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Procedure : 2017/2272(INI)
Document stages in plenary
Document selected : A8-0221/2018

Texts tabled :

A8-0221/2018

Debates :

PV 02/07/2018 - 19
CRE 02/07/2018 - 19

Votes :

PV 03/07/2018 - 11.12
CRE 03/07/2018 - 11.12
Explanations of votes

Texts adopted :

P8_TA(2018)0280

Texts adopted
PDF 294kWORD 59k
Tuesday, 3 July 2018 - Strasbourg Provisional edition
Climate diplomacy
P8_TA-PROV(2018)0280A8-0221/2018

European Parliament resolution of 3 July 2018 on climate diplomacy (2017/2272(INI))

The European Parliament,

–  having regard to the Treaty on the Functioning of the European Union (TFEU), in particular Articles 21, 191,192, 220 and 221 thereof,

–  having regard to the United Nations 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and to the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs),

‒  having regard to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and the Kyoto Protocol thereto,

–  having regard to the Universal Declaration of Human Rights (UDHR),

–  having regard to the Paris Agreement, Decision 1/CP.21, the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) to the UNFCCC and the 11th Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP11) held in Paris from 30 November to 11 December 2015,

–  having regard to the 22nd Conference of the Parties (COP22) to the UNFCCC and the 1st Conference of the Parties serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Paris Agreement (CMA1), held in Marrakech, Morocco, from 15 November to 18 November 2016,

–  having regard to its resolution of 6 October 2016 on the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the 2016 UN Climate Change Conference in Marrakesh, Morocco (COP22)(1),

–  having regard to the Fifth Assessment Report (AR5) of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) and to its Synthesis Report,

–  having regard to its resolution of 4 October 2017 on the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (COP23)(2),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 20 July 2016 entitled ‘Accelerating Europe’s transition to a low-carbon economy’ (COM(2016)0500),

–  having regard to the Commission communication of 16 April 2013 on ‘An EU Strategy on adaptation to climate change’ (COM(2013)0216),

–  having regard to the EU Climate Diplomacy Action Plan 2015 adopted by the Foreign Affairs Council,

–  having regard to the Foreign Affairs Council conclusions of 6 March 2017 and 19 June 2017,

–  having regard to the European Council conclusions of 22 June 2017,

–  having regard to the Council conclusions of 26 February 2018 on Climate Diplomacy,

–  having regard to the European External Action Service (EEAS) communication of June 2016 on a Global Strategy for the European Union’s Foreign and Security Policy and the Commission and EEAS joint communication of 7 June 2017 on a Strategic Approach to Resilience in the EU’s External Action (JOIN(2017)0021),

–  having regard to the opinion of the European Committee of the Regions of 9 February 2017 entitled ‘Towards a new EU climate change adaptation strategy – taking an integrated approach’(3),

‒  having regard to the opinion of the European Economic and Social Committee of 26 April 2016 entitled ‘The Road from Paris’(4),

–  having regard its resolution of 13 December 2017 on the Annual Report on the implementation of the Common Foreign and Security Policy(5),

–  having regard to its resolution of 16 January 2018 on women, gender equality and climate justice(6),

–  having regard to UNFCCC Decision 36/CP.7 of 9 November 2001 on improving the participation of women in the representation of Parties in bodies established under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change and the Kyoto Protocol,

–  having regard to the study of 2009 conducted by the International Organisation for Migration (IOM) on ‘Migration, Environment and Climate Change: Assessing the Evidence’,

–  having regard to its resolution of 13 March 2018 on gender equality in EU trade agreements(7),

–  having regard to Pope Francis’ encyclical letter ‘Laudato Si’’ on ‘care for our common home’,

–  having regard to Rule 52 of its Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the joint deliberations of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety under Rule 55 of the Rules of Procedure,

–  having regard to the report of the Committee on Foreign Affairs and the Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety (A8-0221/2018),

A.  whereas the effects of climate change are having increasingly severe impacts on different aspects of human life as well as on development opportunities, the worldwide geopolitical order and global stability; whereas those with fewer resources to adapt to climate change will be hardest hit by the impact of climate change; whereas climate diplomacy can be understood as a form of targeted foreign policy to promote climate action through reaching out to other actors, cooperating on specific climate-related issues, building strategic partnerships and strengthening relations between state and non-state actors, including major contributors to global pollution, thereby contributing to mitigating the effects of climate change, as well as to enhancing climate action and strengthening Union’s diplomatic relationships;

