Climate Action

EU Commissioner: Political push needed to bring climate talks to next level

Paris Climate Conference

The UN climate talks in Bonn this week made some progress on the draft text for the new global climate agreement due to be adopted in December, but key issues remain open as the last official negotiating session before the Paris summit draws to a close.

The 5-day session from 19–23 October opened amid concerns expressed by many Parties on the draft text released by the co-Chairs of the negotiations in preparation for the session. While the draft was short and readable, it lacked several important priorities for many Parties, including the EU.

Negotiations during the session allowed countries to reaffirm their key positions and continue identifying areas of convergence and divergence. As a result, the reworked text is recognised by all Parties as a basis for the final talks, but keeps key political options open and still requires considerable further work ahead of and in Paris.

European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "The package that we will work on in Paris is starting to take shape, but there are too many options on the table and many key issues remain unresolved. For the EU, the Paris agreement needs to include a clear long-term emissions reductions goal, robust transparency and accountability rules to lend credibility to countries’ targets, and a dynamic review mechanism to improve countries’ targets over time. On these key issues, this session allowed to reach much clearer options we can work with. We are still on track for a deal in Paris, but reaching a successful outcome will require continued engagement all the way through. What is needed now is the political steer to bring the process to the next level. The EU remains determined to work with everyone involved to ensure that the political momentum we are witnessing around the world will be brought into the negotiating rooms in Paris. It is our collective responsibility to deliver the ambitious, robust and binding climate deal the world deserves."

Countries will gather at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris from 30 November to 11 December to conclude a new global agreement aimed at putting the world on track to limit dangerous climate change.

The pre-COP ministerial meeting to be held in Paris on 8-10 November and the COP21 Leaders Event bringing together heads of state and government on 30 November are expected to provide further political impetus to the talks.

The EU wants Paris to deliver a framework that ensures countries keep up and step up their efforts to help keep the world on track towards the internationally agreed objective of keeping global warming below 2°C.

The EU's negotiating position for Paris is set out in the Environment Council conclusions of 18 September. Key elements include a long-term goal to guide the collective emissions reduction effort, a process for taking stock of the progress made and raising ambition, and robust transparency and accountability rules. The Paris outcome will also need to address other essential elements, including adaptation to the impacts of climate change and the mobilisation of financing for climate action.