The Council today approved conclusions setting the EU’s position for the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. The conclusions emphasise the extreme urgency to step up the global response to address the climate emergency and underline the need for a just and fair climate transition across the world.
The world is currently not on course to keep global warming below 1,5 degrees. Many more collective efforts are needed to keep our planet’s temperature within safe limits. In COP26 the EU will call on all parties to the Paris Agreement to come forward with ambitious national emissions reduction targets and for developed countries to step up international climate finance. With the conclusions adopted today, the EU not only has the willpower but a strong mandate to lead the discussions in the right direction – the direction of protecting the planet for the benefit of all and standing on the side of those that are most vulnerable to climate change.
Andrej Vizjak, Slovenian Minister of the Environment and Spatial Planning
The conclusions call upon all parties, to come forward with ambitious Nationally Determined Contributions (NDCs) and recognise the need to step up adaptation efforts collectively.
The conclusions recall that the EU and its member states are the world’s leading contributors of climate finance and reconfirm their continued commitment to scaling up the mobilisation of international climate finance. They invite other developed countries to increase their contributions as part of the collective developed countries’ goal to jointly mobilise USD 100 billion per year by 2020 until 2025.
The conclusions set the EU’s position as regards voluntary cooperation under Article 6, which lays down rules for international carbon markets, enabling countries to trade emission reductions. They also set the EU’s position as regards common time frames for emission reduction commitments included in each country’s NDC. The Council expresses, with a view to reaching consensus in Glasgow, its preference for a common time frame of five years for all parties’ NDCs, that will be implemented by the EU from 2031 onwards only in the case all parties would be required to do so and in a manner consistent with the European climate law.
These conclusions constitute the EU’s overarching mandate for the meeting. A more specific mandate for the EU’s negotiators as concerns the financing aspects was adopted in the form of Council conclusions at the Economic and Financial Affairs Council on 5 October 2021.
COP26 aims to bring countries together to accelerate action towards the goals of the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement (PA) was adopted in 2015 at the UN Climate Change Conference (COP 21) and entered into force on 4 November 2016. It counts to date 197 parties and sets two main goals. The first goal is limiting the global average temperature increase to well below 2°C above pre-industrial levels, and pursuing efforts to limit it to 1.5°C. The second goal is adapting to the unavoidable impacts of climate change while making finance flows consistent with climate-resilient development.
The main goals of COP26 are to encourage parties to come forward with ambitious NDCs that establish their emission reduction targets for 2030, discuss adaptation measures, increase climate finance and finalise the Paris Rulebook (the detailed rules that make the Paris Agreement operational).
Among other things, parties need to agree on the details of the so-called Art.6 that lays down rules for international carbon markets, enabling parties to trade emission reductions. In addition, parties will seek to establish a common time frame for their NDCs. Discussions at global level revolve around setting a five-year or a ten-year common time frame.