B.  whereas the effects of climate change include the rise, warming and acidification of the oceans, a loss of biodiversity and an increase in extreme climate events; whereas the first victims of these disturbances are the most vulnerable countries and populations, in particular people living on islands; whereas climate change has a particularly severe social and cultural impact on indigenous communities, which not only contribute marginally to CO2 emissions, but in fact play an active and vital role in protecting the ecosystems in which they live, thereby mitigating the effects of climate change;

C.  whereas the EU has been one of the leading forces on climate action and has shown its leadership in international climate negotiations; whereas the EU has used climate diplomacy to create strategic alliances with relevant stakeholders to fight jointly against climate change as a key component of sustainable development and preventive action in view of climate-related threats;

D.  whereas EU climate diplomacy contributed to the conclusion of the Paris Agreement and, since then, the EU’s approach to climate diplomacy has been broadened; whereas, as part of the EU’s Global Strategy, climate policy has been integrated into foreign and security policy, and the link between energy and climate, security and climate change adaptation and migration has been strengthened;

E.  whereas the responsibility for long-term sustainable climate actions cannot be put on individuals and their individual choices as consumers; whereas a human rights-based climate policy should clarify that responsibility for creating sustainable societies lies primarily with politicians who have the means to create climate-sustainable policies;

F.  whereas climate change and security concerns are interlinked and transnational, and require climate diplomacy aimed, inter alia, at the full implementation of Paris Agreement commitments; whereas several studies have found indirect links between climate change, natural disasters and the outbreak of armed conflicts, and whereas climate change can be regarded as a ‘threat multiplier’ which has the ability to amplify existing social tensions; whereas the negative long-term implications of climate change may lead to an increase in political tensions, both inside and outside of national borders, and hence risk being an element of crisis and putting a strain on international relations as such;

G.  whereas climate change has a direct and indirect impact on migration, propelling increasing numbers of people to move from vulnerable to more viable areas of their countries or abroad to build new lives;

H.  whereas Parliament’s resolution of 4 October 2017 on the 2017 UN Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany (COP23) recognised the nature and extent of climate-induced displacement and migration resulting from disasters caused by global warming; whereas, according to various important and well-founded studies and reports, such as those by the International Organisation for Migration and the World Bank, unless serious efforts are made, the number of migrants, as well as internally displaced persons, driven by environmental changes could, in the worst scenario, reach up to 200 million by 2050, many of whom are currently living in coastal areas or could be internal migrants in sub-Saharan Africa, South Asia and Latin America;

I.  whereas people who migrate for environmental reasons do not benefit from refugee status nor from the international protection granted to refugees because they are not recognised by the 1951 Geneva Convention;

J.  whereas, as a contribution to the achievement of a net-zero carbon economy, the Commission has set the promotion of energy efficiency and making the EU the world leader in renewables as objectives for Union energy policy;

K.  whereas EU climate diplomacy must encourage risk management projects, model public opinion and encourage political and economic cooperation to counter climate change and to promote a low-carbon economy;

L.  whereas EU climate diplomacy should produce a model of proactive adjustment encouraging interaction between policies countering climate change; whereas the institutionalisation of climate change policies would mean greater public awareness and should translate into a clearer political will;

M.  whereas the problem of the scarcity of water resources is at the root of an ever increasing number of conflicts between communities; whereas those resources are often exploited unsustainably for intensive and industrial farming in situations that are already unstable;

N.  whereas, in order to achieve its objectives, the fight against climate change should become a strategic priority in all diplomatic dialogues and initiatives with a human rights-based approach; whereas Parliament has been actively contributing to the process and has been using both its legislative power and its political influence to further integrate climate change into development action and the aid portfolio, as well as into several other EU policies, such as investments, agriculture, fisheries, energy, transport, research and trade;

O.  whereas sources of discrimination and vulnerability based on gender, race, ethnicity, class, poverty, ability, indigeneity, age, geography, and traditional and institutional discrimination all combine intersectionally to obstruct access to the resources and means required to cope with dramatic changes such as climate change;

