The EU Council approves position in view of COP 28

The goal is to raise investments of 100 billion dollars every year until 2025

Ahead of the 28th United Nations conference on climate change (COP 28) which will take place in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December, the European Council has approved the conclusions which will serve as the EU’s negotiating position on the issue.

In the text, the Council confirms the EU’s commitment to the climate transition and raise the barunderlining that institutions can and must do more.

The focus is mainly on nationally determined contributions (NDC), which, according to the Member States, still are insufficient to contain global warming to within +1.5°C compared to 1990, as set by the Paris Agreement.

According to the Council, major economies should have raised the ambition of their NDCs and update your long-term strategies to include a net-zero emissions target to be achieved by 2050 at the latest.

In this context, the body welcomes the submission of a Updated European NDC that reflects the essential elements of the 55% Ready package to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These parameters should allow the Union to reduce its net GHG emissions (Greenhouse gases) by at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990 levels and to achieve climate neutrality by 2050.

As in previous years, the conclusions do not yet include the amount of the community contribution disbursed in 2022, which will be made available by the Commission in mid-November and will be confirmed by the Council separately, before the start of COP 28.

There, the Council will underline that the EU and Member States are committed to the goal of developed countries to mobilize climate finance for a total of 100 billion dollars every year until 2025. According to the European body’s forecasts, this objective will be achieved for the first time in 2023.

Less fuel, more renewable

The main obstacle for the ecological transition, as we know, is represented by fossil fuels, widely used in the production mechanisms of developed countries. In approving its negotiating position, the Council underlined the importance of making the energy sector predominantly free of fossil fuels well before 2050. The goal is to work towards a fully or mostly decarbonized global energy system over the next decade. For this reason, the Council warns, it will be necessary to gradually eliminate, but as soon as possible, the fossil fuel subsidies that do not address the issues of energy poverty or a just transition.

The text underlines that measures and technologies to reduce emissions are already available, as certified by the fact that, globally, renewable energy saved as much as $521 billion in 2022 alone.

The European body therefore calls for global action that leads to:

– triple the installed renewable energy capacity to bring it to 11 TW (terawatts);

– double the rate of energy efficiency improvement by 2030, respecting each country’s national energy mix.

On this point, the Council underlines that cooperation with developing countries is key to addressing the challenges and ensuring the benefits of the transition.

The other points approved

Through the conclusions approved last week, the EU expressed its participation in working with all parties to:

– continue to promote the implementation of the enhanced transparency framework;

– encourage an inclusive discussion on the future of the UNFCCC, with a particular focus on improving the efficiency of the process andfacilitation of participation;

– take forward the ambitious implementation of the Glasgow Work Program for Climate Awareness;

– promote discussions within the Sharm el-Sheikh Joint Work Program on the implementation of the agricultural climate agenda and food security.

The COP is a fundamental event for coordinating the actions of various countries towards the ecological transition. Every year the Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change meets to determine climate ambitions and responsibilities, but above all to identify actions to be implemented. There is a lot of work to be done on this aspect, given that good principles are often not followed by practical actions.

The European Union is the only supranational body in the COP, which has a total of 198 parties (197 countries plus the EU). The rotating Presidency of the Council, together with the European Commission, represents the Union in these international climate summits.

In the conclusions the Council also highlighted the opportunity
what ambitious climate action offers for the planetthe global economy and people, but also the importance of ensuring a just transition that leaves no one behind.

Teresa Ribera Rodríguez, third vice-president of the government and minister of the ecological transition and the demographic challenge ad interim of Spain, spoke as follows after the approval of the text: “Today we send a strong message to our partners: the EU is a world leader in climate action. In Dubai we will be at the forefront of negotiations to demonstrate the Union’s full commitment to the green transition and encourage our partners to follow our example. The EU is a driving force for change and we must speak with one voice in the world. We cannot use the difficulties as a simple pretext to return to the situation before the Paris Agreement”, commented Rodriguez. Perhaps a jab at the 40 MEPs who just a few days ago signed a resolution motion to ease the European sustainability reporting standards (ESRS). Motion which was promptly rejected by the European Parliament.