The European Union and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific developing countries, who together make up more than half of the signatories to the Paris Agreement on climate change, today reaffirmed their strong and steadfast commitment to full implementation of the agreement, urging all partners to keep up the momentum created in 2015.
The EU and the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP) made the call at a UN climate change conference taking place in Bonn, ahead of the upcoming G7 and G20 leaders' summits and the next annual UN climate negotiations (COP23) in November, which will gather world governments to turn the global climate commitments into action.
The ACP Group and EU have agreed common positions on the next steps to implement the Paris Agreement and strengthened cooperation to promote low-emission, climate-resilient development. As an example of this increased cooperation, the EU has announced support of EUR 800 million for the Pacific region up to 2020, with around half earmarked for climate action. The EU will also provide EUR 3 million to support Fiji's COP23 Presidency.
European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Cañete said: "Today more than ever, Europe stands by its long-term partners most vulnerable to climate change. We, developed and developing countries together, will defend the Paris Agreement. We are all in, and our joint commitment to this Agreement today is as in Paris: irreversible and non-negotiable."
ACP Secretary General Patrick Gomes said: "The longstanding, ongoing cooperation between the ACP Group and the EU shows we are serious about addressing the impacts of climate change. Implementing the Paris Agreement is not only about ensuring the very survival of the 79 ACP countries, but also about building sustainable, resilient and prosperous economies and societies worldwide."
The ACP Group and EU stressed the need to finalise the Paris Agreement work programme by 2018. This will be vital to ensure all countries can swiftly put their national climate plans into action, in order to contribute to the global goals. They also underlined the importance of making detailed preparations for the Facilitative Dialogue to be held next year. This dialogue will be a key moment to establish a shared understanding of the impact of all parties' contributions and the collective progress being made as well as to look into solutions that can allow us to achieve our collective goal.
The ACP countries and EU also gave their support to the consultations being held by the outgoing Moroccan presidency and incoming Fijian presidency. The discussions are aimed at developing a clear proposal on the design of the 2018 Facilitative Dialogue, to be presented at the COP23 summit.
Both sides welcomed Fiji’s political leadership as COP23 president, being a longstanding member of the ACP Group and the first Small Island Developing State in the role, to accelerate work on adaptation, agriculture and access to finance – particularly for vulnerable developing countries with special circumstances, needs and low capacities.
The UN climate conference is taking place in Bonn from 8-18 May to prepare the ground for the 23rd session of the Conference of the Parties (COP23), to be held on 6-17 November 2017 in Bonn.