Chapter News

EU Council Conclusions on Climate Diplomacy

1. Recalling its conclusions of July 2011 and June 2013 and the Foreign Affairs Council discussion of January 2015 which endorsed the Climate Diplomacy Action Plan, the Council adopted the following conclusions:

2. Climate change, as underlined by the latest scientific findings by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC), is a decisive global challenge which, if not urgently managed, will put at risk not only the environment but also world economic prosperity, poverty reduction, sustainable development and, more broadly, peace, stability and security. A worldwide transition towards a safe, sustainable and climate resilient low-carbon development path is a precondition for a secure and stable future.

3. Addressing the risk-multiplying threats of a changing climate, including potential conflict and instability, related to reliable access to food, water and energy, requires effective foreign policy initiatives and responses at the global and EU level. The Council is committed to addressing the security dimension of Climate Change, including by building up its climate diplomacy component, as an inherent part of its foreign policy, and welcomes the publication of the G7 report “A new Climate for peace” as commissioned under the UK G7 Presidency and completed under the German G7 Presidency, as well as the debate in the UN Security Council on June 30 initiated by Spain on the role of Climate Change as a threat multiplier for Global Security. In this context the Council looks forward to an update of the 2009 Secretary General Report “Climate Change and its possible Security Implications”.

4. The Council recalls that COP21 in Paris needs to deliver a legally binding agreement applicable to all Parties that is universal, robust, inclusive, dynamic and ambitious, with a strong transparency and accountability framework  to ensure trust between the parties. It also reaffirms that the Paris agreement needs to address in a balanced manner mitigation, adaptation, finance, technology, capacity building, transparency of action, as well as to support and reflect the world’s evolving geopolitical and economic realities and challenges.

5. Although political mobilization at the highest levels is strong and although an increasing number of countries have submitted Intended Nationally Determined Contributions (INDCs), the Council notes with concern the slow progress of the UNFCCC negotiation process. The Council welcomes the INDCs already submitted and urges all other Parties, in particular major economies, to come forward with ambitious INDCs as soon as possible. In view of accelerating the pace, the Council welcomes the  mobilisation of the current Peruvian and incoming French COP presidencies in support of the international climate negotiations and the early involvement of ministers in order to help address key elements of the negotiation and use every international forum to close the gap between the high-level political momentum and the negotiation process.

6. In this regard, the Council welcomes the Leaders’ Declaration of the G7 Summit in June and that climate change has been addressed as a priority during recent summits, such as for instance the EU-CELAC and EU-China summits. It underlines the importance of keeping climate change high on the agenda for upcoming summits.

7. The Union underlines its strong engagement to cooperate with developing and emerging countries on both adaptation and mitigation, highlighting its significant contributions in terms of climate finance, including through the Green Climate Fund, and other means of implementation and its commitment to give particular attention to the needs of those countries with least capabilities.

8. The Council emphasises the need to further intensify the joint efforts in EU climate diplomacy. For the Union to facilitate further progress in the negotiation, the Council continues to communicate the fairness, credibility and ambition of its common position and notes with appreciation the activities undertaken in the EU and in partner countries in support of the Climate Diplomacy Action Plan, including the European Climate Diplomacy Day. The Council welcomes the role of the EU Green Diplomacy Network and close collaboration of all EU actors, contributing to strengthening the EU voice and efforts internationally in the fight against climate change. It encourages the EU and its Member States to reach out to partner countries making full use of their relations.

9. The Council looks forward to the conclusions of the upcoming Environment and ECOFIN Councils to set out in detail the EU’s position in view of the COP21.

10. The Council invites the High Representative and the Commission, in their respective role and competence, to continue coordinating and working closely with Member States, in implementing EU climate diplomacy through joint and mutually reinforcing initiatives.

11. The Council invites the High Representative and the Commission to report back in early 2016 the outcome of the COP21 and its implications for  climate diplomacy as well as propose further actions.

Compliments of the European Council