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European Council Outlines Path to COP 24

The European Council has adopted a set of conclusions on climate diplomacy, highlighting the need for urgent implementation of the Paris Agreement on climate change and the SDGs, and reiterating the EU’s commitment to climate action at all levels.

In its conclusions, the Council highlights the EU’s leadership role in “the global pursuit of climate action” and SDG implementation, and expresses commitment to the full operationalization of the Paris Agreement at the 24th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 24) to the UNFCCC. The Council calls for broad engagement of stakeholders and dialogue between international partners to inform timely implementation of the Paris Agreement while delivering the necessary transformation of the global economy.

The Council resolves to mainstream the nexus between climate change and security in policy dialogue and conflict prevention, including through the G7 Working Group on climate and fragility and in the UN system. Recognizing climate change as a threat multiplier, it emphasizes that development responses need to become more “conflict sensitive,” and security approaches need to become more “climate sensitive,” particularly for countries especially vulnerable to the impacts of climate change that also experience natural, societal or political pressures.

The Council also: emphasizes Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) as a key driver for integrating ambitious climate action in national policy making; stresses the need to address the “significant” gap between the aggregate effect of current NDCs in terms of global annual emissions of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and aggregate emission pathways consistent with holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C above preindustrial levels and perusing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1.5°C above preindustrial levels; and recognizes the importance of effective and efficient adaptation action, strategies and plans.

The Council underlines gender equality on the context of climate diplomacy, reaffirms the EU’s commitment to continuing to scale up the mobilization of international climate finance, recognizes the call for scaling up of public as well as private climate finance emanating from the December 2017 One Planet Summit, and underlines the important role of non-state actors in climate action. It also outlines the interlinkages among climate policies and policies governing international trade and investment, transport and energy. [European Council Conclusions on Climate Diplomacy] [European Council Press Release]

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