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COP28 and Energy Approach of the European Union

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European Union (EU) energy and environment ministers met in a joint session in Valladolid on 13 July 2023 to discuss the challenges related to adapting to the climate targets of the Paris Agreement. The meeting took place with the participation of Teresa Ribera, Vice-President of the Government and Minister of Ecological Transformation and Demographic Responsibility, EU energy and environment ministers (including Norway, Iceland and Switzerland) and the presidency of the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP28). Frans Timmermans, Vice President of the European Commission, also attended this meeting. COP28, which is scheduled to be held in Dubai from 30 November to 12 December 2023, will be chaired by Sultan Ahmed Al Jaber of the United Arab Emirates. [1]

The main agenda items of the meeting in Valladolid were the goal of preventing a 1.5°C increase in global temperature compared to pre-industrial times, the role of the energy sector in achieving this goal and the promotion of a just transition.

Timmermans stated that G20 countries, which are responsible for 80 per cent of global emissions, need to reduce more carbon and emphasised that they need more support to deal with the consequences of the climate crisis.[2]

Following the meeting in Valladolid, environment and energy ministers participated in a session discussing the energy sector’s contribution to COP28. Swiss entrepreneur Bertrand Piccard, President of the Solar Impulse Foundation, which promotes multiple clean technologies to profitably protect the environment, took part in this session. This event covered topics such as how to achieve an integrated and digitalised domestic energy market, how to strengthen the value chain in the energy sector and how to ensure security in the energy sector from the perspective of open strategic independence. [3]

The meeting organised by the EU enabled the EU members to declare their demands and responsibilities with a joint declaration before COP28. The meeting was recognised as the pre-COP28 declaration meeting of the EU countries.

Firstly, the annual utilisation of new renewable energy sources should triple by 2030. Secondly, energy efficiency should double compared to the last decade. Finally, it called for the world to “largely phase out the use of fossil fuels before 2050”.

Carbon capture and storage (CCS) technology is also included in Timmermans’ remarks. Timmermans stated that this technology should only play a minimal role in the phase-out of fossil fuels in sectors that are difficult to mitigate. The industry has an obligation to demonstrate that this is achievable and to present credible investment strategies for carbon reduction technologies.[4]

The renewable energy moves taken by the EU in order to realise its commitments regarding the climate crisis were shelved after the Russia-Ukraine War. It is not expected that developed countries will give importance to carbon zero policies after COP28 without ensuring the energy supply-security balance. It can be said that carbon capture technologies and the use of hydrogen as fuel will overshadow solar and wind power plants on the energy side of the fight against climate change.

Countries with obligations arising from the COP28 and Paris Climate Agreements have been able to postpone the steps they will take against climate change to periods when there is no global inflation and the supply-demand balance is achieved.

In this framework, the EU meeting held before the Dakar Declaration actually constitutes the main impact area of this declaration. The Dakar Declaration, prepared by less developed countries, revealed the effects of climate and reminded the obligations of developed countries such as the EU. Before the COP28 Summit, it is not possible to say that constructive decisions and persistent policies will develop in the shadow of problems such as countries still not giving clear data on carbon emissions and not implementing commitments.


[1] “EU’s Energy and Environment Ministers Discuss Next Steps for COP28”, Spanish Presidency, https://spanish-presidency.consilium.europa.eu/en/news/rim-medio-ambiente-energia-dia-2/, (Erişim Tarihi: 11.07.2023).

[2] Same page.

[3] Aynı yer.

[4] “EU To Push for Fossil Fuel Phaseout ‘Well Ahead’ Of 2050 At COP28 Climate Summit”, Euronews Green, https://www.euronews.com/green/2023/07/13/eu-to-push-for-fossil-fuel-phaseout-well-ahead-of-2050-at-cop28-climate-summit, (Erişim Tarihi: 13.07.2023).

Ömer Faruk PEKGÖZ
Ömer Faruk PEKGÖZ
Gazi Üniversitesi-Enerji Sistemleri Mühendisliği