to COP28, and if adopted the Fund will provide grant capital to support some of the most vulnerable communities impacted by climate change.

Major announcement

The Commissioner is “ready to announce a substantial financial contribution by the EU and its Member States” to the Fund during COP28, according to the statement.

Dr Al Jaber welcomed this commitment and said that if operationalised, the Fund would impact “billions of people, lives and livelihoods who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change”.

In the statement, the two said that the successful completion of the Global Stocktake “should mark a turning point on climate action”.

They also highlighted in the statement the need for COP28 “to send a signal on the just energy transition that drives an emission reduction of 43 per cent by 2030.”

Another contribution planned

The Commissioner also stated that the Commission is planning to announce “a financial contribution in support of the COP28 Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency pledge, and invites countries to do the same during the World Climate Action Summit”.

The COP28 President and the Commissioner “emphasised the need for significant progress on enhanced adaptation action that builds resilience and reduces vulnerability, with robust outcomes on the Global Goal on Adaptation at COP28”.

In closing, the statement said: “COP28 is a critical opportunity to show unity and restoring faith in multilateralism in a world that is polarised through a positive, action-oriented engagement and outcomes.”

While in Brussels Dr Al Jaber also met with the European Union Foreign Affairs Council and spoke to the European Commission’s College of Commissioners on preparations for COP28.

“The fact that the EU is stepping up in serious, meaningful ways ahead of COP28 gives me hope,” the President stressed. Dr Al Jaber acknowledged that Parties “want to see language on fossil fuels and renewables in the negotiated text”.

“An energy system free of all unabated fossil fuels is inevitable and essential… and must be delivered in a responsible way that leaves no-one behind,” he stated.

He continued to say: “I believe that at COP28 we are on the brink of something special. By delivering on Loss and Damage, by delivering a landmark text, and by delivering on the Global Stocktake, we can show the world that, as leaders, we can unite, we can act, and that multilateralism is still a potent force for good.”

About COP28 UAE

COP28 UAE will take place at Expo City Dubai from November 30 to December 12, 2023. The Conference is expected to convene over 70,000 participants, including heads of state, government officials, international industry leaders, private sector representatives, academics, experts, youth, and non-state actors.

As mandated by the Paris Climate Agreement, COP28 UAE will deliver the first ever Global Stocktake – a comprehensive evaluation of progress against climate goals.

The UAE will lead a process for all parties to agree upon a clear roadmap to accelerate progress through a pragmatic global energy transition and a “leave no one behind” approach to inclusive climate action.