EU praises COP28 President-Designate's ambitions

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EU Ministers have thanked Sultan Al Jaber for his efforts to secure an ambitious outcome for COP28.

The COP28 President-Designate has attended talks with EU ministers in Valladolid in Spain, where he was praised for his desire to deliver strong Global Stocktake results.

Discussions centred around driving progress across key COP28 priorities, including energy transition, climate finance, loss and damage, nature and food systems.

The informal joint meeting of the European Energy and Environment Ministers was attended by the Spanish Deputy Prime Minister and Minister for the Ecological Transition of Spain, Teresa Ribera, and the Vice-President of the European Commission, Franz Timmermans. Dr. Al Jaber outlined his expectations for COP28, emphasising its significance as the last opportunity to keep the 1.5 degree goal within reach.

Dr. Al Jaber addressed the gathering, stating, “We have seven years to make a 43 per cent reduction in global carbon emissions in order to keep 1.5°C within reach. At the same time, we will see a dramatic increase in energy demand as the global population rises. The need for robust, sustainable growth - while dramatically reducing emissions - is the critical challenge of our century. A system-wide transformation of entire economies is required."

To achieve the energy transition, Dr. Al Jaber stressed the need to triple global renewable energy sources in both domestic and international arenas and highlighted his invitation to parties to unite behind the world's first Global Renewables Pledge.

Dr. Al Jaber reiterated the call to action he made at OPEC last week to oil and gas producing countries and companies to align around net-zero methane emissions by 2030 and net zero by or before 2050.

He called on EU Member States to take the necessary steps to expand renewable capacity, such as “accelerating permitting for projects and related infrastructure, expanding power-grid connections, increasing investment in technologies like storage, and increasing energy efficiencies.”

On fulfilling historic climate finance pledges, Dr. Al Jaber said, “I am encouraged to believe that donors will finally meet the US$100 billion commitment this year and we also need to operationalise the Loss and Damage fund this year.”

To finance the energy transition, Dr. Al Jaber said, “We need to streamline and simplify access to climate finance and find new and scalable mechanisms to channel substantial private sector investment into the Global South. This will require major IFI and MDB reform to unlock concessional finance, lower risk and attract private finance at the scale and scope needed.”

Dr. Jaber concluded his remarks by saying, “No one has all the answers, and there is no ‘one size fits all’ solution, but by working together, we can make history together. COP28 must be a COP of Action and a COP for all if we are to deliver the game-changing transformation that the world needs.”

Earlier in the week, Sultan Al Jaber attended the Climate Finance Mobilisation Forum in London, led by the UK Secretary of State for Energy Security, Grant Shapps and the US Special Presidential Envoy for Climate, John Kerry.

The forum brought together leaders from the private & philanthropic sectors to discuss the urgent need for innovative solutions that support scaling up finance for climate action in developing economies.

The Forum committed more than $2 billion to help finance efforts to reduce carbon emissions and boost climate resilience across Africa, Asia and Latin America, a joint UK-US statement said on Tuesday.

"Recognising the scale and urgency of the climate crisis, the gathering emphasised the importance of partnership across governments, philanthropies, and investors – given that no single actor can mobilize finance at the scale required by acting alone," the statement said.

"The scale of this transition requires trillions in private investment in addition to the public funds we are spending. It is also one of the biggest investment opportunities in history."

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