Demanding an end to fossil fuels at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) is not a ‘trivial request’ from the EU

Demanding an end to fossil fuels at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP28) is not a ‘trivial request’ from the EU

European Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra said in Abu Dhabi on Tuesday that the demand to exit fossil fuels in the final agreement of COP28, expected to take place on December 12 in Dubai, is “not a trivial demand” but an emergency created by science, “absolutely clear”. To help developing countries, the EU is “ready to take additional steps”, especially with regard to compensation for climate damage, says the EU’s new Mr. Climate, who met on the sidelines of the previous COP in the capital of the United Arab Emirates. Comments collected by AFP.

What were the main points of negotiations you addressed during the previous session of COP28?

All essential elements that will determine the outcome and success of the COP: Global assessment of mitigation efforts [réduction des gaz à effet de serre]“Loss and Damage” and Climate Change Adaptation Fund. In order to mitigate, we want to reach peak emissions in 2025, exit fossil fuels, accelerate coal use, triple renewables, double energy efficiency, solve methane emissions, etc.

naturally, […] It will be easier to come together around goals related to renewable energy and energy efficiency than fossil fuels.

In his speech, the President of COP28 said [Sultan Al Jaber] “Science should guide us,” he said. However, the science is quite clear, it is not “selective”. So, we have to do everything about mitigation, we have to do everything about adaptation, and we have to realize that more money is needed. Scientists tell us that it is necessary and that the window is closing.

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How can we solve the problem of climate financing, which is woefully inadequate for developing countries?

The European Union has been actively pushing in this direction. One hundred billion [de dollars d’aide annuelle promis par les pays riches]We took the lead by raising 26, which is big if you look at what our fair share should be. We are ready and very determined to take another step [pour concrétiser le nouveau fonds sur les pertes et dommages climatiques adopté à la COP27].

But at the same time, we have to do things right one at a time: this fund must be limited to the countries most in need and most vulnerable. [et non pas à tous les pays en développement]. Especially to small island states, the most affected by climate change, without any responsibility for it.

Second, we must make sure we expand […] To all countries that have the ability to pay. From a diplomatic point of view, it is not useful at this stage to point to specific countries, but everyone can see how countries stand in terms of GDP, and how the world has changed over the past 20, 30, 40 years. Economic progress, being an economic power, comes with many responsibilities.

We are determined to make this fund a success. Not only to solve the problem, but also because it’s connected to this very important, yet intangible thing called trust.

The European Union wants to reach a final agreement at COP 28 aimed at phasing out fossil fuels. Is this a red line?

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This is neither trivial on the part of the European Union, nor an experiment, nor a political maneuver. No, the world’s most famous experts are telling us we need more work, more ambition. Not in ten years. We need it now, because the window of opportunity is narrowing.

Of course, it would be much easier to continue as before or take a small detour. But future generations need us to act now. This includes a rapid exit from fossil fuels in general, and coal in particular.

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