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Joint statement of the Estonian Presidency and the European Commission on behalf of the EU at COP23 UN Climate Change Conference

Met dank overgenomen van Raad van de Europese Unie (Raad), gepubliceerd op donderdag 16 november 2017.

Siim Kiisler, Minister for the Environment of the Republic of Estonia

I have the honour to make this statement on behalf of the European Union and its 28 Member States.

Two years ago in Paris, we made a promise to the world: to protect the planet from climate change. This promise cannot be taken back, it is irreversible and non-negotiable.

The days of doubting are over, we are witnessing the impacts of climate change with our own eyes. It is abundantly clear that we need to act. We have agreed on our goals, and it’s now about making sure we deliver. People’s lives and livelihoods depend on it.

The negotiations at this COP may not make the same headlines as those in Paris, but they are no less important. Every agreement is only as good as its implementation, and what we promised only has value if it translates into real action.

The Paris work programme has to be adopted next year in Katowice. But to get there, we need to leave this COP with real results.

We must also agree here how we will continue the conversation with all our partners, how to build trust and to learn. The Talanoa Dialogue beautifully captures the essence of what we need to do. When we inspire and encourage each other, we can go further, faster, together.

At the same time, pre-2020 action is of utmost importance for all of us. We walk the talk on acting at home. In the EU, we take our commitments seriously. We are exceeding our 2020 target to reduce emissions by 20% from 1990. By last year, we had already cut them by 23%, and we are on course for a 26% reduction.

Let me now turn to the Doha amendment, I am pleased to announce that the EU and its Member States intend to deposit their ratification instruments of the Doha amendment latest by the end of this year.

Miguel Arias Cañete, Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, European Commission

We came here to Bonn with only two options: to make progress, or make excuses.

True, progress cannot come without any struggle.

But this COP, led by a small island state, can’t be remembered for excuses. It must go down as a defining moment forward.

The scale of human impact on our planet is changing the course of Earth’s history. And not for the better.

But in Paris, we chose to re-write this history.

The Paris Agreement is a global pledge to hand over a healthier planet to future generations.

Now, the time has come to show we will honour this pledge.

Recent extreme weather events provide stark and present evidence of the severity and urgency of the problem we all face.

Climate change is already dramatically impacting our lives, most of all those in small islands and other vulnerable communities.

The world must listen and respond to their calls for urgent action.

The EU is listening and we are responding.

Pre-2020, we are on track to overachieve our emissions target under the Kyoto Protocol.

And we intend to deposit the ratification instrument of the Doha amendment to the Kyoto Protocol by the end of this year.

The public climate finance provided by the EU and its Member States grew to over 20 billion euros last year. This represents more than 50% of the global total.

And our support will not stop here. We welcome the newly announced contributions to the Adaptation Fund at this COP, including by several of our member states.

This COP, the first to be hosted by a small island state, has put the focus on countries that are most vulnerable to climate change, and the loss and damage associated with it. So, we are pleased that the Warsaw International Mechanism has begun to deliver results.

We must continue to build on the momentum of this COP and deliver the Paris Work Programme in Katowice.

We look forward to working with all Parties over the coming year, so that we achieve this.

I want to sincerely thank you - President, your team and the entire country of Fiji - for making us understand and feel what climate change means for island states, for places that are affected the most.

We still have a chance. This is the only planet we have.

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