Energy Diplomacy

COP21 kicks off in Paris

30/11/2015 - 00:00
News stories

From 30 November to 11 December Paris hosts the 21st session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 21) to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the 11th session of the meeting of the parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP 11).

COP21 in Paris © Flickr/Tony Webster

About 150 countries are attending. High Representative Mogherini together with Donald Tusk, President of the European Council, and Jean-Claude Juncker, President of the European Commission, will join the leaders' event on 30 November.

The Paris conference is aiming to achieve a new international agreement on climate change, applicable to all countries, with the objective of keeping global warming below 2°C and boosting the transition towards low-carbon and climate-resilient societies and economies. The High Representative warned on several occasions on the impact of climate change on our lives and on security. She and her colleagues are committed to immediate action and to lead towards a strong and binding agreement.

The EU is a global leader on climate change. It is the first region with binding targets, and is on track to be the world leader in renewables. From 1990 to 2013, EU emissions declined 19% while GDP grew 45%. The EU plays an important role in international climate negotiations and has set strict goals for the international agreement on climate change - mainly for reaching clear, fair and ambitious targets and holding all countries accountable. The EU - through the Council - has set goals for keeping global warming below 2°C and for global greenhouse gas emissions to peak by 2020 at the latest. It also defined the elements the EU will be defending for the Paris international agreement:

  • ambitious legally binding agreement applicable to all countries
  • include clear, fair and ambitious targets for all countries
  • regularly review and strengthen countries' targets in the light of the 'below 2°C' goal
  • hold all countries accountable - to each other and to the public
  • for meeting their targets

The conference in Paris is also an opportunity for side meetings. The High Representative held formal bilateral meetings with the Prime Minister of Canada, the King of Jordan, the President of Brasil and the President of Peru. She also met with the Prime Minister of Israel, the President of Afghanistan, the African Union Chairperson and the Foreign Ministers of Morocco, Iraq, Paraguay and Chile.


Paris UN climate change conference, 30/11-11/12/2015

Factsheet - What the EU does for climate

UNFCCC page on the Paris climate change conference

Paris Conference Information Hub

The host country website