Tue. Jul 16th, 2024

Climate change is an existential threat for Europe and the world. It does not stop at borders and spares no country. Action by all countries in the world is necessary to limit a global temperature rise in line with the Paris Agreement.

The EU is showing leadership and setting an example in climate action through its domestic commitments. Yet, as the EU accounts for only an 8% (and decreasing) share of global emissions, ambitious internal policy is not enough.

The EU has made climate change a central element of its external policy. It is doing so through:

  • climate diplomacy: by working with its global partners at bilateral level, though also multilaterally within the United Nations and its climate convention (UNFCCC), and other international initiatives
  • climate finance: by providing financial support for climate action in developing countries

Climate diplomacy: supporting ambitious global climate action

Addressing climate change and encouraging ambitious climate action are at the heart of the EUʼs external relations efforts. With the European Green Deal, the EU renewed its commitment to lead by example, establishing itself as a global leader on climate policy and action.

What is climate diplomacy?

Climate diplomacy refers to the EUʼs work in both multilateral fora and at a bilateral level on promoting ambitious global climate goals and actions in pursuit of a planetary transition towards climate neutrality.

The EU works together with its global partners to strengthen international engagement on climate, by setting an example for the world and supporting international efforts and initiatives. It has been at the forefront of international agreements on climate policy, such as the Paris Agreement, and it strongly supports their implementation. With the same leadership approach and ambition, the EU took part in the United Nations climate change conference – COP26 which took place in Glasgow in November 2021.

In its bilateral relations with non-EU countries, the EU shares its expertise and encourages partners to take bold action against global warming, providing targeted support, where necessary, to those most affected, to assist the transformation of their economies.

Following the December 2020 European Councilʼs renewed signalling of the EUʼs global leadership on climate action, the Council adopted conclusions in January 2021 highlighting the need for countries worldwide to step up their climate ambitions.

EU ministers called on all parties to the Paris Agreement to submit ambitious 2030 goals as well as their long-term strategies for emissions reduction well ahead the UN climate conference planned for November. They also urged all countries to develop sustainable and climate-sensitive economic policies for recovery from the COVID-19 crisis.

EU foreign ministers agreed to continue to earmark an increased and significant share of EU external funding instruments for climate action, to support the worldʼs most fragile and vulnerable communities and countries, which are bearing the brunt of climate impacts, and urged all developed countries to scale up their own contributions.

The transition in the energy sector, responsible for over two-thirds of global greenhouse gas emissions, is central on the path towards climate neutrality. The Council called for a global phasing-out of environmentally harmful fossil-fuel subsidies, with a clear timeline, while emphasising the need for technological innovation and development and for a just transition.

What is climate finance?

Public climate finance refers to the financial support provided by the EU and its member states to developing countries to support mitigation and adaptation actions which address climate change.

Climate finance: supporting the green transition worldwide

The implementation of the Paris Agreement requires substantial financial resources. Under the agreement, developed countries committed to mobilising $100 billion (around €84 billion) every year to support developing countries.

€23.3 billion for climate finance in 2020

The EU and its member states, as the largest provider of public climate finance in the world, contribute to climate action beyond their borders too. In 2020, they provided funding to developing countries worth €23.3 billion.

These financial resources support mitigation and adaptation actions in EU partner countries worldwide to help them reduce their emissions and build resilience against the effects of climate change.

30% for climate in EU budget 2021-2027

30% of the total expenditure from the multiannual financial framework 2021-2027 and Next Generation EU will target climate-related projects. Expenses will comply with the EUʼs objective of climate neutrality by 2050, the EUʼs 2030 climate targets and the Paris Agreement.

quarter of EU development assistance funds, as approved within the multiannual financial framework, is set aside to step up efforts on climate change.

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