Climate Action

Foreign Affairs Council calls for continuing European climate diplomacy following landmark Paris deal

European Council
16/02/2016

The European Union's Foreign Affairs Council has welcomed the global climate agreement reached in Paris in December 2015 as a landmark achievement for combatting climate change, and for multilateralism.

The Council congratulated the Parties to the United Nations Convention on Climate Change, the United Nations and the Peruvian and French COP Presidencies for their tireless effort and successful work leading to the achievement of the Paris Agreement – the world's first universal, legally binding global climate deal.

It also underlined that the EU's leadership ahead of and during the Paris climate conference (COP21), including through its collective diplomatic outreach under the framework of the 2015 climate diplomacy action plan, contributed to the positive outcome.

The Council stressed the importance of keeping climate action and the implementation of commitments made in Paris high on the political agenda. In its Conclusions, the Council set out the parameters for a 2016 climate diplomacy action plan, with key messages focused around three main strands:

  • Maintaining climate change advocacy as a strategic priority in diplomatic dialogues, public diplomacy and external policy instruments;
  • Supporting implementation of the Paris agreement and the national climate action plans put forward by countries, in the context of low-emission and climate-resilient development;
  • Increasing efforts to address links between climate change, natural resources, prosperity, stability and migration.

The Council also called for diplomatic outreach in 2016 to include negotiations in the International Civil Aviation Organization (ICAO) and the International Maritime Organization (IMO) to address greenhouse gas emissions, as well as negotiations under the Montreal Protocol on the proposed amendment for a global phasedown of hydrofluorocarbons (HFCs).