European Union External Action

#BeTheWave against climate change

Climate change is a global challenge. The future of our planet is at stake. For many people, the challenge is so big that it can quickly become overwhelming. The good news is that even the smallest action can make a big difference. In fact, every single person can do a lot to help stop climate change and the #BeTheWave campaign sets the stage for doing so.

The EU has a strong record when it comes to protecting the planet. As a leader in mitigating climate change, it has adopted a Green Deal that aims to see the continent go climate neutral by 2050. Likewise, one of the UN’s Sustainable Development Goals is to keep global temperature rise this century below 2 degrees Celsius and, if possible, below the 1.5 degrees outlined in the Paris Agreement.

Through the #BeTheWave campaign the EU further contributes to the implementation of climate-related Sustainable Development Goals. Furthermore, this all happens during a very special year: the 75th anniversary of the United Nations.


Find us on Instagram @eudiplomacy

Act now #BeTheWave

What is #BeTheWave?

#BeTheWave is a new social media initiative that asks young people around the world to think global and act local. The campaign challenges users to make small, climate-friendly changes in their daily lives, share their achievements on Instagram, and inspire their friends and followers to do the same. In doing so, #BeTheWave will show how even the simplest action can grow from a ripple into a wave of global change.

Taking the challenge on Instagram - Step-by-step guide:

  -  Go on Instagram

  -  Start a new story

  -  At the bottom of your screen a set of filters will appear: choose #BeTheWave

  -  Keep pressing the record button and the challenge will roll out

  -  When it stops, your challenge appears, and you will be ready to go!

Once you have your assigned action, film yourself completing it: show others how you are unplugging electronic devices you are not using, the flowers you have planted, the clothes you are re-using etc.

Tag #BeTheWave and @eudiplomacy and challenge your friends to take the challenge too!

When posting your story, use our GIF as well:

  -  From your Instagram Story, tap the GIF icon to add GIF stickers

  -  Tap on the GIF button and select a trending GIF sticker or search for one

  -  To find the #BeTheWave GIF, tap “Be the wave” or “EEAS” in the search bar.


Learn more about #BeTheWave in the Campaign Explainer

EN - AR - DE - EL - ES - FRIT - NL - PT


Privacy statement related to campaigns via influencers on social media platforms


Your questions on EU climate action answered

What has the EU done to fight climate change? 

What is the European Green Deal?

What is the EU doing to promote climate action around the globe?


#BeTheWave Q&A

provides answers to these questions and more

(Also available in AR - DE - EL - ES - FR - IT - NL- PT)


Learn more:

  -  European Green Deal and EU climate action

  -  Climate change: what the EU is doing

  -  European Climate Pact

  -  Tips for everyday climate action

  -  Our planet, our future – online magazine for young people

  -  Be the Change

Press Material

Check out the #BeTheWave Press Material

Press Release: EN - DE - EL - ES - FR - IT - NL - PT

Campaign Explainer: EN - AR - DE - EL - ES - FR - IT - NL - PT

Q&A: EN - AR - DE - EL - ES - FR - IT - NL- PT

The European Council assessed the current epidemiological situation, which is unprecedented and gives rise to very serious concern.

The Council today authorised the Commission to endorse, on behalf of the EU, the "Leaders' Pledge for Nature", in order to send a united signal to step up global ambition for biodiversity. Commission President Ursula von der Leyen is thereby authorised to endorse the pledge at an UN event to be held virtually on 28 September 2020 in the context of the UN Summit on Biodiversity.

The European Commission presented today its plan to reduce EU greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030, compared to 1990 levels. This level of ambition for the next decade will put the EU on a balanced pathway to reaching climate neutrality by 2050. The new target is based on a comprehensive Impact Assessment of the social, economic and environmental impacts. The Assessment demonstrates that this course of action is realistic and feasible. This raised ambition also underlines the EU’s continued global leadership, ahead of the next UN climate conference (COP26).

The European Commission adopted a comprehensive new Biodiversity Strategy to bring nature back into our lives and a Farm to Fork Strategy for a fair, healthy and environmentally friendly food system. The two strategies are mutually reinforcing, bringing together nature, farmers, business and consumers for jointly working towards a competitively sustainable future.

In Europe and in the world, all minds are focused on actions to tackle the outbreak of the coronavirus and mitigate the effects of the crisis. The European Union works on all fronts to support these efforts. The latest information can be found on the dedicated European Commission website. We take this opportunity to thank all those who are working tirelessly to contain the pandemic and care for those in need, anywhere in the world.

