Historic Paris Climate Accord: EU as a Broker Leads Global Efforts

Written by | Tuesday, December 15th, 2015

The European Union has played an important role in negotiating Saturday’s historic agreement in Paris where almost 200 countries finalized a new global, universal and legally binding climate agreement. The ambitious deal is the first multilateral agreement of this century that sets up the world’s climate agenda aiming to limit global warming to well below 2°C and thus aims to avoid climate change. The new agreement is the result of yearlong efforts by the international community to agree on a multilateral deal in climate change after the fiasco with 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 favor of the ambitious deal that eventually followed from the Paris talks. The deal now clearly demonstrates that the international community is committed to clean and renewable energy and a shift away from polluting fuels. European Commission President, Jean-Claude Juncker, hailed the deal by stressing that “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.”

The Paris climate deal should link the contemporary environmental policies with climate-neutrality before this century is over. The ambition is to keep the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels aiming to limit the increase to 1.5°C later in the future. In order to achieve this target, countries had proposed comprehensive national climate action plans prior to talks to reduce the emissions. Governments also agreed that they would meet every 5 years to set up even more ambitious goals. The EU along with other developed countries pledged that they would continue to support climate action to reduce emissions and build resilience to the impact of environmental changes in developing countries. Developed countries plan to continue their existing collective goal to mobilize USD 100 billion per year until 2025 when a new universal target will be set.

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