How do we manage to keep us below the 1.5°C limit in a fair manner through international climate negotiations – the role of Europe
The expectations are high for the 2022 international climate talks. After a tremendously difficult 3 years which have seen the COVID pandemic, war in Ukraine, economic and fossil fuel energy crisis, the whole world and European countries in particular have made multiple setbacks on fossil fuels. The fact that it is Africa’s turn to host this year’s UN Climate Summit (UNFCCC COP27), with Egypt as a host and presiding country, can provide a particular platform for African and other Southern voices, and raise particular attention to Africa’s needs on climate action, including climate impacts, climate finance, renewable energy access and the just transition out of fossil fuels.
The EU negotiates as a block at the UNFCCC. The Council, supported by the Commission, has already set out its position and priorities via the following agreements by EU Ministers:
Environment Council Conclusions on COP27 on 24 October
Economic and Financial Affairs Council Conclusions on Climate Finance on 4 October
In addition the European Parliament, while it does not have formal negotiating power at UNFCCC, adopted a Resolution on 20 October on the COP27 which is significantly more ambitious than the Environment Council conclusions, in areas such as climate finance, loss and damage, moving away from fossil fuels and EU’s own mitigation.
The EU policymakers’ and representatives’ rhetoric will have to drastically change: from emphasising the importance of gas infrastructure to get away from Russian gas, to urgently and massively increasing their energy savings and shifting from fossil fuels to renewable energy even faster. This COP, the EU, a powerful and relatively rich block of countries, has the chance and responsibility to play a leading, highly influential role in a new geopolitical context that requires scaling up support to developing countries, and that can’t turn a blind eye to the root cause of the climate crisis: fossil fuels. Europe needs to contribute to achieve the 1.5°C global goal in a fair manner: #FairFor1Point5.