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15 Dec 2015

EU institutions welcome Paris climate deal

The EU institutions have all welcomed the historic agreement at the COP21 climate conference in Paris. The agreement, which was reached between 195 countries on 12 December 2015, is a new universal, legally binding action plan to limit global warming, setting out a global action plan to limit global warming to well below 2°C.

The European Commission (EC) welcomes the deal, emphasising the EU's role in the process of building a broad consensus between developed and developing countries. 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.”

The European Parliament has also hailed the agreement as “a turning point for the future of our planet”, according to Parliament President Martin Schulz. He called the deal “global, groundbreaking and trendsetting”, but stressed that it must now be put into practice, which also includes the EU itself living up to its climate oblications, both internally and externally.

On behalf of the Council of the EU, the Luxembourg Council Presidency called the Paris agreement "ambitious and credible, as well as being just and fair", as well as being "a genuine success for the European Union which ... has been resolutely committed to being a facilitator both before and during the negotiations".

The Paris climate change agreement is a bridge between today's policies and climate-neutrality before the end of the century. Its main goals are:

  • a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C, since this would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change.
  • for governments to come together every 5 years to take stock and to set more ambitious targets as required by science. A robust transparency and accountability system will track progress towards the long-term goal.
  • for the EU and other developed countries to continue to support climate action to reduce emissions and build resilience to climate change impacts in developing countries.

For more information:

EC - press release

European Parliament - press release

Luxembourg Council Presidency - press release

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