Sunday

20th Jan 2019

UN welcomes EU climate deal

  • Christiana Figueres, executive secretary of the UN body on climate change, praised the EU for its climate deal (Photo: Violaine Martin / UNFCCC)

The UN on Friday (24 October) welcome the climate and energy deal agreed by EU leaders at a summit in Brussels.

The agreement “provides valuable momentum towards the Paris 2015 global climate agreement” and “opens the door to greater ambition by all countries”, Christiana Figueres, the executive secretary of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), said in a statement.

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“The fact that the 28 countries of the EU, in different stages of economic development, can reach a good compromise bodes well for the ability of all nations to come to an effective agreement next year.”

In December 2015, world leaders will discuss international climate goals in Paris at the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC.

The EU countries are the first to have laid down concrete climate targets for 2030.

In their so-called 2030 climate and energy policy framework, the EU decided to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions by “at least 40” percent in the coming sixteen years, compared to the emissions level of 1990.

The European commissioner for climate action, Connie Hedegaard, called the greenhouse gas target “an ambitious and important step forward”, which sends a “strong signal” to the rest of the world.

“We have now done our homework, now it's up to other big economies to do theirs”, she said in a video message.

Several NGOs have criticized the target as not ambitious enough.

In a press statement, Oxfam said the emissions cut target “is welcome but only a first step, which falls far too short of what the EU needs to do to pull its weight in the fight against climate change”.

The EU will officially submit its contribution to reduce greenhouse gases to the UN at the latest on 31 March, 2015.

Before that, there will be a climate conference in the Peruvian capital Lima, in December 2014.

This week, from October 20 to 25, a negotiating text that will be used in Lima is being prepared in Bonn.

The climate talks lasted until about 1am on Friday (24 October) and were "not easy, not at all", according to Herman Van Rompuy, who chaired the meeting.

The poorer EU countries were vying for - and received - additional emissions permits to hand out to their energy companies. The final conclusions also include a "review clause" which allows the EU leaders to adjust the framework to the results of the Paris meeting in 2015.

COP24: Vanuatu in 'constant state of emergency' on climate

Ralph Regenvanu, foreign minister of the Pacific island Vanuatu, said at the COP24 talks in Poland it was disappointing the host country was promoting coal - but was happy with EU contributions to tackle climate change.

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