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COP 28 - Dr. Sultan Al Jaber be formally appointed as COP28 President

Today, the COP Presidency has officially passed to Dr. Sultan Al Jaber from his predecessor, Egypt’s Sameh Shoukry as the United Arab Emirates prepares for two weeks of intensive climate negotiations for the United Nations Climate Change Conference COP28, which will take place in Dubai from today to 12 December.

Earlier this month EU Climate Commissioner and Chief COP28 Negotiator Wopke Hoekstra met with COP28 President Designate Dr Sultan Al Jaber to discuss the preparations for COP28.

They underscored their shared conviction that 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. They also agreed on the importance of several critical elements that could frame an ambitious COP28 outcome:

  • They agreed on the importance of the successful completion of the first Global Stocktake under the Paris Agreement which should mark a turning point on climate action in this critical decade and inform immediate and future climate action, including the next round of NDCs, and clear pathways to achieve emissions reductions, enhance resilience and necessary finance flows.
  • The Commissioner and the COP28 President welcomed the very positive outcome of the Transitional Committee in Abu Dhabi. The Commission reaffirmed its support for this outcome and recommendations made by the Committee.
  • The COP28 Presidency and the Commissioner emphasised the importance of operationalising the Loss and Damage funding arrangements at COP28 including early pledges.
  • The Commissioner is ready to announce substantial financial contribution by the EU and its Member States to the loss & damage fund at COP28 in the context of an ambitious outcome at COP28 across mitigation, adaptation and means of implementation in a way that leaves no one behind.
  • The Commission is also 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 Presidency and the Commissioner emphasised the need for significant progress on enhanced adaptation action that builds resilience and reduces vulnerability, with a robust outcome on the Global Goal on Adaptation at COP28.

Both parties emphasised that 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.

Following today’s opening ceremony, Dr. Sultan Al Jaber and the COP28 Presidency, along with United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change Executive Secretary Simon Stiell, delivered remarks at the COP28 opening press conference.

In his opening speech, Simon Stiell said every single commitment on finance, adaptation and mitigation – had to be in line with a 1.5 degree world.

 COP28 has opened with a resounding call to accelerate collective climate action. The conference takes place in what is already known to be the hottest year ever recorded in human history and as the impacts of the climate crisis wreak unprecedented havoc on human life and livelihoods around the world.

This year’s COP marks the conclusion of the “global stocktake”, the first assessment of global progress in implementing the 2015 Paris Agreement. The findings are stark: the world is not on track to limiting temperature rise to 1.5°C by the end of this century. It does recognize that countries are developing plans for a net-zero future, and the shift to clean energy is gathering speed, but it makes clear that the transition is nowhere near fast enough yet to limit warming within the current ambitions.

A report recently published by UN Climate Change shows that national climate action plans (known as nationally determined contributions, or ‘NDCs’) would collectively lower greenhouse gas emissions to 2% below 2019 levels by 2030, while the science is clear that a 43% reduction is needed.

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