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COP21: historic opportunity to avoid dangerous climate change

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The European Commission presents its position and objectives ahead of the United Nations climate change conference in Paris.


On 25 November 2015, the European Commission highlighted the crucial importance of reaching a fair, ambitious and legally binding global climate deal at the United Nations climate change conference in Paris. The European Union will be working to achieve a comprehensive, durable and dynamic agreement that will accelerate the global shift to low-carbon, climate-resilient economies. It is also underlined that the Paris Agreement will for the first time require all countries to take specific measures to reduce emissions over time, according to their national circumstances.



EU position


The ultimate objective is to keep dangerous climate change in check. For the EU, the new agreement must send a clear signal of governments' resolve to reduce emissions sufficiently to keep global average temperature increase below the agreed 2°C limit by the end of the century. The EU's vision of a credible agreement includes:


  1. A global vision for a long term goal – a signal for broader audiences, businesses and investors of governments' resolve to transition to low-carbon economies.
  2. A mechanism to regularly review and raise the collective ambition – countries should come together to consider and strengthen emissions reduction targets in light of the latest science and progress made to date.
  3. Robust transparency and accountability rules. Parties and other stakeholders need to be able to trust that what is promised will be delivered and that reductions achieved are accounted for consistently.


Beyond emissions reductions, the Paris Agreement must also help countries, especially those most vulnerable, adapt to climate change impacts.


Regarding climate finance, EC states that at least 20% of the EU budget will be spent on climate action by 2020. This means that at least EUR 14 billion, an average of EUR 2 billion per year of public grants will support activities in developing countries between 2014 and 2020. Compared to the average level in 2012-2013, funding for international climate action will more than double.



More than 100 side events will be held at the EU Pavilion at COP21, mirroring, inter alia, the role of forests, transport, buildings and renewable energy in the fight against climate change.



For further information, please read the relevant European Commission press release: