Climate change: Council adopts conclusions

The Council today adopted conclusions on climate change which emphasise the unprecedented urgency which is needed to step up global efforts to avoid the dangerous effects of climate change. Climate change is happening and its effects are being felt all over the world. Environment ministers are sending a strong political signal in these conclusions, which constitute the basis for the EU’s position at the forthcoming COP24 climate conference in Katowice, Poland, in December.

Today we have underlined again that the EU will continue to lead the way in global action on climate action. The EU needs to play a crucial role in this important issue. Today’s conclusions give us a robust and consistent position for COP24.

Elisabeth Köstinger, Austrian federal minister of sustainability and tourism

In the conclusions, ministers also react to the special report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) on the impacts of global warming of 1.5°C above pre-industrial levels which was published yesterday.

The EU is committed to the Paris Agreement and is implementing ambitious policies. In their conclusions, environment ministers recall the progress made in recent months by the EU on legislation which delivers on its commitments to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. These include the new EU 2030 renewable energy target of 32%, the new energy efficiency target of 32.5%, the reform of the EU emission trading system, the emission reduction targets in sectors falling outside the scope of ETS and the integration of land use, land use change and forestry (LULUCF) in the EU’s climate and energy framework. Low-emissions and climate resilient growth is possible: The EU is continuing successfully to decouple economic growth from emissions. Between 1990 and 2016, the EU’s GDP grew by 53% while total emissions fell by 22.4%. The EU’s share of global greenhouse gas emissions fell from an estimated 17.3% in 1990 to 9.9% in 2012.

The EU considers that collective and fair action by all is the best way to achieve ambitious action on climate change.