Wopke Hoekstra says other nations and not just the "usual suspects" should pay for climate change damage. EPA-EFE/OLIVIER HOSLET


EU’s Hoekstra tells non-G7 states they need to pay up on climate


European Union climate chief Wopke Hoekstra said that countries outside the Group of Seven need to help meet the bill for losses and damage caused by increasingly extreme weather, highlighting what is set to be a major issue with China and Saudi Arabia during COP28 talks that start this week.

Hoekstra said that financing would have to move beyond the “usual suspects” like European nations and the G7, though declined to identify explicitly major emitters such as China and Saudi Arabia. The EU has said it will make a “substantial” donation to the loss and damage fund and has been pushing the UAE — the COP28 hosts — to do the same.

“The reality is that the whole climate action transition needs to have much more funding, private and public,” Hoekstra told Bloomberg TV on Monday. “We need to move beyond always the usual suspects paying. This really is a crisis so large that everybody with the ability to chip in and pay has to rise to the occasion and share the responsibility.”

The United Nations’ 28th Conference of the Parties, or the COP28 climate talks, are set to begin in Dubai this week, with scaling up climate finance for the most vulnerable nations set to be one of the major subjects of debate. Leaders from developed countries have been arguing that more recent high emitters should also contribute in order to make sure that more funding is available.

Hoekstra said that he would stick with his pledge to push for the EU to cut emissions by 90% by 2040, something the bloc is due to put forward next year. Carbon removals are “simply part of the equation” toward achieving the EU’s climate neutrality goals by the middle of the century, he added.