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Working towards successful COP26 negotiations

Following the COP26 climate summit in Glasgow, a number of bilateral meetings between the EU and other countries and groups of countries, including China, Japan, the USA, Australia, Russia and the group of least developed countries (LDCs), are taking place under the leadership of the Slovenian Presidency. In the following days, several other bilateral meetings will also take place.

Slovenian negotiator Tina Kobilšek (first from the left)

Negotiating in Glasgow - Slovenian negotiator Tina Kobilšek (first from the left)

"Such meetings are very useful as they allow us to better understand each other's positions and, ideally, bring them closer together, which has a positive impact on the negotiations in which all countries participate," said Slovenia's lead climate negotiator for COP26, Tina Kobilšek.

In addition to meetings with countries and groups of countries, under the leadership of the Slovenian Presidency, EU representatives have regular meetings with the British Presidency of COP26, the chairs of the working parties and the leadership of the Climate Convention Secretariat to seek solutions to current problems and to ensure that the negotiations are as successful as possible.

Of course, chairing bilateral and other EU meetings is not the only task of Slovenia as the country holding the Presidency of the EU Council. Its internal task is to coordinate the 27 EU member states and the European Commission to reach common positions on specific negotiation topics, and externally, together with the European Commission, to represent and defend the European Union's position in negotiations and talks with third countries.

From a negotiating point of view, the climate conference started quite well, with the adoption of agendas taking place without any major complications. Many expected that this would be a bigger problem since the initial negotiations on agendas sometimes take several days. This time, a consensus was reached rapidly, allowing the negotiations on outstanding issues to start immediately.

In global terms, the EU's targets and, therefore, Slovenia's targets are very high. If all countries had such targets, we would most likely be able to limit the rise in global temperatures to 1.5℃ above pre-industrial levels. In addition to implementing its commitments, the EU also provides substantial assistance to developing countries to help them tackle climate change, both by reducing greenhouse gas emissions and adapting to climate change. Among all developed countries, the EU is the leading provider of climate finance to developing countries, with Slovenia contributing a proportionate share.

At the two-day summit of world leaders, an important agreement was also concluded. More than one hundred world leaders pledged to end deforestation by 2030. Brazil, where deforestation is an issue of particular concern, is also one of the signatories. The US and the EU also announced their global pledge to slash global methane emissions by 30% by 2030 compared to 2020. Slovenia has also endorsed the aforementioned agreement and joined the global pledge.

Next week, a high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance will take place, which means that ministers will take over the negotiations, of course with the participation of experts. The talks are scheduled to end on 12 November.

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Additional information: Video from conference