Upon the invitation of Alok Sharma, President of the 26th session of the Conference of the Parties to the UN Climate Change Convention (COP26), Slovenia’s Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning Andrej Vizjak is attending a two-day ministerial meeting which is to prepare and help align the positions of different regional groups and Parties to the Paris Agreement prior to the meeting of Parties in November in Glasgow.
At the forefront of the meeting are key themes that are on the negotiating agenda for COP26, including the drafting of rules for international carbon markets (Article 6) and with this the completion of the Rulebook for the implementation of the Paris Agreement, financing, adapting to climate change, losses and damage, and the strengthening of ambitions to achieve the target of limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius. The ministerial meeting is being attended by ministers and senior representatives from over 40 different countries including Argentina, Australia Brazil, Egypt, India, China, Columbia, Costa Rica, Japan, Kenya, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, Turkey, the UAE and USA. Alongside Slovenia, other EU countries attending the meeting include Germany, France, Italy, Denmark, Poland, Sweden, and Spain, along with representatives from the European Commission. Minister Vizjak, as President of the EU Council, represents and gives views in the name of the EU and its Members at the meeting.
The meeting began yesterday with a discussion on progress in strengthening adaptation to climate change, which is key to success in Glasgow. In a statement made in the name of the EU, Minister Vizjak emphasised that the field of adaptation to climate change is one of the EU’s key priorities. In the field of adaptation, which is the second goal of the Paris Agreement, the greatest challenge is currently the operationalisation of the global target for adaptation defined in Article 7. On the basis of the already adopted Adaptation Strategy, the EU coordinated by the Slovenian Presidency will, in advance of the meeting of Parties in Glasgow, prepare a special communiqué on the subject of adaptation and after it is politically accepted at the meeting of the Environment Council forward it to the Convention Secretariat. In this way the EU will continue to lead and give an example that encourages other countries to make more progress to achieve the global adaptation target. As the ministers from developing countries said, adaptation must not remain just a priority but must be enacted with urgency, as these are two interconnected aspects that require a simultaneous and comprehensive approach, and success at COP26 will also be crucially influenced by strengthened financing.
In the afternoon, the ministers discussed the strengthening of efforts to reduce emissions in order to prevent global warming surpassing 2 or 1.5 degrees Celsius in comparison with the pre-industrial level. Slovenia stressed, in the EU’s name, that with its new ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDC) to reduce emissions by 55% by 2030, the EU was still leading on a global level and at the same time calling on other countries to follow. From the findings of the report by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), growth in climate-related ambitions is inevitable if we hope to stop global warming and achieve climate neutrality by 2050. The active inclusion of all relevant sectors, from transport, agriculture and especially industry is crucial, so the EU welcomes the UK’s active role in working for progress as part of sectoral political campaigns on the road to Glasgow.
The ministerial meeting continues today with a discussion on financial resource mobilisation, implementation rules from Article 6 of the Paris Agreement, avoiding double counting and addressing losses and damages.
Slovenia, in its role of President of the EU Council, is striving to successfully represent EU positions outwardly and in negotiations with third countries prior to and during the meeting in Glasgow. Slovenia will strengthen efforts aiming to reach a successful result at the COP26 Climate Change Conference and will strive for the completion of preparations and the adoption of the complete and effective Rulebook for implementing the Paris Agreement.