3106th FOREIGN AFFAIRS Council meeting, Brussels, 18 July 2011
The Council adopted the following conclusions:
1. “Climate change is a global environmental and development challenge. Next to the most immediate effects, it also has important security implications since it acts as a “threat multiplier”, exacerbating tensions over land, water, food and energy prices, and creating migratory pressures and desertification. It is a threat to global growth, prosperity and stability.
2. The Council recognises the need for the European Union to act now to contribute to reduce systemic risks resulting from climate change before they trigger crises and to encourage our partners to do likewise. At the heart of a successful response is developing a future global and comprehensive framework engaging all major economies in order to keep the temperature increase below 2°C compared to the pre-industrial level. The transition to a safe and sustainable low carbon economy and society, through multilateral as well as domestic action is essential. The Council notes that robust climate action and economic development are mutually reinforcing: reducing greenhouse gas emissions, securing clean water supply, enhancing food security, improving air quality, fostering innovation and creating jobs. The Council notes that the EU has been at the forefront of raising awareness of the implications of climate change with third countries and international organisations.
3. In this context and following the establishment of the EEAS, the Council underlines that the time has come to further step-up efforts on climate diplomacy to address climate change at all political levels and to strengthen the EU voice and activities internationally, including through regional initiatives, by complementing and facilitating efforts being deployed under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), including in the runup to the Durban Climate Conference. It calls on all relevant EU actors to contribute to this aim with a view to raising the profile of climate change in our relations with our partners, notably, those countries or groups of countries who have a key role to play in the international process, as well as to continue and intensify our respective efforts to assist developing countries in their institutional and capacity building efforts to address climate change.
4. Climate change and environmental deterioration, including that caused by man-made activities, are key threat factors to be monitored by EU early warning mechanisms. The Council recognises the need to build on the work already undertaken on climate change and international security. The EU will continue to raise global awareness of the security risks to, and threat multiplier nature, of climate change, particularly in vulnerable regions. The Council recognises the need to drive the global debate on climate change and international security forwards. The EU welcomes the increasing attention of the United Nations Security Council on the security related aspects of climate change.
5. The Joint Reflection Paper from the High Representative and the Commission, “Towards a renewed and strengthened European Union Climate Diplomacy” sets out three strands for action on EU climate diplomacy. Energy security should also be reflected in climate outreach.
6. On the basis of the recommendations in the Reflection Paper, the Council stresses that work should be taken forward and be reviewed at one of the upcoming FAC.”
Council of the European Union