P.  whereas there is an intrinsic link between climate change and deforestation caused by land grabbing, fossil fuel extraction and intensive agriculture;

Q.  whereas the proportion of women in political decision-making and diplomacy, and especially in climate change negotiations, is still unsatisfactory and whereas little or no progress has been made in this respect; whereas women account for only 12 to 15 % of heads of delegation and around 30 % of the delegates;

1.  Recalls that the effects of climate change have an impact on all aspects of human life, especially on global resources and development opportunities, as well as on business models, trade relations and regional relations; recalls that climate impacts exacerbate food insecurity, threats to health, loss of livelihood, displacement, migration, poverty, gender inequalities, human trafficking, violence, lack of access to infrastructure and essential services, have an impact on peace and security and are increasingly affecting EU citizens, as well as challenging the international community; underlines the increasing urgency of climate action and points out that addressing climate change requires a joint effort at international level; urges the Commission and the Member States to continuously facilitate multilateral discourse, as it constitutes a collective responsibility towards the entire planet, for the current and future generations; notes that the fight against climate change is necessary for the protection of human rights;

2.  Notes with concern the deterioration of the world’s water resources and ecosystems, as well as the growing threat posed by water scarcity, water-related risks and extreme events;

Implementation of the Paris Agreement and Agenda 2030

3.  Reaffirms the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement and to the UN Agenda 2030, including the SDGs; stresses the need to fully and swiftly implement the Paris Agreement, and to meet its objectives of mitigation, adaptation and redirecting finance flows, and the SDGs both in the EU and globally in order to develop a more sustainable economy and society; reaffirms the need for an ambitious EU climate policy and its readiness to significantly increase the existing EU Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC) for 2030 as well the necessity of developing by the end of 2018 an ambitious and coordinated long-term net-zero carbon strategy for 2050, in line with the Paris Agreement commitment to holding the increase in the global average temperature to well below 2°C and pursuing efforts to limit the increase to 1,5°C above pre-industrial levels; calls on the Commission to take into account in this long-term strategy the views of all actors which can contribute to or be affected by it;

4.  Underlines the importance of an ambitious EU climate policy in order to avoid a further rise in temperature and to act as a credible and reliable partner vis-à-vis third states; calls on the Commission and the Member States to play an active and constructive role during the 2018 Talanoa Dialogue and COP24 as 2018 will be a crucial year for the implementation of the Paris Agreement; calls for the EU to show its commitment to an ambitious climate policy as this will help it to lead by example and to advocate for strong mitigation commitments on the part of other countries;

5.  Regrets the US President’s announcement of his decision to withdraw from the Paris Agreement; reaffirms that the EU has a responsibility – and an opportunity – to assume a leading role in global climate action, to step up its climate diplomacy efforts and to form a strong alliance of countries and actors that will continue to support and contribute to the objectives of limiting global warming to well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit the temperature increase to 1,5°C as recommended by the IPCC; highlights nevertheless the importance of closely cooperating with the US Government, and in particular US states and cities;

6.  Stresses that the credibility of the EU in the fight against climate change is dependent on the strict and comprehensive implementation of its own climate policy;

7.  Highlights that EU foreign policy should develop capacities to monitor climate change-related risks, including crisis prevention and conflict sensitivity; believes that consequential and rapid climate action contributes essentially to the prevention of social, economic, but also security risks, the prevention of conflicts and instabilities and ultimately the prevention of major political, social and economic costs; stresses, therefore, the importance of mainstreaming climate diplomacy in the EU conflict prevention policies, broadening and adapting the scope of EU missions and programmes in third countries and conflict areas; reiterates that moving towards a circular net-zero carbon economy will contribute to prosperity and enhanced equality, peace and human security both within and outside the EU as climate change can often create new instabilities and conflicts or exacerbate existing ones, and deepening existing inequalities or create new ones, due to the scarcity of resources, the lack of economic opportunities, the loss of land as a result of rising sea levels or prolonged droughts, a fragile governance structure, an insufficient supply of water and food and a deterioration in living conditions;

