All countries must work together to achieve the objective of limiting global temperature rises to 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels, a leading climate change champion has said.
Dan Jorgensen, Denmark’s Minister for Development Co-operation and Global Climate Policy, said important progress had been made in talks between more than 40 nations at the two-day Copenhagen Climate Ministerial summit.
Mr Jorgensen chaired the meeting alongside Dr Sultan Al Jaber, President-designate of Cop28, and Sameh Shoukry, Cop27 President and Egypt’s Minister of Foreign Affairs.
It was viewed as a crucial stop on the road to the Cop28 summit in Dubai this November.
Mr Jorgensen said the global gathering at Expo City Dubai would be the “most important Cop since Paris”, referring to Cop21 in 2015, which set the 1.5°C target.
He warned that more needs to be done to ensure the world can change course before it is too late.
Stark reality of climate crisis
Sameh Shoukry said the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report, released on Monday, was “yet another sobering testament about the magnitude and gravity of the climate crisis”.
“The IPCC told us what we already know. However, it further detailed the situation at every region and every sector,” he said.
“We are clearly off track. The 1.5 degrees might slip away. The adaptation window is closing rapidly. Losses and damage are becoming a hallmark of our present reality.
“I quote the UN Secretary General when he said climate action is needed on all fronts, everything, everywhere, all at once. This is the only viable opportunity before humankind to reverse the grinding trend and survive the existential threat.”
Mr Jorgensen said the more than 40 countries who took part in this week’s meeting “reaffirmed” their commitment to follow up on the Cop27 decisions “and drive progress towards Cop28 in Dubai later this year”.
“It is a promising sign from the Ministerial here in Copenhagen that no participants disputed the need to reduce emissions by 43 per cent by 2030.
“The discussions at the Copenhagen Climate Ministerial have highlighted several areas of particular concern in order to reach a successful Cop28.”
Mr Jorgensen noted the need to reach agreement on four objectives: the need to deliver on the promise to get on track to limit warming to 1.5°; the need to increase adaptation action; the need for new funding arrangements responding to loss and damage caused by climate change, and the global mobilisation of climate finance.
“In our view these vital issues should be part of the global stocktake which will be concluded at Cop28,” he said.
“The global stocktake should both ensure that the countries have an understanding of the status of the Paris Agreement, and even more importantly, inform parties in enhancing action and international co-operation across the board.”
Dr Al Jaber spoke of the urgency to act during the Copenhagen meeting.
“We need to build on the foundation achieved at Cop27 and move from goals to getting it done,” said Dr Al Jaber.
“Incremental steps will simply not cut it, we need transformational progress in the next seven years across mitigation, adaptation, climate finance and loss and damage.”