European Environment Commissioner Virginijus Sinkevicius stressed the importance of continuing to focus on existing climate targets. He made this appeal to the international community ahead of the upcoming COP28 climate conference, where a comprehensive assessment of global climate protection efforts will take place.
Sinkevicius emphasized that the primary goal of COP28 is to assess the global situation, which reveals the shortcomings of both aspirations and implementation.. This process is expected to stimulate further actions to achieve the set goals. However, he also warned that there was a risk that the focus would shift to future national climate change contributions and new funding, rather than focusing on immediate action needed this decade.
He stressed the need to focus on the implementation of previously set goals.
In his view, it is crucial that everyone commits to reducing emissions by 2025 and takes urgent and significant action to reduce emissions later this decade. This commitment must be followed by appropriate measures and investments.
Sinkevicius expressed concern that there is a high risk of not being able to achieve the goal set in the 2015 Paris climate agreement – limiting global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius if possible. He emphasized that keeping this goal alive is essential, as it represents our best hope against catastrophic consequences.
Climate scientists have indicated that achieving this goal would require a radical change in climate policy. The international community agreed on this objective with the aim of preventing dangerous turning points with irreversible consequences and averting catastrophic outcomes.
Currently, however, according to UN reports, we are heading for 2.8 degrees of warming – a scenario with unforeseeable consequences.
The COP28 climate conference is scheduled to be held in Dubai between November 30 and December 12. Depending on the approval of the European Parliament, it is expected that the newly appointed climate protection commissioner, Dutch Wopke Hoekstra, will lead the negotiations on behalf of the EU. His nomination has sparked criticism in the Netherlands, with the Greens, Social Democrats and environmental organizations expressing concern over his lack of expertise and previous involvement in climate protection.
Cover image source: Getty Images