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.
“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. As the country holding the Presidency of the Council of the EU, Slovenia has an important role to play at the climate conference (COP26), as it coordinates the 26 EU member states and the European Commission in the pursuit of an ambitious agreement; to that end, experts, together with colleagues from other EU member states and the European Commission, monitor and actively cooperate on every item on the agenda of the negotiations (more than 30 items per day).
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.
The talks are scheduled to end on 12 November.