Executive Vice-President Timmermans’ remarks at the high-level plenary session at COP26

(Source: European Commission)

Dear friends,

The first week of our conference has been characterised by promising declarations and great promises by our leaders. And also by great work by the Presidency and by Patricia and her team.

And I do appreciate everything that’s been done by delegations and negotiators so far.

But the honest truth is that we are not where we need to be. Not even close. We are moving in the right direction, yes, but the world is still too far away from our 1.5 degree goal.

This week, before we leave this conference, we need to make sure that we take decisions that put us on track to reaching our goal. And this needs to be done within a year, because time is running out.

This is about addressing the effects of the crisis that we are already in. It’s not just about preventing things getting even worse. We need to really realise that today is the day we need to act, on adaptation as well.

Financing adaptation is critical. We all repeated that mantra endlessly. But the rhetoric, sadly, is not followed by action. We all need to get cracking and we all need to do it now.

That is why the European Commission will contribute €100 million to the Adaptation Fund. Because those who need resources for adaptation, also need to have predictability and clarity about its delivery.

To the Parties pushing for more ambition I say this: You will find the EU on your side.

To the Parties stopping and stalling progress, I say: What are you waiting for? Science tells us we are out of time. Extreme weather events show us the consequences, everywhere on our planet.

To everyone here I say: Let’s overcome our differences and find solutions this week.

COP26 is not a place for disagreement and narrow mindedness.

COP26 must be where we work together and succeed together.

It’s time!

Thank you.

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