EU Council conclusions on EU Climate Diplomacy

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 

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