Statement by the Group of Friends for Ambitious EU Climate Diplomacy in connection with the publishing of the synthesis report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC)

21.03.2023 - Press release

The following statement has been issued in the name of the Group of Friends for an Ambitious EU Climate Diplomacy by Belgium, Denmark, Finland, France, Germany, Ireland, Lithuania, Latvia, Luxembourg, the Netherlands, Slovenia, Spain and Sweden.

We welcome the synthesis report of the United Nations Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and its clear message that there is a rapidly closing time window for actions to secure a livable and sustainable future for all.

The climate crisis is one of the greatest risks to international peace, stability and security. We also draw the attention that Russia’s war of aggression against Ukraine has created massive environmental damage and untold humanitarian suffering in Ukraine. Global warming on its current trajectory will lead to increasing climate hazards with significant consequences for life, biodiversity, human wellbeing, and sustainable development. Vulnerable countries that have contributed least to global warming are at even larger risk and we are committed to supporting them. The climate crisis requires immediate and strengthened climate action across all sectors, if we are to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C compared to pre-industrial levels. 1.5°C is not just a political target but a critical risk threshold: Above 1.5°C the probability increases enormously that more and more ecosystems and societies will no longer be able to absorb and withstand climate impacts, and that climate tipping points will be breached, further accelerating climate change and devastating entire ecosystems.

The synthesis report shows: We collectively have sufficient knowledge, tools and global capital available to address the challenges. To keep 1.5°C in reach, global greenhouse gas emissions must peak at the latest before 2025, and be reduced by 43 percent by 2030 compared to 2019.

This decade is decisive: The choices and actions we take now will have impacts for thousands of years. The world’s collective net-zero ambitions do have the potential to reduce temperature rise significantly. Yet, the actual policies and actions currently in place are vastly insufficient to stay within the Paris temperature goal.

This is why we are leading the way in implementing our own climate targets, and stand ready to update our NDC after the negotiations on the essential elements of the ‘FitFor55’ package conclude. As the Group of Friends for Ambitious EU Climate Diplomacy, we will work together to strengthen European climate diplomacy and work with partners to accelerate implementation and climate action across all sectors. In this context, we call on all countries, and in particular on all major emitters and G20 members, to redouble their efforts to adopt and implement 1.5°C-compatible climate and energy policies.

The EU Council Conclusions on climate and energy diplomacy adopted on 9 March 2023 are an important step in strengthening the EU climate diplomatic efforts and contributing to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. We need to accelerate the energy transition in this decade and we will systematically promote and call for a global move towards energy systems free of unabated fossil fuels well ahead of 2050, including through promoting the increasing uptake and system integration of renewable energy as well as the deployment of safe and sustainable low-carbon technologies. We will also continue to increase cooperation on the global just transition towards climate neutrality.

We will seek to increase European cooperation and support for adaptation and climate resilience, including for loss and damage, with a focus on the most vulnerable.

We stress the urgency of making finance flows consistent with the goals of the Paris Agreement, collectively mobilize more finance from both private and public sources, expand the traditional base of providers of development finance, and reiterate the numerous calls to reform MDBs’ practices and priorities to both accelerate the mobilization of climate financing and make all their financial flows consistent with climate neutrality and climate resilient development pathways.

We will work with the High Representative and the Commission to accelerate the integration of the climate, peace and security nexus in the EU’s external policy and actions.


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