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High expectations for COP28, high expectations of the EU

World leaders must ensure that the COP28 climate summit is the COP of climate credibility, says WWF. The agreements made in Dubai must be aligned with the urgency of the climate crisis, and the scale of efforts needed to address it.

At the most consequential climate talks since the Paris Agreement was born in 2015, a key decision from Dubai will centre on the ‘Global Stocktake’ and its first assessment of progress towards achieving the aims of the agreement. In response, COP28 must deliver a course-correcting roadmap to shape the future of climate action on a global scale.

In recent years the European Union has played a leading role in pushing for progress at the international level, including the establishment of the Loss and Damage Fund last year. This year’s COP comes at a pivotal moment, with a stocktake of global climate ambition as the main focus and major decisions on fossil fuel phase out, renewable energy, energy efficiency and finance also on the table. It also marks a “changing of the guard” on the EU front as Wopke Hoekstra takes over the reins from Frans Timmermans as Commissioner for climate. 

Alex Mason, Head of Climate and Energy at WWF European Policy Office, said: “In advance of COP28 the EU has said that it “Urgently calls for increased global action and ambition in this critical decade” to keep the 1.5ºC objective within reach. Fine words. But given its wealth and responsibility for historical emissions it should walk the talk - both in Dubai and the months to come - by increasing its outdated 55% target for 2030, committing to reaching climate neutrality by 2040, and massively scaling up financial support for the Global South.”

Stephen Cornelius, WWF Global Deputy Climate and Energy Lead, said: “We need to see a fit-for-purpose Loss and Damage Fund, too. Agreeing the creation of the fund was a success of the climate summit last year, now countries must work to fully operationalize the Fund, with substantial pledges of new money.”

Fernanda Carvalho, WWF Climate and Energy Policy Lead, said: “Leaders must agree to a global plan to phase out all fossil fuels. Ending the production and use of fossil fuels and transitioning to 100% renewable energy is the solution that will have the largest climate change impact at scale.”

On Wednesday, right before COP28’s kick-off, the EU will have to pass a climate leadership test of its own with the vote on the Nature Restoration Law in the ENVI Committee of the European Parliament.

“If the Committee falls short of finding a majority for this crucial law, the EU will enter COP28 facing massive international embarrassment for failing to tackle the climate and biodiversity crises in its own backyard while calling on others to do so. The EU must go to COP28 being one step closer to having the world’s first law to restore nature,” said Sabien Leemans, Senior Biodiversity Policy Officer at WWF European Policy Office.


Robin Harvey
Media Relations Manager
WWF International

Florian Cassier
Climate Communications Officer
WWF European Policy Office

Notes for Editors

WWF’s COP28 expectations paper is available here, and all WWF’s COP information is on our website www.panda.org/cop28.  Below is a summary of the essential outcomes:
  • Strong political signals to phase out fossil fuels no later than 2050, with developed countries achieving this sooner, including targets for renewables, energy efficiency and energy access.
  • A successful Global Stocktake, which: paves the way for unprecedented and immediate implementation of current NDC; strengthens international cooperation and other enabling conditions for stronger NDCs; 
  • Full operationalization of the Loss and Damage Fund, with substantial pledges of new funds.
  • A decision on a comprehensive framework for the Global Goal on Adaptation.
  • Scaling up provision of public finance by developed countries to beyond $100 billion per year and doubling adaptation finance in line with needs of developing countries.
  • Alignment of all private and public financial flows with climate objectives
WWF Supporters take part in the  Global Day of Action for Climate Justice march through Glasgow during COP26.