European Commission

News | 12/12/2015

Historic climate deal in Paris:  EU leads global efforts

The European Union has played a key role in brokering a historic agreement in Paris, where the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal was adopted. It sets out a global action plan to limit global warming to well below 2°C.

The European Union has played a key role in brokering today's historic agreement in Paris, where 195 countries adopted the first-ever universal, legally binding global climate deal. The ambitious and balanced agreement, the first major multilateral deal of the 21st century, sets out a global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global warming to well below 2°C.

The deal is the culmination of years of efforts by the international community to bring about a universal multilateral agreement on climate change. Following limited participation in the Kyoto Protocol and the lack of agreement in Copenhagen in 2009, the EU has been building a broad coalition of developed and developing countries in favour of high ambition that shaped the successful outcome of the Paris conference. The Paris Agreement sends a clear signal to investors, businesses, and policy-makers that the global transition to clean energy is here to stay and resources have to shift away from polluting fossil fuels.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: "Today the world is united in the fight against climate change. Today the world gets a lifeline, a last chance to hand over to future generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies. This robust agreement will steer the world towards a global clean energy transition. This deal is also a success for the European Union. We have long been the global leader in climate action, and the Paris Agreement now reflects our ambition worldwide. I would like to thank the EU’s chief negotiator Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and his team for working day and night to make this agreement happen and for keeping the European Union the central player throughout the negotiations. I am proud of all of you."

EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: "This agreement is a major win for Europe. But more importantly, it is a major win for the global community. Europe has led the efforts in Paris to get an ambitious and legally binding global climate deal. We have forged alliances and others have joined. Our key objectives − on the long-term goal, the 5-yearly review cycles and transparency − are in the new agreement. The agreement also reconfirms global commitment to continued support to those in need of assistance. We succeeded. Now, what has been promised must be delivered. Europe will continue to lead the global low-carbon transition we have agreed."

The Paris climate change agreement is a bridge between today's policies and climate-neutrality before the end of the century. In Paris, governments agreed on ambition, commitment, and solidarity.

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