8.  Points with concern, in particular, to the deterioration in the planet’s ecosystems and water resources and the growing threat posed by the scarcity of water and by water-related risks, along with extreme climate and weather events that are increasing in frequency and devastating impact, making it necessary to strengthen the links between adapting to climate change and reducing the risk of disasters;

9.  Notes also with concern that insufficient attention is being paid to the role played by soil as a component of the climate system, and to its importance for reducing greenhouse gases and adapting to the effects of climate change; appeals to the EU to develop an ambitious strategy that should be included in climate diplomacy;

10.  Underlines that, due to melting polar caps and rising sea levels, people living on the coast line or on small island states are in particular danger; urges the Commission and the Member States to protect and preserve these living spaces by facilitating the achievement of ambitious climate change mitigation goals and multilateral coastal protection measures;

11.  Acknowledges that climate change exacerbates the conditions that lead to migration in vulnerable areas and recalls that future migration will increase if the negative repercussions of climate change are not adequately managed; calls for the EU to support the launch of discussions at UN level with a view to delivering a tangible response to the movement of people that is expected to occur as a result of climate change, and highlights that any international response should focus on regional solutions in order to prevent unnecessary large-scale movements;

12.  Calls on the Member States to show progressive leadership in the ongoing negotiations on a global compact for safe, orderly and regular migration, prepared under the auspices of the United Nations and building on the 2016 New York Declaration for Refugees and Migrants, which recognised that vast numbers of people are moving ‘in response to the adverse effects of climate change’;

13.  Welcomes the inclusiveness of the UNFCCC process; considers that ensuring effective participation requires that the issue of vested or conflicting interests be addressed; supports the initiative by governments representing the majority of the world’s population to introduce a specific conflict of interest policy and calls on the Commission to engage constructively in this process;

14.  Calls on the Commission to devise programmes to raise EU citizens’ awareness of the connection between climate change and migration, poverty and conflicts regarding access to resources;

15.  Points out that every environment-related initiative taken by the EU must be underpinned by the legislative powers provided for in the Treaties and that EU parliamentary democracy must continue to play a leading role in each proposal aimed at promoting international measures to protect the environment;

Strengthening the EU capacity for climate diplomacy

16.  Notes that the EU and its Member States are the largest providers of public climate finance and that this is an important and trust-building instrument to support adaptation and mitigation in other countries; urges the Commission and the Member States to continue to make meaningful financial contributions and to actively support the mobilisation of international climate finance through public sources by other countries as well as private sources; welcomes the announcements made at the ONE Planet Summit on 12 December 2017;

17.  Stresses that the global transition to net-zero carbon, climate resilient economies and societies requires significant transformational investment; stresses the need for governments to create the enabling environments to reorient capital flows towards sustainable investment and to avoid stranded assets, building on the conclusions of the High-Level Expert Group on Sustainable Finance and in line with the Commission Communication on Financing Sustainable Growth (COM(2018)0097); believes that the financial system needs to contribute to the targets of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs; is convinced that an EU financial system which contributes to climate mitigation and incentivises investments in clean technologies and sustainable solutions will be a role model for other countries and could help them to implement similar systems;

18.  Underlines the importance of the EU speaking with a single and unified voice in all international forums and calls on the High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy and the Commission to coordinate a joint EU effort to ensure its commitment to the implementation of the Paris Agreement; encourages the EU to consider ways to further raise the level of ambition of the Paris Agreement; insists on the need to develop a comprehensive strategy for EU climate diplomacy and to integrate climate into all fields of EU external action, including trade, development cooperation and humanitarian aid; highlights the importance of strengthening the social dimension, integrating a gender perspective and the human rights-based approach in all future multilateral negotiations;

19.  Urges the Commission and the Member States to raise international awareness for climate change through coordinated communication strategies and activities to increase public and political support; calls, in particular, for an international understanding of the interconnections between climate change and social injustice, migration, famine and poverty and of the fact that global climate action can largely contribute to the solution of these issues;

20.  Points out that technological progress, duly driven forward by a combined political effort, will be key to reaching the goals of the Paris Agreement and that account must therefore also be taken of the EU’s science diplomacy as part of the global strategy for climate diplomacy, boosting and financing climate change research;

