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Current developments and expectations for the COP27 climate conference

The 27th Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change is taking place in Sharm El Sheikh, Egypt, from 6 to 18 November. The aim of the conference is to re-energise the global ambition to scale up climate change mitigation and adaptation efforts and to mobilise adequate financing for climate action.

Spletna novinarska konferenca: Jasmina  Spahalić,  v sredini Tina Kobilšek, desno Uroš Vajgl

Spletna novinarska konferenca:Jasmina Spahalić, v sredini Tina Kobilšek, desno Uroš Vajgl | Author Ministrstvo za okolje in prostor

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Today, at the start of the first week of the negotiations, Uroš Vajgl, state secretary at the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, Tina Kobilšek, Slovenia’s lead climate negotiator, and Mag. Eva Tomič, special envoy for climate diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs, presented the latest developments and expectations for the climate conference.

 

In this context Uroš Vajgl emphasised that "There is an urgent need to strengthen the global response to address climate emergencies because of the direct and existential threat to humanity, ecosystems and biotic diversity. Action must be taken to reduce greenhouse gases immediately and substantially in all sectors. All parties, especially the major polluters, should adopt and present ambitious targets and policies."

 

The state secretary also highlighted that yesterday Slovenia had joined the International Drought Resilience Alliance, an initiative of Spain and Senegal, the purpose of which is to transform the current approach to drought resilience based on crisis response to a more proactive, risk-based approach.

 

The main purpose of the conference is to encourage the parties to agree on raising the overall ambition to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and thereby limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius in line with the Paris Agreement. The conference also addresses measures for long-term global resilience to climate change and the commitments to increase climate finance, especially for the most vulnerable countries. However, due to insufficient progress towards achieving the goals of the Paris Agreement at the global level, the role of the EU, with its most ambitious targets, is all the more important.

 

Egypt, as the chair and the host country of this year’s conference emphasises that the implementation of the commitments already made is of key importance. This is also the message we heard from the world leaders at the World Leaders’ Summit (the Climate Implementation Summit) which started yesterday and will continue today. 

 

At the World Leaders’ Summit, Slovenia is represented by the President of the Republic, Borut Pahor, who made a statement on behalf of the nation yesterday. In this statement, Slovenia also stressed the importance of a critical decade to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in order to maintain the 1.5 degree temperature target.

 

President Pahor also took part in the closing event on the occasion of welcoming the relay baton with the message for world leaders that started its journey in Glasgow, the venue of last year’s COP26, and arrived in Sharm El Sheikh after just over a month. In Slovenia, the baton was taken by Tina Kobilšek, Slovenia’s lead climate negotiator, and was also carried by President Pahor in the last leg. The main objective of the relay is to raise awareness of the importance of climate education and thus to empower young people.

 

Slovenia’s position during the meeting is represented by a negotiating team of experts from the Ministry of the Environment and Spatial Planning, headed by lead climate negotiator Tina Kobilšek, who emphasised, "It is crucial for the EU to assure that COP27 provides the best possible basis for the full implementation of the working programme for climate change mitigation as soon as possible. We also need to strengthen both the emission reduction commitments and their implementation."

By setting an example, the EU encourages other countries to step up their climate ambition in order to meet the goals of the Paris Agreement. In this context, the ambitious target to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 and the objective of achieving climate neutrality by 2050 are of key importance. By adopting the implementing legislation under the Fit for 55 package, the EU will prove that green transition is possible and that it brings economic opportunities and contributes to human welfare.

As special envoy for climate diplomacy at the Ministry of Foreign Affairs Mag. Eva Tomič pointed out, “This summer, at the proposal of Slovenia and four other countries, the United Nations General Assembly almost universally recognised the right to a clean, healthy and sustainable environment as a new human right. And we want to appropriately integrate this right into the work of the climate conference. In the light of Slovenia’s candidacy to become a non-permanent member of the United Nations Security Council in the 2024–2025 period, we are also very actively engaged in discussions and activities on climate security. Slovenia advocates the integration of climate security into conflict-prevention, peace-building and peace-keeping efforts.”

 

Green transition and climate change are among Slovenia’s priorities. With the adoption of the Long-Term Climate Strategy, we have set the goal of climate neutrality by 2050. We have also adopted a national adaptation strategy, the Strategic Framework for Adoption to Climate Change, which defines the purpose, objectives and strategic guidelines for adoption.

As regards climate financing, Slovenia implements international development assistance under the Climate Fund, which is targeted at measures that contribute to a green transition and global climate goals. Within the Climate Fund, Slovenia also participates in multilateral financing through specialised United Nations funds.

The European Union and its Member States are actively working towards a comprehensive conclusion of the conference in Sharm El Sheikh, successful negotiations on the Work Programme for Climate Change Mitigation, the determination of the Global Goal for Climate Change Adaptation and the raising of the ambition of the Parties’ updated Nationally Determined Contributions by 2030. This will require the involvement of civil society, non-governmental organisations and other stakeholders who play a key role in the effective implementation of commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and the integration of human rights and gender equality perspectives.

The EU will continue to seek synergies between climate change and other areas, such as biotic diversity, desertification prevention and natural disaster risk reduction in order to effectively achieve sustainable development goals.

Next week, a high-level ministerial dialogue on climate finance will take place; this will include the final stages of negotiations at the political level, leading to the adoption of the main conclusions of the conference, which is to conclude on 18 November.