Brussels, 6 November 2013
EU seeks balanced progress to advance climate action at Warsaw conference
At the UN climate change conference on 11-22 November in Warsaw the European Union is seeking a balanced package of decisions to advance international climate action. The decisions need to enhance the implementation of climate measures already agreed, advance work on deepening cuts in global greenhouse gas emissions before 2020 and prepare the ground for the adoption by 2015 of a new legally-binding global climate agreement containing emission commitments by all countries.
Valentinas Mazuronis, Minister of Environment of Lithuania, which currently holds the presidency of the Council of the EU, said: "The Warsaw meeting is an important step in implementing commitments made so far, finding ways to make short-term action more ambitious and preparing the 2015 agreement. The EU has proposed a stepwise process, including an assessment phase, for formulating ambitious commitments for the 2015 agreement which provides a sound basis for a decision in Warsaw."
Connie Hedegaard, EU Commissioner for Climate Action, added: ''Everybody should understand that the Warsaw climate conference will not conclude the negotiations on the 2015 global climate deal. But it will be a very important meeting to make progress and set the stage for Paris 2015. In Warsaw, we must agree to prepare strong pledges for the 2015 deal and to step up emission cuts over the rest of this decade. All countries must be ready to present bold pledges before the Summit of World Leaders on climate change called by UNSG Ban Ki-moon next September."
Urgent progress is needed on the design, scope and structure of the global agreement, which is to be adopted by 2015 at the latest and to enter force in 2020. The EU wants the Warsaw conference to capture the progress made so far and plan the work that needs to be done in 2014 so that a draft text is available well before May 2015.
In particular, Warsaw needs to agree a process for all Parties to formulate ambitious post-2020 emission commitments for the 2015 agreement. This process should include a timetable for preparing their commitments in 2014, the provision of information explaining the commitments and an assessment phase to ensure that, collectively, commitments are sufficiently ambitious to keep global warming below 2°C compared to the pre-industrial temperature.
While the EU and over 80 other countries have made emission commitments up to 2020, collectively these are not yet ambitious enough to put the world on track to keep warming below 2°C. The EU wants to see ministerial engagement in Warsaw on how to raise pre-2020 ambition, which will also contribute to an ambitious 2015 agreement.
The EU would like countries which have not yet done so to come forward with emission pledges for 2020 by Warsaw. The conference should agree a process for all Parties to consider how to enhance their pre-2020 emissions action in 2014.
The EU is also calling for further international cooperation on stepping up pre-2020 ambition. Substantial potential exists to reduce emissions further through, among other things, increased action on energy efficiency, renewable energy, fluorinated greenhouse gases, reform of fossil fuel subsidies and emissions from aviation and shipping.
On fluorinated gases in particular, the EU wants the Warsaw conference to send a clear signal calling on Parties to the Montreal Protocol on protecting the ozone layer to take action to phase down HFCs, a family of powerful greenhouse gases.
Implementing agreed decisions
The third area where decisions are needed in Warsaw is to advance the implementation of measures agreed at previous sessions.
These include the issue of how to deal with loss and damage caused by climate change in particularly vulnerable developing countries. Warsaw also needs to address the issue of climate finance for developing countries. A high-level ministerial dialogue on finance should help to build consensus on ways forward.
Other issues on which decisions are needed include finalising transparency rules for commitments made so far, as well as the detailed rules for implementation of the Kyoto Protocol's second commitment period, which runs from 2013 to 2020.
EU climate finance in 2013
As the world's biggest provider of Official Development Assistance, the EU and Member States will be reporting in Warsaw on their continued delivery of climate finance to developing countries. The EU and Member States committed to provide €7.2 billion in 'fast start' finance for developing countries over 2010-2012 and exceeded this pledge by delivering a total of €7.34 billion, including €2.67 billion last year. Although no such climate financing obligation applies for 2013, the EU and a number of Member States announced voluntary contributions for developing countries amounting to €5.5 billion, and the latest assessment shows they are on track to deliver this amount.
EU press briefings in Warsaw
The EU delegation will hold regular press briefings which will be streamed live and 'on demand' at www.unfccc.int. Exact times of briefings can be checked at:
DG Climate Action Warsaw page: http://ec.europa.eu/clima/events/articles/0086_en.htm
MEMO/13/953: Questions and Answers on the UN climate change conference in Warsaw