Climate Action

EU Commissioner: Time for step change in UN climate talks

A global deal for climate

The penultimate session of United Nations talks before the Paris climate conference this December, where countries are due to adopt a new global climate change agreement, closed today in Bonn, Germany.

The 5-day meeting focused on clarifying and narrowing down the options on issues contained in the draft negotiating text. The discussions helped identify areas of convergence and make progress on specific issues, such as transparency and differentiation between countries as regards emissions reductions, the dynamic review mechanism, and the notion of a common direction of travel as regards adaptation.

However, Parties also expressed frustration at the slow pace of the talks.

To accelerate progress, Parties agreed to task the co-Chairs of the negotiations with producing, by early October, a working document which is expected to provide a basis for textual negotiations on the new agreement and accompanying immediate decisions.

European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "This week's talks have been useful in bringing partners closer together and clarifying some of the key issues on the table. In particular, I am glad that more and more Parties seem to be converging around the EU's idea of a global stocktake to take place every five years. But now it's time for a step change. The real deal needs to start taking shape. We need a concise, consistent and coherent text to allow us to start the negotiations in earnest. To get ready for the final stretch, we also need all countries that have not yet put forward their intended contributions to the new deal to do so urgently."

So far, countries representing around 60% of current global greenhouse gas emissions have put forward their intended nationally determined contributions (INDC) to the new agreement. The secretariat of the UN climate convention will publish a synthesis report on the aggregate effect of the contributions by 1 November.

The last negotiating session before the Paris conference will take place in Bonn from 19 to 23 October.

The EU is committed to adopting in Paris a fair and ambitious global climate agreement that will accelerate the shift to a low-carbon, climate-resilient economy worldwide.

This will require ambitious mitigation commitments, a long-term goal, a dynamic review mechanism to strengthen ambition over time, and robust transparency and accountability rules.

The Paris outcome will also need to address adaptation to the impacts of climate change and the mobilisation of financing for climate action as well as reflect the issue of loss and damage associated with the impacts of climate change.