EU Foreign Affairs ministers agreed today that climate action should be much more central in the EU’s foreign policy, calling for renewed attention to high ambition alliances while increasing the provision of climate finance. Together with all countries, the EU needs to urgently step up its game on climate ambition, supporting a global green recovery that phases out fossil fuels and directs financial support towards clean alternatives.
Director of CAN Europe, Wendel Trio said: “The latest UN Emissions Gap report indicated that even with the new pledges from the EU and other countries, we are still heading towards a temperature increase of 2.5°C. This is still well above the Paris Agreement’s 1.5°C target, and the urgency to act cannot be more clear. It is therefore an important step that Foreign Ministers confirmed their intention to build strong diplomatic alliances with both big emitters and climate vulnerable countries on climate mitigation and adaptation efforts.
EU climate diplomacy will only be effective if the EU acts adequately at home. We need to see a complete phase out of fossil fuel subsidies, including for gas, an increase of financial support for action in poorer countries, and climate and energy legislation that reflects the highest level of ambition in emission reductions.”
In a positive move EU Ministers agreed to adopt combined objectives for climate and energy diplomacy, setting out their plans to support the global energy transition and discourage the use of fossil fuels such as coal. They must now set up a clear strategy for a global phaseout of fossil fuel finance. The EU will need to step up its game by working through European and International Finance Institutions, the G7 and G20, to ensure fossil fuel finance does not continue to undermine climate diplomacy and global transition efforts.
In the Council conclusions, EU Ministers also reaffirmed their commitment to scale up international climate finance and recognised the debt crisis of developing countries.
CAN Europe Climate Finance Policy Officer, Rachel Simon said: “According to the recent UNDP report, an additional 207 million people could be pushed into extreme poverty by 2030 due to COVID- 19 impacts and only targeted investments in governance, social protection and green economy can halt this trend.
The EU’s acknowledgement of the climate vulnerable countries debt crisis is a positive signal. However to ensure a global green recovery, it must be accompanied by concrete action working with the G7 and IMF to support these countries in tackling their debt and liquidity crisis for green investments. Member States also need to provide new and additional climate finance, addressing the adaptation finance gap by prioritising grants which support communities and gender equality, and finance for loss and damage. ”
Goksen Sahin, Communications Coordinator, firstname.lastname@example.org, +32 468 45 39 20