Climate: EU Environment Commissioner: Keep an eye on goals at climate conference

Climate: EU Environment Commissioner: Keep an eye on goals at climate conference

With regard to the world climate conference COP28 in Dubai, the EU Environment Commissioner warns to urgently keep an eye on the goals set. Otherwise, the consequences could be devastating.

EU Environment Commissioner Virginius Sinkevicius has warned the international community not to lose sight of climate targets that have already been agreed. At the COP28 world climate conference at the end of the year, a balance of global climate protection efforts to date will be taken.

This stocktaking is the most important event at COP28 and will show both the ambitions and the implementation gaps in a way that should lead to more action, Sinkevicius told the German Press Agency. But it also harbors the risk “that the parties will concentrate on the next round of national climate contributions and a new funding ball and not on what still needs to be done in the current decade”.

You have to stick to the goal

Overall, the context for COP28 is extremely challenging as little progress has been made towards mitigation targets, the Commissioner said. It is therefore extremely important to focus on the implementation of previous goals. In his view, everyone must commit to reducing emissions by 2025 and reduce emissions “urgently and profoundly” during this decade. Appropriate measures and investments should follow.

The danger of not achieving the goal of the Paris climate agreement of 2015, to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees if possible, is very great. But the goal must urgently be adhered to: “We have to keep 1.5 degrees alive, because that’s basically the hope we have,” said Sinkevicius.

Radical reversal in climate policy

According to climate researchers, this goal is hanging by a thread. It is still theoretically possible to achieve this, but only through a radical change of direction in climate policy. The international community of states has agreed on the goal of avoiding crossing dangerous tipping points with irreversible consequences and averting the most catastrophic consequences. According to the United Nations, however, the earth is currently heading for 2.8 degrees of warming – with unforeseeable consequences. The world climate conference COP28 will take place from November 30th to December 12th in Dubai.

The new Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra is expected to lead the negotiations for the EU. The Dutchman Hoekstra was nominated as the new EU Commissioner for Climate Protection at the beginning of the week and now has to receive the approval of the European Parliament. Criticism of the personnel is increasing in the Netherlands: Greens, Social Democrats, environmental protection organizations and a citizens’ movement complained that he had no specialist knowledge and had not previously campaigned for climate protection.

Source: Stern

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