Opening Remarks EVP Timmermans at Ministerial on Climate Action in Stockholm, Sweden

(Source: European Commission)

“Check against delivery”

Thank you very much, minister Blomqvist and good morning, friends. It is great that we are sitting around the table again. Some of us are on screen; I’m sure we all prefer sitting around the table to be able to exchange on these important issues. Thank you to Sweden and Stockholm for hosting us. And for making us all feel at home. Especially with the rain this morning.

I think it is difficult to overstate the importance of the conclusions we were able to draw during Glasgow. I think setting a map to get us within reach of 1.5 degrees is of immense importance. At the same time, it is also difficult to overstate the need to translate these commitments into concrete action. Because if we don’t do that urgently, then everything we decided in Glasgow will be beautiful on paper, but will not lead to the changes we desperately need in all of our societies.

I think MoCA is one of those places we talk about ‘how?’ We know ‘what’, but now ‘how?’. I think the Ministerial in May, earlier this month, gave us a sense of urgency and also expressed clear solidarity. To be honest with you, I’m in two minds about this ministerial: strong sense of urgency, strong solidarity, but as they said in advertising in the United States many, many years ago: ‘where is the beef?’. We still need to look into that more concretely.

Canada, China and the European Union continue to join forces to encourage this global leadership we need and to turn this leadership and ambition in the implementation of climate action.

We really hope that this session of MoCA will allow us to focus on enhancing our individual and collective mitigation efforts; on further building our resilience and adaptive capacity; and on how global finance flows can support these efforts. We believe that the collective leadership around this table and the insights you have are essential in this discussion, and I really do encourage you to participate actively in these discussions.

In these critical times, and especially as a European, I have to say, I would never have thought, in my lifetime, to be faced with such a huge war in Europe, as we are faced with right now. It is a challenge to our resilience, it is a challenge to our values, it is also a challenge to our way of life that we need to address. And we need to address it on the basis of solidarity. We need to make sure that everything we have done the last 30 years, whether it is Paris, Katowice, or Glasgow, remains the focus of our attention, even if there are other, sometimes even more compelling, more urgent matters we need to address.

We need to reflect on the role of the many different, and useful, initiatives, partnerships, and close engagement with non-Party stakeholders. Actually, on this planet, nobody is not a stakeholder. So the more we engage with people the better it is. We certainly look forward to the discussion today and on the opportunities that can demonstrate a leap in collective ambition and stimulate the low-emission transition.

I also expect Ministers to reflect on the work in front of us ahead of COP27 in Sharm El Sheikh and on how we can deliver on the Glasgow mandates. These are the pillars, certainly for the European climate policies. We are in the middle of translating these into, we have the Climate Law, which is compelling on the Member States, with a reduction of our emission with at least 55 percent before 2030, climate neutrality by 2050. And we are now translating that in a whole package of legislation that hopefully we can close pretty soon. So that is why we will continue to ask others to, perhaps take some inspiration from what we’re doing, and we will take some inspiration from what you’re doing and collectively we can move forward.

And now, with everything that is happening with the food crisis, which is not just a consequence of the war but also a consequence of the climate crisis. The sense of urgency should just increase.

I would like to thank all of you, Ministers, high-level representatives, for having accepted this invitation and I am really very much looking forward to having a very fruitful discussion today.

Privacy Preferences
When you visit our website, it may store information through your browser from specific services, usually in form of cookies. Here you can change your privacy preferences. Please note that blocking some types of cookies may impact your experience on our website and the services we offer.