Tue. Dec 6th, 2022

Brussels, 20 November 2022

Press Statement – President von der Leyen – Conclusion of COP27:

“COP27 marks a small step towards climate justice but much more is needed for the planet.

We have treated some of the symptoms but not cured the patient from its fever.

I am pleased that COP27 has opened a new chapter on financing loss and damage, and laid the foundations for a new method for solidarity between those in need and those in a position to help. We are rebuilding trust. This is crucial moving forward because there can be no lasting action against climate change without climate justice. The European Union is already the world’s leading contributor of international climate finance, and I am satisfied that we confirmed our commitment to support the most vulnerable on our planet through a first contribution on loss and damage.

COP27 has kept alive the goal of 1.5C. Unfortunately however, it has not delivered on a commitment by the world’s major emitters to phase down fossil fuels, nor new commitments on climate mitigation. But the EU will stay the course, notably through the European Green Deal and REPowerEU, because it is essential to keep the ambition of the Paris Agreement within reach.

I extend my heartfelt thanks to the EU’s negotiating team in Sharm El Sheikh for their determination and hard work throughout the conference.

Source – EU Commission

 


Speech of Frans Timmermans at the COP27 Closing Plenary

Sharm el-Sheikh, 20 November 2022

“Check against delivery”

Dear friends, Mr. President,

We are all tired. Except of course for you Mr President. Our teams are exhausted. And I want to thank all our teams for their courageous efforts. In particular your team Mr President who have ben able to bring positions together which seemed extremely far apart.

But time and tiredness are no excuse to stop going. And the world will not thank us when they hear only excuses tomorrow. So let’s take a closer look at what is now on the table. Friends are only friends if they also tell you things you might not want to hear.

This is the make-or-break decade. But what we have in front of us is not enough of a step forward for people and planet. It does not bring enough added efforts from major emitters to increase and accelerate their emissions cuts. It does not bring a higher degree of confidence that we will achieve the commitments made under the Paris Agreement and in Glasgow last year. It does not address the yawning gap between climate science, and our climate policies.

The European Union tried to bridge these gaps. As you know. We showed our commitment to ambition by being fully in line with a 1.5 scenario and even being able to update our NDC. We tried to get us all on a firm path to 1.5. With a global emissions peak by 2025, and with a clear statement of our intention to phase out unabated fossil fuels. We have heard this week that more than 80 countries now support this goal. Sadly, we don’t see this reflected here.

This Mitigation Work Programme doesn’t block the path to 1.5, but it certainly puts unnecessary barriers in the way, and allows Parties to hide from their responsibilities. But we will not stop fighting for more. And nothing prevents us from doing more.

We will be holding ourselves and everyone here accountable under the Paris Agreement. But last night, our talks have stalled. Many parties, too many parties, are not ready to make more progress today in the fight against the climate crisis.

There were too many attempts to even roll back what we agreed in Glasgow. Some are afraid of the transition ahead. Of the cost of change. They question the ‘how’, not the ‘why’.

I understand those concerns. Many Europeans share them. But I want to ask you all, colleagues here in the room, to find the courage to overcome that fear. And I extend my hand to you to help.

The European Union has strong and fruitful partnerships with many of you. We have signed some significant new agreements in these last 2 weeks.

So let us seize the opportunity of the next 12 months to find the courage to do more. Because we know that the cost of inaction is so much higher than the cost of action.

Just listen to our friends from Pakistan, just now, how the country was ravaged by floods. It breaks your heart to listen to it. Or Eastern Africa, where a drought rages that has no parallel. Or to those in the line of monster storms in the Pacific or the Caribbean.

Yes, they deserve our support for the loss and damage they face. But they also deserve our higher ambition to avoid repeat episodes.

So we are faced with a moral dilemma. Because this deal is not enough on mitigation.

But do we walk away, and thereby kill a fund that vulnerable countries across AOSIS, AILAC and the LDCs, have fought so hard for, for decades?

And kill the opportunity it gives us for a conversation about expanded sources of funding? To open a whole new chapter on loss and damage and create a new and lasting method to increase solidarity? And bridge the gap between those in need and those in a position to contribute to address their needs, on the basis of their today’s potential?

No. That would have been a huge mistake and a huge missed opportunity.

To tackle climate change all financial flows need to support the low carbon transition. The European Union came here to get strong language agreed and we are disappointed we didn’t achieve this.

I strongly urge us all to roll up our sleeves, and show to the world that the fight for ambition, for a better future, is not yet over. In fact, it has only just begun.

My friends,

We had to give up some of the things we wanted, to help other Parties and this process to move forward. And we can live with that. In fact we are proud of our contribution to the creation of this fund, that will serve those most in need of support.

But I urge you all to acknowledge, when you walk out of this room, that we have all fallen short in actions to avoid and minimize loss and damage. We should have done much more.

Our citizens expect us to lead.

That means: far more rapidly reduce emissions. That’s how we limit climate change. Not wait and respond once climate change has had its devastating effects.

We have lost a lot of speed since Glasgow. We wasted a lot of time already. And our people and planet have no more time to lose.

We pledge to pick up speed again, starting now and here.

And regain the momentum we had in Glasgow.

It is with that perspective that the European Union can, although reluctantly, agree to the proposals now on the table.

We defended the ambition we set in Glasgow. And tomorrow, we start preparing for COP28.

Because we are already living in a world of 1.2 degrees change, and it’s already becoming unlivable for many, as we have heard so often this week, as many in this world can testify that this is their reality.

Because the world is watching us. And because they will not forgive us if we fail – again – to prevent the worst.

Thank you Mr President.

Source – EU Commission

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