Ministry says major progress made at COP26, further effort needed

Ljubljana – The Environment Ministry said that significant progress had been made at the COP26 climate conference in Glasgow, while further efforts would be needed to limit global warming to 1.5 degrees Celsius. It quoted Minister Andrej Vizjak expressing satisfaction that the Slovenian EU presidency was able to contribute to the overall result.

The ministry said on Sunday as the summit concluded that the event had concluded with talks between ministers, who had sought to reach agreement on new or updated nationally determined contributions and long-term climate strategies.

The ministers also discussed time frames and rules for international carbon markets and rules regarding reporting transparency.

In the final statement, countries called for enhanced mitigation action in the current key decade, as the 1.5-degree target will require a 45% reduction in carbon dioxide emissions by 2030 compared to 2010.

“Now was the time to take courageous and responsible decisions for action – for the good of this planet and the younger generations. We are ready to continue our work,” Vizjak was quoted in the press release.

The minister noted that Slovenian presidency of the EU Council had advocated in the negotiations the adoption of a comprehensive and balanced outcome to ensure progress for the benefit of all.

“We cannot expect all open issues to be resolved in Glasgow, some will remain on the agenda of future negotiations. The responsibility to achieve the goals of the Paris Agreement is a common commitment of all of us,” he said.

Vizjak said that everything should be done to significantly increase climate ambition, while the ministry noted the ambition to mitigate climate change.

Global greenhouse gas emissions need to be drastically reduced already in this decade if the 1.5-degree target is to be still attainable, it added.

“Everyone must take their share of responsibility to ensure that our joint efforts are effective,” Minister Vizjak said, adding that the EU was doing its part, pointing to the Fit for 55 package.

The EU sought to achieve high ambition in all areas, while referring to science, calling for ambitious nationally determined contributions and strategies to achieve zero net emissions by the middle of the century.

The need to increase climate finance to help developing countries was also emphasised, the ministry said, adding that “good progress” has been made regarding the financial issues.

“Many developed countries have ultimately committed themselves to increasing their financial contributions to developing countries. This is expected to help reach the goal of US$100 billion a year in the coming years,” the ministry said.

President Borut Pahor also said on Twitter that “more than 200 countries have adopted the Glasgow Climate Pact that has proved dialogue on such an urgent issue is possible – irreconcilable differences aside.”

“However this is only the beginning: now we must all contribute to reach our goals and limit global warming at 1.5°C. Words must become actions,” the president added.