The European Union expects the UN climate change conference on 1-12 December in Lima, Peru, to pave the way for the adoption of a new, legally binding, global climate agreement in Paris next year.
The EU is confident that the new agreement will significantly strengthen and broaden collective international efforts to tackle climate change. The 40% greenhouse gas reduction target agreed by EU leaders in October, together with the announcement by the US and China on their future targets that followed, are clear evidence of global resolve.
The EU will be represented in Lima by Gian Luca Galletti, Minister of Environment for Italy, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, and Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy.
Minister Galletti said: “We must build on the growing momentum for a global climate agreement. All countries must come forward as early as possible in 2015, to enable a transparent assessment process. We must ensure that the contributions match up against the science and that we remain on track to keep global warming below 2 degrees Celsius.”
The President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker has identified building ‘a resilient Energy Union with a forward-looking climate change policy’ as one of his ten priorities for this Commission. Vice-President for the Energy Union, Maroš Šefčovič, said: “Lima gives us a message of hope. It shows that it’s not too late to secure our chances to meet the internationally agreed 2 degrees limit. With our new 2030 climate and energy package we have reconfirmed our confidence in a more energy-efficient, low-carbon economy, which is a cornerstone of the energy union. If we scale-up domestic policies and international cooperation, we can achieve it: it is a matter of political will”.
Miguel Arias Cañete, EU Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, added: “Lima is a crucial stepping stone to Paris, where we have an historic opportunity to tackle the greatest challenge facing our planet today. The final deal in Paris must mirror today’s economic realities. That means we need every major economy to play its part. Europe was the first to act by announcing our own target. China and the US were quick to respond. Now we are looking to the other big emitters to join us. The clock is ticking; it’s time for action.”
The 2015 agreement
The EU is calling on all Parties to come forward with ambitious proposed mitigation targets by the end of March 2015. This is in line with the agreed timetable and will enable a process to analyse and consider the ambition of individual and aggregate efforts prior to the Paris meeting. This will allow the global community to understand the action and effort needed in order to stay on track with keeping global temperature increase below 2 degrees.
Agreed methods to track progress on emission reduction commitments made in Paris will enable parties to measure how far they are collectively advancing. This will also enable the effectiveness and appropriateness of domestic policies to be monitored in a comparable way.
The new climate deal must be built to last. The EU wants to see a process for regularly strengthening emission reduction commitments embedded in the 2015 agreement. This would allow Parties to respond to the latest science and consider increasing ambition in the light of new technological developments. The aim is to ensure the agreement keeps the world on a long-term pathway consistent with the below 2 degree objective.
Although reducing greenhouse gas emissions is central to the international climate negotiations, the EU recognises that adaptation and climate finance are crucial components of a balanced 2015 agreement.
What outcomes does the EU expect from Lima?
The climate conference in Lima will be a key stepping stone to achieving a successful outcome in Paris. Lima must ensure that:
- The key elements of the 2015 Agreement are agreed as a basis for further negotiations in 2015;
- A decision is agreed which ensures that the greenhouse gas reduction contributions countries come forward with in the coming months are transparent, quantifiable and comparable;
- There is an international process before the Paris conference in 2015 to consider and analyse the ambition and adequacy of individual and aggregate contributions against the below 2 degree objective;
- Work to enhance mitigation ambition before 2020 continues.
EU climate finance in 2014
As the world’s biggest provider of Official Development Assistance, the EU and Member States will be reporting in Lima on their continued delivery of climate finance to developing countries. In 2013 alone, the EU and its Member States collectively provided €9.5 billion to help developing countries tackle climate change. The EU remains committed to assisting the countries most vulnerable to climate change and those with the least means to respond.