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UN Climate Change Conference begins with summit of heads of state and government

Government Communications Department
Publication date 1.12.2023 18.13 | Published in English on 2.12.2023 at 10.23
Press release 549/2023
In the picture: Akseli Rouvari, Prime Minister Petteri Orpo, and Hanna Höijer

The UN Climate Change Conference COP28 began on Friday with a two-day summit of heads of state and government. Prime Minister Petteri Orpo is representing Finland at the summit and will deliver Finland’s national address on Saturday.

Nearly 190 heads of state and government are expected to attend the event. Such broad participation at the highest political level underlines the importance and urgency of climate action. A significant agreement was already reached on a new Climate Loss and Damage Fund on the opening day of the conference. The conference will also see the conclusion of the first-ever Global Stocktake, a report on where the world stands on achieving the objectives of the Paris Climate Change Agreement. At the summit in Dubai, the heads of state and government are expected to make a strong commitment to stick to the 1.5-degree target and take the action needed to do so without delay.

Finland stresses that achieving the 1.5-degree target requires ambitious enough global targets for emission reductions and extensive, effective climate measures, especially phasing out the use of fossil fuels. It is also essential to promote energy efficiency and the use of renewable and other clean sources of energy.

Prime Minister thanks Finnish businesses for their contribution to combating climate change

On Friday, Prime Minister Orpo opened the Finland Pavilion at the conference. This is the first time that Finland has its own national pavilion in connection with the conference. The programme at the pavilion will highlight Finnish climate solutions, such as clean energy innovations. In his speech, the Prime Minister praised the strong joint efforts by the public sector, businesses committed to the clean transition and third sector organisations that made the Finland Pavilion possible.

“Finnish businesses offer cutting-edge technologies and solutions that drive emission reductions. This is the positive impact we like to call a ‘carbon handprint’. Looking forward, I hope that Finland not only aims to meet its ambitious climate targets but also seeks to grow its carbon handprint by delivering these technologies and solutions internationally,” the Prime Minister said.

“In my Government’s Programme, we look even further: the Government aims to halt biodiversity loss through cooperation and will turn positive impacts on the natural environment into an export product,” Orpo continued.

Finland has joined the Climate Club initiated by Germany. The Climate Club is an intergovernmental cooperation forum working towards carbon neutrality. It has 36 members. Prime Minister Orpo attended the opening session on Friday. The Climate Club is a sister network to the Coalition of Finance Ministers for Climate Action established by Finland in 2018. The initiatives complement each other and provide important support networks for decision-makers in achieving global climate goals.

Youth delegates Akseli Rouvari and Hanna Höijer submitted a joint declaration prepared by the Youth Climate Summit to the Prime Minister on 18 November. Prime Minister Orpo thanked the work carried out by the Youth Climate Summit and reaffirmed the commitment of his Government to concrete measures to attain the ambitious climate policy goals.

The UN Climate Change Conference COP28 is taking place in Dubai on 30 November–12 December. The key themes of the conference are emission reductions, climate change adaptation and climate finance, with a particular focus on financing arrangements for climate loss and damage. COP28 will culminate with the Global Stocktake (GST) of the Paris Agreement, which will assess the implementation and progress of the agreement and the adequacy of the measures. In addition to the official negotiations, COP28 will bring together a large number of participants to discuss the impacts of climate change and the economic opportunities offered by the clean transition.

Inquiries: Marja Koskela, Diplomatic Adviser to the Prime Minister, tel. +358 295 160 978, Mikko Martikkala, Special Adviser to the Prime Minister in Economic Affairs, tel. +358 295 16001 and Päivi Paasikoski, Director of Government Communications, tel. +358 40 547 6279 

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