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Joint statement of EU Group of Friends on climate diplomacy, 13 November 2023

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Group of Friends for an Ambitious EU Climate Diplomacy (The Foreign Ministers of Germany, Denmark, Spain, the Netherlands, Latvia, Slovenia, Estonia, Finland, Ireland, Belgium, Luxembourg, Sweden and France)

One year ago, the Group of Friends for an Ambitious EU Climate Diplomacy was established by Denmark and Germany. Together, the Group of Friends has been working towards strengthening the EU´s global leadership on climate diplomacy in order to address the challenges of climate change and keep the aim of limiting global warming to 1,5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial level within reach, in line with the Paris Agreement.

We believe that the EU must play a leading role in attaining a successful outcome from the COP28 (30 November – 12 December 2023), ensuring the right balance between increased ambitions on mitigation, adaptation, and more and innovative climate financing not least for the most vulnerable least developed countries, including establishing the financial arrangements and a fund for loss and damage (L&D). To this aim and following our suggestion, the High Representative invited the COP28 President-Designate Dr Sultan Al Jaber at the margins of the Foreign Affairs Council on 13 November 2023.

The COP28 in Dubai will be an important and challenging test for multilateralism. It represents an opportunity to aim higher than at any other COP before. Our objective is to increase both ambition and implementation of climate action in order to implement the goals of the Paris Agreement and accelerate the global energy transition from fossil fuels to renewable and clean energy in a climate neutral global economy. The Global Stocktake as the backbone of the ambition cycle of the Paris Agreement offers a unique opportunity in this regard; our objective is an ambitious, forward-looking decision including adopting global 2030 renewable energy and energy efficiency goals and the phase out of fossil fuels in line with 1,5°C.

Given the role of climate finance as enabler of ambitious climate action, we are fully committed to delivering on the USD 100 billion goal and to the goal of doubling adaptation finance by 2025. We are confident that we will meet the USD 100 billion goal this year. At the same time, we need to go beyond public sources: we need to identify new and additional financial sources and make finance flows consistent with a pathway towards low greenhouse-gas emissions and climate-resilient development.

It is also essential to implement the historic COP27 decision on the establishment of new funding arrangements and a fund for loss and damage. In this context, we welcome that the Transitional Committee (TC) was able to agree on recommendations to COP28 on how to operationalize the fund and the funding arrangements. It is important that poor and vulnerable developing countries, especially SIDS and LDCs, are the main target group of support via the new fund, and that the fund is open to all sources of financing, including from new and innovative sources, and that it does not divide the countries of the world in to fixed categories of contributors and beneficiaries. We must support the agreement and the recommendations, which is one of the important pieces we need to agree on to ensure a successful and ambitious COP28.

Beyond COP28, the Group of Friends will continue our climate diplomacy and support work for implementation of climate action at the international level as well as with global partners. This should include consistent call on large emitters, in particular the G20, to enhance their climate commitments. For this, the Group of Friends will also strive for a strengthened EU climate diplomacy and work towards the integration of climate diplomacy and its climate cooperation in the EU’s strategic outreach and communication. We will continue to showcase the opportunities of climate action and green solutions by EU business actors contributing to new jobs and growth in the EU and in partner countries.

Finally, we are working on enhancing and streamlining coordination on climate action among EU Delegations and Member States in partner countries with a view to promoting joint engagements and sharing of best practices inter alia on supporting the accelerated green energy transition and the implementation of COP decisions.

We will continue our efforts to ensure that the EU will play a leading role in addressing the challenges of climate change, including mobilizing additional financing for implementing the NDCs in the developing countries and establishing the funding arrangements and the fund for loss and damages.

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