Today, the Commission presents a proposal to enshrine in legislation the EU's political commitment to be climate neutral by 2050, to protect the planet and our people. The European Climate Law sets the 2050 target and the direction of travel for all EU policy, and gives predictability for public authorities, businesses and citizens. At the same time, the Commission is launching a public consultation on the future European Climate Pact. Through this consultation the public will be involved in co-designing this instrument.

The European Commission today announced an investment of €101.2 million for the latest projects under the LIFE programme for the Environment and Climate Action. The funding will support 10 large-scale environment and climate projects in nine Member States, helping Europe's transition to a sustainable economy and climate neutrality.

28/01/2020 – German Ministry of Foreign Affairs, Berlin
HR/VP Josep Borrell describes the importance of Central Asia to the EU and in particular how EU support can help the region better address the consequences of climate change.

Foreign ministers today discussed climate diplomacy and restated the political centrality of climate action for the European Union. Following the discussion, the Council adopted conclusions on climate diplomacy. This is a clear sign that in 2020 climate will be one of the priorities in the EU's external policy.

Stories on EU climate action

A One Planet Summit on Biodiversity was held in Paris on 11 January 2021, under the leadership of President Macron, gathering an impressive number of political leaders and CEOs, pledging to reverse the destruction of nature.

Both nature and biodiversity are essential for life on Earth. We must protect nature to tackle climate change, prevent biodiversity loss and protect people from the spread of devastating pandemics. Climate and biodiversity were high on the EU agenda over the past week, which kicked off with discussions by Heads of Member States at the European Council before the weekend, the launch of the EU Green Week on Monday, as well as participation in the climate and biodiversity talks at EXPO 2020. The week comes to an end with the Environment Council.


Biodiversity and Nature are essential for all life on the planet. Biodiversity plays a critical role for sustainable development and human well-being. Biodiversity can also reinforce peace when putting in place inclusive management of natural resources, respecting indigenous rights, combatting wildlife trafficking or promoting international dialogue around shared resources. In one of his first speeches as EU High Representative, Josep Borrell had stressed that "Today, land and natural resources management is one of the most critical challenges the world is facing."

‘Our ocean starts with you!’ was the theme for the 2020 digital edition of the #EUBeachCleanUp, as the campaign took to social media reminding us that ocean protection begins at home. For the past month up until World Coastal Cleanup day, people across the globe took on challenges to clean their neighbourhood, shop for less packaging, reduce water consumption, and sort waste. EU High Representative Josep Borrell praised these actions saying “Even the smallest actions from home can have an impact on our oceans. #EUBeachCleanUp is a great individual and collective action of volunteers around the world to keep beaches clean and protect marine life.”

Clean air is essential to our health and to the environment. Since the industrial revolution, the quality of the air we breathe has deteriorated considerably. The human toll for poor air quality is worse than for road traffic accidents. Air pollution is the single greatest environmental risk to human health: around 6,5 million premature deaths across the world are due to air pollution. Particularly in developing countries, air pollution disproportionately affects women, children and old people.

The European Union and Chile have been working closely together in the fight against climate change and in building a more sustainable future with the common objective to reach carbon neutrality by 2050.

Moins d'impacts négatifs sur l'environnement, des produits plus sains pour les consommateurs et de meilleurs rendements pour les planteurs

Biodiversity is the root of all life, both on land and below water. It has an impact on human health, providing the air that we breathe, the water we drink, the food we eat, natural disease resistance, medicines, as well as climate change mitigation. The emergence of COVID-19 has proved that when we destroy biodiversity, we destroy the system that supports human life. Nature is sending us a message. Aptly, this year’s theme for World Environment Day is biodiversity – a concern that is both urgent and existential. Protecting nature and reversing degradation to ecosystems is at the heart of the EU Green Deal and is the rationale for the new EU biodiversity strategy for 2030.

climate change, drought, children watching sunset

The Arctic is warming at more than twice the global average. The Mediterranean is facing decreasing precipitation and increasing temperatures. The warming of the Baltic, Black and North Seas is happening at a big pace. The situation is alarming. It is urgent to strengthen the global response to the climate emergency. High Representative Josep Borrell chaired the Foreign Affairs Council on 20 January, where Ministers discussed ways to step up climate diplomacy. The EU is determined to help raise global ambition and will use all tools at its disposal to tackle the climate challenge.