EU prepares for UN climate summit

International climate change is a topic that’s high on the agenda for the EU. And according to a draft EU statement, this year’s UN summit will be an “essential opportunity to mobilise political will to raise global ambition”. Leaders from the EU member states are due to meet next week to discuss the future of climate diplomacy.

In the statement, the threats of climate change were detailed. It says: “Climate change is a direct and existential threat, which will spare no country. Yet action to stem it remains insufficient.” It then calls for the international community to “join in this necessary raising of ambition”.

“We are not moving fast enough to prevent irreversible and catastrophic climate disruption. In this context, it is a matter of extreme urgency to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change,” it continues; it then adds that the summit is “as an essential opportunity to mobilise political will to raise global ambition for the Paris Agreement goals”.

In the draft statement, there are references to the latest report carried out by Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). In this report, the panel outline strategies to meet the limit to temperature increases as per the Paris Agreement, which is set at a maximum of 1.5 degrees celsius.

There are fears that, if left unaddressed, the global population could suffer as a result of the consequences of climate change. Antonio Guterres, The UN Secretary-General, has called this years summit, which will take place in the US in September.

A number of G20 leaders have committed to stepping up to deal with the problem, including European leaders, as well as leaders in China and Canada. It’s hoped that this will put more pressure on the US, which is no longer signed up to the 2016 Paris Agreement.

The Paris Agreement has a target of net-zero emissions by 2050. However, there are still differing opinions as to whether the EU targets for 2030 are ambitious enough. All the countries that have signed up to the agreement, which includes all EU member states, have agreed to making changes to their targets.

In Europe, leaders are being urged to commit to the recommendations set out – which is to aim for net-zero emissions by 2050. In major cities across the EU, the proposals are being debated and the final decision is due to be announced later in the year, before the summit.

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