21.  Recalls that, as pointed out in the Commission Green Paper ‘Adapting to climate change in Europe – options for EU action’ (COM(2007)0354), the areas in Europe most vulnerable to climate change are southern Europe and the Mediterranean basin, mountain and coastal areas, densely populated floodplains, Scandinavia and the Arctic region; urges the EU, therefore, to promote research and development programmes involving the relevant Member States in each case, in line with Article 185 TFEU;

22.  Highlights, as a good example of science diplomacy as referred to in the previous paragraph, the PRIMA initiative (research and innovation partnership in the Mediterranean area), which focuses on the development and application of innovative solutions to food production and water supply in the Mediterranean basin; calls on the Commission to step up cooperation, provide the necessary support and ensure the continuity of the initiative, as well as other similar initiatives; urges the Commission to introduce a new initiative under Article 185 TFEU specifically targeting the EU’s climate diplomacy objectives;

23.  Appeals for action to be taken to coordinate the EU’s action plans on energy and water diplomacy with climate diplomacy, boosting synergies and joint actions, where appropriate, between the corresponding elements at EU and Member State level;

24.  Calls for Parliament’s greater involvement and an annual process, initiated by the Commission and the EEAS and carried out in cooperation with the Member States, to identify key priorities for EU climate diplomacy in the year in question and to come forward with concrete recommendations for addressing capacity gaps;

25.  Commits itself to formulating an own position and recommendations for a new EU long-term mid-century strategy, to be considered by the Commission and the Council before being submitted to the UNFCCC;

26.  Expresses its intention to initiate a process that will contribute to this effort through regular reports on the EU’s climate diplomacy activities and its achievements, as well as its shortcomings; adds that the regular reports should contain clear benchmarks in this regard;

27.  Highlights the vital role of parliamentary diplomacy in combating climate change; commits itself to making better use of its international role and its membership of international parliamentary networks, to stepping up climate activities within the work of its delegations as well as through delegation visits, and especially those of its Committee on the Environment, Public Health and Food Safety and its Committee on Foreign Affairs and during European and international interparliamentary meetings as well as in dialogue platforms with national parliaments and subnational actors/non-state actors and civil society, seeking to include the necessary gender mainstreaming at all times;

28.  Calls for an increased allocation of human and financial resources in the EEAS and the Commission, in order to better reflect the strong commitment to and increased engagement in climate diplomacy; urges the EEAS to include climate diplomacy on EU delegations’ agendas when meeting their counterparts from third countries and international or regional organisations and to orchestrate and assign strategic importance to climate diplomacy efforts in every EU delegation with the representations of the Member States in third countries; calls, therefore, for the inclusion of a focal point on climate change in the main EU delegations in third countries and of a higher percentage of climate experts when creating mixed posts in the EU delegations;

29.  Stresses that climate-related spending in the EU budget can create high added value and should be significantly increased in order to reflect the increased importance and urgency of climate action and the need for further climate diplomacy actions; urges the Commission and the Member States, therefore, to increase climate diplomacy-related spending in the next multiannual financial framework (MFF), to approve earmarking of at least 30 % for climate-related spending, as advocated by Parliament in its resolution of 14 March 2018 on the next MFF: Preparing the Parliament’s position on the MFF post-2020(8) and to align the EU budget as a whole to the objectives of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs in order to ensure that budget spending does not run contrary to climate efforts; notes in this context that sensitive sectors (such as agriculture, industry, energy and transport) in particular will need to make a greater effort in the transition to a zero carbon economy; calls for better use of other EU funds to ensure resource efficiency, optimised outcomes and an enhanced impact for EU actions and initiatives;

30.  Calls on the Commission and the Member States, within the framework of bilateral agreements with partner countries, to develop environmental cooperation in order to foster sustainable development policies based on energy efficiency and renewable energy;

31.  Calls on the Commission to fully reflect the global dimension, including EU climate diplomacy objectives, in its upcoming communications on the ‘Future of EU energy and climate policy’ and on the long-term EU strategy for reduction of greenhouse gas emissions; also invites the Commission and the EEAS to further develop a long-term vision in order to put forward a joint communication setting out their understanding of EU climate diplomacy as well as a strategic approach for the EU’s climate diplomacy activities within 12 months following the adoption of this report, and taking into account Parliament’s approach as laid down in this text;

