EU to set high bar in climate change negotiations

Wopke Hoekstra @WBHoekstra
European Commissioner Wopke Hoekstra and Spain’s deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera discussed the EU’s priorities with the COP28 UAE President Sultan al-Jaber.

The European Union is going to set a “higher bar” in negotiations on climate change, wanting to prompt the beginning of the end for fossil fuels, according to the speech made by the European Commissioner for Climate Action at the United Nations Conference of the Parties in Dubai.

Wopke Hoekstra spoke at the last day of the technical phase of COP28. He reminded that “we have over 190 parties here at COP28 and we need all of these parties, all of these parties to agree to phase-out fossil fuels.” Any agreement coming out of COP has to been almost unanimous. The phasing out of fossil fuels gathers the support of small island nations and other developing countries.

During COP, also Spain’s deputy Prime Minister Teresa Ribera spoke, as her country holds the rotating Presidency of the European Union. She also confirmed that “the European Union facilitates what the president [of COP28, Sultan al-Jaber] said he wanted to achieve in this very precise moment: a historic turning point in this very critical decade.” Ribera also called al-Jaber to be more than “an honest broker” and to drive talks towards an ambitious agreement with his leadership.

Al-Jaber supports scientific evidence on climate change and he is in favour of limiting global warming to 1.5 degree Celsius. However, many questioned his commitment due to his role of President of Abu Dhabi National Oil Co., directly at odds with ensuring an effective battle of climate change and a phasing of fossil fuels.

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