Climate Change
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European Commission
European Parliament in Strasbourg. | © Erich Westendarp/

Mid february the EU's foreign affairs ministers welcomed the Commission’s strategic long-term vision for a climate neutral Europe. Ministers also called for urgent and decisive action to strengthen the global response on climate change and restated the EU’s determination to lead the way on accelerated climate action on all fronts.

Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: “COP24 was a success for multilateralism, with the milestone agreement on common rules for all countries to put the Paris Agreement into practice. Now we should all move focus to accelerating the implementation of our commitments and raising ambition. I am particularly glad that EU foreign affairs chiefs have endorsed the Commission´s climate neutral strategy. This sends a strong signal to all global stakeholders on the need to urgently accelerate the move towards a climate-neutral economy."

The Foreign Affairs Council of 18 February stressed the urgency of raising global ambition to fight climate change, strengthening multilateralism, and the effective implementation of the Paris Agreement. They welcomed the outcome of the UN climate conference (COP24) held last December in Katowice, Poland, where countries adopted a set of rules and guidelines to make  the global agreement work in practice.

In its conclusions, the Foreign Affairs Council stressed the severe implications that climate change poses to international security and stability, recognising that climate change acts as a threat multiplier and increasingly as a threat in its own right. The impacts will spare no country, and the poorest and most vulnerable will be the most affected.

The year 2019 will be a critical year for global action on climate change and sustainable development.

In July, the annual United Nations High Level Political Forum will provide impetus for countries to show progress on the implementation of the sustainable development goals, including goal 13 on climate action.

The EU also calls on all partners to join in making a substantive and positive contribution to the UN Secretary-General’s Climate Summit in September, which aims to mobilise the political will to raise global climate ambition and move towards a climate-neutral economy. 

In this context, EU Foreign Affairs Ministers welcomed the European Commission’s strategic long-term vision for a climate-neutral Europe by 2050, published on 28 November 2018.

They also underlined the need for the EU’s international partners, in particular G20 economies, which account for some 80% of global emissions, to show leadership and come forward with their own ambitious long-term strategies in line with the goals of the Paris Agreement.


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