Remarks EVP Timmermans at the Climate Vulnerable Forum High Level Meeting at the pre-COP27 in Kinshasa, Democratic Republic of Congo
Thank you very much Ghana for organizing this meeting.
We have have seen across the world, one after the other disaster, and most of these disasters are directly linked to the climate crisis we all face. It is also clear that, although the whole of humanity is vulnerable to this, some are far more vulnerable than others. I believe it is high time that these differences in vulnerability… we tend to say ‘we are all in the same boat’, but frankly we are not. We are all in the same ocean, but not in the same boat.
We need to make sure that everybody has a boat that can survive the wild seas that we are facing today and that we will be facing for the foreseeable future. If we can keep the 1.5 degrees alive, then the situation will not get much worse, but it will not be better. So the vulnerabilities will remain, and the most vulnerable countries will be the most affected ones.
I believe we need to have a much more internationally embedded structure to face this challenge. We are slowly getting there with the European Union. The EU and its Member States, as well as the European Investment Bank supported climate finance to the amounting of more than 23 billion euros in 2020 alone. This contribution has increased steeply over the last years, more than doubling since 2013. Almost half of this contribution in 2020 went to adaptation or to actions tackling both adaptation and mitigation.
We are stepping up our efforts, as the climate crisis becomes more pressing. For the period up to 2027, the climate finance target of the European Commission has been raised to 35%. The Global Gateway, our sustainable connectivity strategy, will strengthen our climate adaptation efforts, I am sure. The establishment of the Glasgow Sharm El-Sheikh Work Program on the Global Goal on Adaptation at COP26 was a significant step towards progressing into concrete actions on a wide range of topics.
The European Union recognizes that loss and damage associated with the adverse effects of climate change is an increasingly serious challenge. We are committed to strengthening and scaling up support for existing institutions and initiatives that assist vulnerable communities. I salute Egypt for putting the subject on the agenda of this COP, so we can start to discuss which measures we can take collectively, and individually.
We expect COP27 to send a strong political signal of commitment to enhance the financing architecture for averting and minimizing loss and damage. This should include recognition of major new initiatives such as the Global Shield against disaster and climate risks, the UNSG initiative on Early Warning Systems, and other developments in the international financial architecture outside of the UNFCCC, but with tangible positive impact for financing activities related to loss and damage.
I can’t say this enough: we have to redo our international financial architecture to make sure the instruments are much, much better suited to, for instance, allow for private capital to be invested massively where that is possible. I think our international financial system is not up to that task today. Even if there are some very positive exceptions, such as the IMF, which under the leadership of Kristalina Georgieva is taking really good steps forward. I think there is much more that can be done better and the European Union is strongly committed to that.
We will also support the effective delivery of the commitment to mobilize jointly one hundred billion dollars per year to address the need of developing countries.
But let me just underscore that ramping up climate finance will require a joint effort of both public and private finance. We also need to become more granular. We need to look at the necessities of individual vulnerable states, which are not all the same necessities. It cannot be an excuse to do nothing, where you say ‘well, they are all different’. No, they are all different, which means that it is our task to make sure that we tailor our efforts to the need of the individual states. This task becomes more urgent and the European Union is strongly supportive of that.