EU countries hammer out joint stance for COP28 climate summit

(EurActiv, 17 Oct 2023) EU countries on Monday (16 October) adopted a common stance for the United Nations COP28 international climate conference but language on the EU’s emissions reduction target and fossil fuel exit goal was softened to reach a unanimous decision.

The EU’s 27 environment ministers met in Luxembourg on Monday to agree on the EU’s stance for the COP28 summit opening in Dubai on 30 November, throwing their weight behind a goal to triple global renewable energy capacity and double energy efficiency improvements by 2030.

The European Union will also push for a “predominantly fossil-free” global energy sector “well before 2050” and strive to reach a “fully or predominantly decarbonised power system in the 2030s,” according to wording agreed by the bloc’s environment ministers.

However, the most ambitious countries had to accept watered-down language on the EU’s push to phase out fossil fuels and reduce emissions as the decision needed to be taken by unanimity.

“Would [the Commission and Presidency] have been able to go even further? Absolutely. And yet, you know, this is a Union where, in the end, we create a mandate with 27 countries,” said EU climate chief Wopke Hoekstra after the meeting.

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EurActiv, 17 Oct 2023: EU countries hammer out joint stance for COP28 climate summit