COP28: New forest, nature and climate packages launched for 4 African countries

Dr Sultan Al Jaber, COP28 President (L3), Chris Hohn (L5), Sheikh Abdullah bin Zayed Al Nahyan, Minister of Foreign Affairs, UAE (L6), Bill Gates (R6), Samia Suluhu, President of Tanzania (R5) and Reem Al Hashimi, UAE Minister of State for International Cooperation (R4) and other attendees at the Reaching the Last Mile Forum 2023 at Al Waha Theatre during the UN Climate Change Conference COP28 at Expo City Dubai
Family picture

World leaders gathered in Dubai, United Arab Emirates, for the world climate action summit to kick off the 28th United Nations climate change conference (COP28).

One of the highlights of the event was the launch of four country packages for forests, nature and climate for Ghana, Papua New Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Congo.

“Today, four countries, home to tropical forests and vast carbon sinks, announce country-led visions with new and innovative financing for forests and climate action.”

President of France, Emmanuel Marcon, who spoke at the World Climate Action Summit, hailed Ghana, Papua New Guinea, Democratic Republic of Congo, and the Republic of Congo as pioneers of high-integrity carbon financing through today’s new partnerships. The President acknowledged that protecting and managing our forests, through compensating the current stewards, is one of the best tools for accelerating the green transition in a just way: “Forests, which possess the most vital reserves of carbon and biodiversity must be remunerated.”

Raising ambition

In his address to the COP28 plenary, President Charles Michel called for increased and rapid global action to keep the global temperature rise within 1.5 degrees.

The Earth belongs to our children. This is not an advertising slogan; it is an existential reality. The decade ahead is crucial, and we are fully mobilised to work with each of you to protect humanity.

European Council President Charles Michel

He underlined the EU’s full commitment to the fight for climate neutrality.

He highlighted that the EU has already reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 30% compared to 1990 levels and has the determination to:

  • triple renewable energy
  • double energy efficiency

He also emphasised the need to end our dependence on fossil fuels as soon as possible.

Climate finance

The EU is the biggest provider of public climate finance in the world.

In Dubai, President Charles Michel underlined that the EU is honouring its commitment to deliver on the $100 billion goal set by the Paris Agreement.

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€23 billion has been committed this year by the EU

The EU and its member states announced a contribution of €220 million to the loss and damage fund to help the poorest and most vulnerable countries.

President Charles Michel also called for a reform of the international financial institutions to make them more just and more inclusive.

At a side event organised by the international drought resilience alliance, President Michel also insisted on the need to catalyse investments that build resilience to drought at local, national and international level.

The return on investments in drought resilience is up to 10 times the initial cost […] Investing to fight drought and its effects is not only the right thing to do, it is economically smart policy. The European Union stands ready to support you.

European Council President Charles Michel

At the high-level event organised by Narendra Modi on the green credit initiative President Michel once again stressed that strong climate action requires solid financing.

A transparent mechanism for green credits can be a strong incentive to encourage virtuous efforts for the climate and the environment.

European Council President Charles Michel

COP28 goals

Infographic – Paris Agreement: the EU’s road to climate neutrality

The infographic explains how the EU delivers on the Paris Agreement on climate change.See full infographic

Every year, the COP meets to determine ambition and responsibilities for climate action, and to identify and assess climate measures.

This year’s conference is hosted by the United Arab Emirates, which holds the COP28 presidency.

The presidency’s plan of action to deliver on the pillars of the Paris Agreement focuses on four areas:

  • fast-tracking the energy transition
  • fixing climate finance
  • putting nature, people, lives and livelihoods at the heart of climate action
  • underpinning everything with full inclusivity

The main agenda items for COP28 are expected to be:

  • a global stock-take
  • the mitigation work programme
  • the global goal on adaptation
  • climate finance, including financial arrangements for loss and damage

EU position for COP28

From 30 November to 12 December, COP28 brings together the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). These include the EU and all EU member states.

The EU was represented by European Council President Charles Michel, European Commission President Ursula von der Leyen and the Spanish presidency of the Council. The EU delegation ise led by the European Commission and the Spanish presidency.

The Council agreed on the EU’s position in its conclusions approved on 16 October 2023.

In its conclusions, the Council highlighted the opportunities that ambitious climate action brings for the planet, the global economy and the people, and the importance of ensuring a just transition towards sustainable climate-resilient and climate-neutral economies and societies that leave no-one behind.

The Council stressed that global ambition must increase substantially to keep the 1.5°C objective within reach, and called for:

  • collective strengthening of nationally determined contributions (NDCs)
  • a global phase-out of unabated fossil fuels and a peak in their consumption in this decade
  • a fully or predominantly decarbonised global power system in the 2030s
  • a phase-out of fossil fuel subsidies which do not address energy poverty or just transition as soon as possible
  • global action towards the tripling of installed renewable energy capacity and the doubling of the rate of improvement in energy efficiency by 2030
  • all parties to make greater efforts to integrate climate change adaptation and resilience into existing policies and programmes within all relevant sectors
  • all countries to scale up efforts to mobilise finance to support climate action

The EU is also determined to work together with all parties to:

  • continue promoting the implementation of the enhanced transparency framework
  • foster an inclusive discussion on the future of UNFCCC
  • advance the implementation of the Glasgow work programme on action for climate empowerment
  • address the gender dimension
  • discuss the implementation of climate action in the agricultural and food security

On 17 October, the Council also adopted conclusions on climate finance. The conclusions stressed the EU countries’ commitment to mobilise USD 100 billion per year until 2025 to help developing countries deal with the effects of climate change. They expected this goal to be met in 2023 for the first time.

President Charles Michel with Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili
President Charles Michel with Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili

Bilateral meeting

In the margins of the summit, President Charles Michel met with Prime Minister of Georgia Irakli Garibashvili.


Previous summit

The leaders’ summit at the 27th conference of the parties (COP27) took place in Sharm-El-Sheikh, Egypt on 7-8 November 2022.

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