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Statement by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo at the COP28 Climate Conference

Publication date 2.12.2023 11.11
In the picture, Finnish Prime Minister Petteri Orpo

Statement by Prime Minister Petteri Orpo at the COP28 Climate Conference, 2 December 2023. Subject to changes.

Mr President, Ladies and Gentlemen,

I would like to thank the United Arab Emirates for hosting this crucial event. We need multilateralism now more than ever to take effective action against climate change and to ensure food and energy security.

The science is clear: we are not on track to limit climate change to 1.5 degrees. Global warming has already reached 1.2 degrees, causing widespread damage on all continents. Ongoing wars and violence in different parts of the world are only aggravating the impacts. 
COP28 marks the culmination of the first-ever Global Stocktake. It is up to us now to act with urgency and determination, and make clear political commitments to put us on track. 

Finland remains committed to supporting developing countries in their climate action. I would like to congratulate the esteemed host of this conference, the UAE, for the landmark agreement on the new fund to respond to loss and damage, and your generous pledge. It is crucial to expand the donor base for climate funding, to include more countries on a voluntary basis. Finland stands ready to support the new fund with 3 million euros. In addition, we underline the continued importance of other funding mechanisms, including those supporting Early Warning Systems.

We must also ensure that all financial flows are in line with the Paris Agreement and need to mobilise more private funding. In this, the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action continues to play a key role.

To put us on the right track to reach the Paris goals, the most crucial thing is a rapid clean energy transition away from fossil fuels. A just transition can help create new businesses and jobs, and better opportunities for people everywhere.

To enable the transition, we should agree on global targets for renewables and energy efficiency. These targets need to be accompanied by concrete steps towards phasing out fossil fuels and subsidies that support their use, and recognising the role of other carbon-free technologies. 
Governments must work together within the multilateral system, but we also need broad collaboration with civil society and the private sector. 
In Finland, we have set the ambitious goal to be carbon neutral by 2035 and carbon negative soon after that. This goal can only be reached with strong public-private cooperation. I am happy that Finnish companies can also offer a variety of practical solutions to help reach carbon neutrality globally. We want Finnish companies to expand their carbon handprint, meaning the positive climate impact that their products can have, and stand ready to share our expertise globally. My Government is also committed to ensuring the preservation of natural capital as part of a responsible economic policy, and we will work to halt the loss of biodiversity. Our aim is that others around the world can utilise our expertise related to positive nature handprints in addition to carbon footprints.

Mr President,
We must show the world that we stand behind the commitments we made in Paris. Let’s make sure this COP succeeds in getting us back on track for 1.5 degrees.

Thank you.