COP28 president, EU climate commissioner meet in Brussels

London: COP28 President Sultan bin Ahmed Al-Jaber met with EU Climate Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra on Monday in Brussels, Emirates News Agency reported.

Al-Jaber and Hoekstra released a joint statement outlining several key elements that will shape COP28 outcomes.

“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 statement declared.

The two also praised the “very positive outcome” of talks earlier this month in Abu Dhabi on fully operationalizing the Loss and Damage Fund. The talks’ recommendations will be taken to COP28, and if adopted, the fund will provide grant capital to some of the most vulnerable communities affected by climate change.

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.

Al-Jaber hailed this commitment, stating that if implemented, the fund’s impact would affect “billions of people, lives, and livelihoods who are vulnerable to the effects of climate change.”

According to the two, the successful completion of the global stocktake should mark a “turning point” on climate action.

They also emphasized the importance of COP28 sending a signal on a just energy transition that results in a 43 percent reduction in emissions by 2030.

Hoekstra said 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 restore faith in multilateralism in a world that is polarised through a positive, action-oriented engagement and outcomes.”

While in Brussels, Al-Jaber also met with the EU 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.

Al-Jaber continued he wants “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.

“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.”