Three COP summit hosts unite to raise climate ambitions

By Thomson Reuters Feb 12, 2024 | 11:09 PM

By Kate Abnett

BRUSSELS (Reuters) – The United Arab Emirates, host of last year’s COP28 climate summit, and Azerbaijan and Brazil, the hosts of the next two U.N. climate summits, said on Tuesday they would team up to push for more ambitious emissions-cutting goals.

Preparations for the 2024 and 2025 climate talks are taking place amidst a political push-back on climate action in some countries – even as extreme weather becomes more frequent and temperature records are smashed nearly every month.

The UAE’s COP28 presidency said on Tuesday the summit hosts would form a three-way “troika” to focus on ensuring that more ambitious CO2-cutting pledges are made ahead of a deadline at 2025’s COP30 summit in Belem, Brazil.

“We cannot afford to lose momentum, we must do everything we can to keep 1.5 C within reach,” said Sultan Al Jaber, the UAE’s president of last year’s negotiations. The target of containing global temperatures to 1.5 degrees Celsius above preindustrial levels was set out in the 2015 Paris Agreement.

The main task for this year’s COP29 summit in November in Baku, Azerbaijan, is to agree a new global target for climate finance for developing countries.

But some climate diplomats are already looking ahead to Brazil’s summit in 2025 as the next major milestone for global climate diplomacy. Nearly 200 countries are required to submit updated national CO2-cutting pledges in time for COP30.

The next round of countries’ climate targets is seen as a crucial last chance to prevent global warming exceeding 1.5C, a target fast slipping out of reach, as global greenhouse gas emissions continue to climb.

In a bumper year for elections, some politicians – from Republican frontrunner Donald Trump in the United States, to far-right parties seeking gains in the EU’s upcoming election – have pushed back on climate policies as they court voters.

(Reporting by Kate Abnett; Editing by Ros Russell)