The European Union has played a key role in brokering today’s historic agreement in Paris, where 195 countries adopted a new universal, legally binding global climate deal.
The ambitious and balanced agreement, the first major multilateral deal of the 21st century, sets out a
global action plan to put the world on track to avoid dangerous climate change by limiting global
warming to well below 2°C.
The deal is the culmination of years of efforts by the international community to bring about a
universal multilateral agreement on climate change. Following limited participation in the Kyoto
Protocol and the lack of agreement in Copenhagen in 2009, the EU has been building a broad coalition
of developed and developing countries in favour of high ambition that shaped the successful outcome
of the Paris conference. The Paris Agreement sends a clear signal to investors, businesses, and policy-
makers that the global transition to clean energy is here to stay and resources have to shift away from
polluting fossil fuels.
European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today the world is united in the fight
against climate change. Today the world gets a lifeline, a last chance to hand over to future
generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous
economies. This robust agreement will steer the world towards a global clean energy transition. This
deal is also a success for the European Union. We have long been the global leader in climate action,
and the Paris Agreement now reflects our ambition worldwide. I would like to thank the EU’s chief
negotiator Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete and his team for working day and night to make this
agreement happen and for keeping the European Union the central player throughout the negotiations.
I am proud of all of you.”
EU Climate Action and Energy Commissioner Miguel Arias Cañete said: “This agreement is a major win
for Europe. But more importantly, it is a major win for the global community. Europe has led the
efforts in Paris to get an ambitious and legally binding global climate deal. We have forged alliances
and others have joined. Our key objectives − on the long-term goal, the 5-yearly review cycles and
transparency − are in the new agreement. The agreement also reconfirms global commitment to
continued support to those in need of assistance. We succeeded. Now, what has been promised must
be delivered. Europe will continue to lead the global low-carbon transition we have agreed.”
The Paris climate deal
The Paris climate change agreement is a bridge between today’s policies and climate-neutrality before
the end of the century. In Paris, governments agreed on ambition, commitment, and solidarity.
Ambition: Governments agreed a long-term goal of keeping the increase in global average
temperature to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels and to aim to limit the increase to 1.5°C,
since this would significantly reduce risks and the impacts of climate change. The agreement calls for
global emissions to peak as soon as possible, recognising that this will take longer for developing
countries and to undertake rapid reductions thereafter in accordance with the best available science.
Before and during the Paris conference, countries submitted comprehensive national climate action
plans to reduce their emissions. The sum total of the 185 intended nationally determined contributions
prepared in advance of the Paris conference are not yet enough to keep the world below 2°C by the
end of the century. However, the agreement traces the way to achieving this target.
Commitment: To achieve this common ambition, governments agreed to come together every 5 years
to set more ambitious targets as required by science. They also accepted to report to each other and
the public on how well they are doing to implement their targets, to ensure transparency and
oversight. A global stocktake will take place every five years. A robust transparency and accountability
system will track progress towards the long-term goal.
Solidarity: The EU and other developed countries will continue to support climate action to reduce
emissions and build resilience to climate change impacts in developing countries. Other countries are
encouraged to provide or continue to provide such support voluntarily. Continued and enhanced
international support for adaptation will be provided to developing countries. Developed countries
intend to continue their existing collective goal to mobilise USD 100 billion per year until 2025 when a
new collective goal will be set.
Loss and Damage
The Paris Agreement also features a standalone article dealing with the issue of loss and damage
associated with the impacts of climate change. Countries also acknowledge the need to cooperate and
enhance the understanding, action and support in different areas such as early warning systems,
emergency preparedness and risk insurance.
Lima-Paris Action Agenda
The Lima-Paris Action Agenda, an initiative of the Peruvian and French COP Presidencies aimed at
catalysing multi-stakeholder action, brought an unprecedented number of countries, cities, businesses
and civil society members together on a global stage to accelerate cooperative climate action in
support of the new agreement. The initiative demonstrated that the world is ready to catalyse efforts
into climate action even before the Paris agreement enters into force in 2020. A number of major
announcements and ground breaking initiatives were presented during the two week conference.