The COP26 climate conference is a key step for the future of our planet and younger generations, Slovenian Environment Minister Andrej Vizjak said at Monday’s press conference in Glasgow, Great Britain. “It is time to act responsibly and move from good intentions to concrete actions,” he added.
Vizjak, together with the Vice-President of the European Commission Frans Timmermans, chaired the COP26 meeting, which was also live.
Slovenia has an important role to play at the summit, as it represents the EU and coordinates the views of the Member States as the EU presidency.
Vizjak noted that decision-makers in Glasgow are deciding on the future of the Earth, adding that the world should start implementing concrete measures to achieve the goal of limiting the temperature rise to 1.5 degrees Celsius.
“We will succeed if we are united and cooperate – the whole world, all countries and all stakeholders. At the same time, we should ensure that our actions do not jeopardize social cohesion and economic development, and that we help developing countries, “he said.
The Minister sees the measures as an opportunity for economic and social progress. He called on all parties to the 2015 Paris Agreement to work to mitigate climate change and step up their efforts to adapt to climate change.
Vizjak called for $ 100 billion a year in climate aid to developing countries, saying about 85 percent is currently achieved in those countries, and the rest could be paid out soon.
The EU and its member states provide the largest share of public climate finance to help developing countries around the world, the environment ministry said in a press release, adding that this amount in 2019 amounted to 21.9 billion euros.
Timmermans, Commissioner for Climate Action and the European Green Agreement, said that the negotiators and the countries participating in COP26 still had a lot of work to do, noting the EU’s position that ambitious goals only count if supported by concrete measures.
He highlighted the issue of compensation for losses and damage due to climate change as a “matter of great importance”. The EU supports improving the disaster relief system by strengthening the Santiago network, he said.
The ministry highlighted Article 6 of the Paris Climate Agreement as one of the critical open issues discussed at COP26. The article addresses cooperation mechanisms, including the international transfer of mitigation results, transparency, adaptation and a common timeframe for country contributions.
Both Vizjak and Timmermans also asked journalists questions, especially about the role of different energy sources in the future without carbon.
Vizjak emphasized the unequal conditions of competition between Member States, saying that some were heavily dependent on coal, others not at all, some were working to save nuclear energy, and others would use natural gas as a transitional solution.
Timmermans and Vizjak agreed that hydrogen could play a significant role in the future. The Commissioner said that biomass should be part of the EU’s future energy mix.
The second part of the COP26 conference has begun, and the momentum created by the heads of state and government last week is expected to be maintained by the ministers responsible for the environment and climate change.
Experts, meanwhile, warn that countries are still far from reaching agreement on a number of issues at the start of the last week of the summit.
[Edited by Alice Taylor]