Dr Sultan al Jaber, President of COP28, during a meeting with Ursula von der Leyen, President of the European Commission, on 13 November, Source: European Commission

What will the EU push for at COP28?

What will the EU push for at COP28?

Both the European Commission and the European Committee of the Regions have particular agendas to pursue at the largest climate event of the year

If you haven’t heard – the 2023 United Nations Climate Change Conference, more commonly known as COP28, is kicking off this week in Dubai (UAE) with the aim of bringing back the global attention to the urgency required to effectuate positive climate results.

The summit, which will unfold between 30 November and 12 December at Expo City Dubai, will gather the most eminent stakeholders in global climate policy. As the government body, which has shown the highest commitment to climate action, the European Union has a vested interest in seeing concrete proposals, solutions and results coming out of these large-scale conferences.

With this in mind, here’s how the European Commission (EC) and the European Committee of the Regions (CoR) plan to make an impact at the upcoming climate conference.

The EU pushes for acceleration of green transition

COP28 President Dr Sultan Al Jaber and EU Climate Commissioner and Chief COP28 Negotiator Wopke Hoekstra met earlier this month and issued a statement, which declared shared conviction that the summit needs to push for even more commitment on green transition and CO2-reduction efforts in efforts to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement.

Once again, it seems, the EU will be a major force in driving the impetus towards finding solutions. One such thing will be the implementation of the Loss and Damage Fund, which was agreed upon during last year’s COP27 in Egypt.

Said Fund will provide grant capital to support some of the most vulnerable communities in developing countries impacted by climate change. The idea is that rich countries will contribute to mitigating the effects that their industries have caused to worsen the climate situation – in other words, climate justice.

Wopke Hoekstra said the EU is ready to announce a “substantial financial contribution” to the fund at COP28. The EU also hopes an agreement can be reached in Dubai on a new global goal of adaptation funding, which is one of the last remaining pieces of the Paris Agreement framework still to be finalized.

Leading by example, however, the EU is also urging other developed countries and leading international financial institutions, intergovernmental organizations and private sources, to provide enhanced and additional support for climate action “as well as to identify new and innovative sources of funding, including from the fossil fuel sector.”

As the question of adequate funding to finance the ambitious transition goals looms increasingly larger every year, the EU representatives are nevertheless weary that informing and educating the public also has to be a continuous effort in order to reap results.

That’s why, the European Commission has announced an entire program of side events at COP28. This will include more than 90 debates and panels on all things climate-related. Among these will be Energy Days and a Transport Day. Consult the full program here. You can also follow them online if you can’t make it to Dubai.

European cities and regions advocate for local voices to be heard

The European Committee of the Regions (CoR) is of the opinion that COP27 failed to achieve any respectable commitments on the part of the big players to ensure that the goal of limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees will stay within reach.

This is why, CoR will continue to advocate and push for the voices of the local and subnational governments to have a larger prominence in the debates, agreements and resolutions.

One big thing for the European institution will be to continue advocating a Global Goal on Adaptation based on resilience needs and solutions of specific localities. COP28 is an opportunity to give cities and regions the recognition they deserve as crucial actors in the fight against global warming.

CoR will send an 8-person delegation to the summit to lobby for more robust inclusion of the local governments in the decision-making process on climate action initiatives and funding allocations.

CoR will not be the only actor standing up for the interests of the local governments at COP28. Another organization that is sending a delegation to the event is ICLEI, which will present certain topics that global cities find to be of special importance.

ICLEI, in collaboration with UN-Habitat, is co-convening the Multilevel Action & Urbanization Pavilion at COP28, co-hosted by the Scottish Government and Bloomberg Philanthropies, along with partners like GCoM and C40 Cities. This platform will serve as a crucial focal point for discussions on city and subnational climate agendas.

Additionally, the first-ever Local Climate Action Summit (LCAS), hosted by the COP28 Presidency and Bloomberg Philanthropies, will mark a significant recognition of the essential role of local leaders in driving down emissions, confronting climate risks, and invigorating national climate initiatives.

COP28 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.



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