32.  Calls on the EEAS and the Commission to increase their internal coordination regarding climate displacement by establishing a panel of experts to explore climate change and migration, through an inter-agency task force;

33.  Underlines that women’s empowerment and their full and equal participation and leadership are vital for climate action; calls on the EU and the Member States to mainstream gender perspectives into climate policies and to take a gender-responsive approach as climate change often exacerbates gender inequalities and the situation of women, promotes the participation of indigenous women and women rights defenders within the UNFCCC framework as their knowledge on the management of natural resources is essential in the fight against climate change;

The Fight against Climate Change as a Driver of International Cooperation

34.  Stresses that the EU and its Member States must be active partners in international organisations and forums (such as the UN, the UNFCCC, the High-level Political Forum on Sustainable Development (HPFL), the Office of the UN High Commissioner for Human Rights (OHCHR), the International Labour Organisation (ILO), the World Health Organisation (WHO), NATO, the International Civil Aviation Organisation (ICAO), the International Maritime Organisation (IMO), the Arctic Council and the G7 and G20) and closely cooperate with regional organisations (such as the African Union (AU), the Economic Community of West African States (ECOWAS), the Association of Southeast Asian Nations (ASEAN), the African Caribbean and Pacific Group of States (ACP), MERCOSUR and the Gulf Cooperation Council (GCC)) to foster global partnerships and ensure the implementation of the Paris Agreement and the SDGs, while defending, strengthening and further developing multilateral cooperation regimes;

35.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to give climate action a stronger place on the agendas of G20 summits and meetings and of bilateral meetings of G20 members, and to engage with developing countries, such as the Group of 77 at the United Nations (G77) and other networks such as the Alliance of Small Islands States (AOSIS);

36.  Calls on the Member States to enhance their engagement in the framework of the Organisation for Security and Cooperation in Europe (OSCE) in line with the targets of the Paris Agreement; emphasises also the need for the IMO to take swift and appropriate additional action in order for international shipping to contribute its fair share to the fight against climate change;

37.  Calls on the Commission to integrate the climate change dimension into international trade and investment agreements and to make ratification and implementation of the Paris Agreement a condition for future trade agreements; calls on the Commission, in this connection, to make a comprehensive assessment of the consistency of existing agreements with the Paris agreement wherever appropriate; calls on the Commission to streamline financial instruments and programmes with a view to ensuring coherence, to support third countries in tackling climate change and to increase the effectiveness of EU climate action; recommends the development and systematic inclusion of a mandatory fundamental climate change clause in international agreements, including trade and investment agreements, regarding mutual commitment to ratifying and implementing the Paris Agreement, thereby supporting the European and international decarbonisation process;

38.  Supports sustained and active EU engagement within the High Ambition Coalition (HAC) and with its member countries to give visibility to their determination to achieve meaningful implementation of the Paris Agreement through the conclusion of a robust rulebook in 2018 and a successful Talanoa Dialogue at COP24 that is aimed at motivating further states to join in these efforts and to establish a group of climate leaders in the next few years that are ready to ramp up their climate targets in line with the Paris Agreement goals, in order to establish shared leadership to jointly lead on mainstreaming climate across different foreign policy issues, including trade, the reform of international financial institutions and security;

39.  Recognises the importance of effective and efficient adaptation action, strategies and plans, including the use of ecosystem-based solutions to enhance adaptive capacity, strengthen resilience and reduce vulnerability to climate change in the context of the Paris Agreement;

40.  Highlights the particular vulnerability of the ecosystems in the Arctic to climate change, taking into account the fact that, in the last few decades, the temperature in the Arctic has been increasing at about twice the rate of the global average; recognises that the pollution appearing in the Arctic climate is mostly derived from Asian, North American and European emitters, and that the emission reduction measures in the EU therefore play a great role in tackling climate change in the Arctic; takes into account also the interest shown in the Arctic and its resources because of the changing environment of the area and of the growing geopolitical importance of the Arctic; considers that healthy and sustainable Arctic ecosystems, inhabited by viable communities, are strategically important for the political and economic stability of Europe and the world; considers it necessary to finally implement the EU’s formal status as an observer in the Arctic Council;

41.  Highlights the responsibility incumbent on the EU and other affluent countries, given that they are historically the major contributors to global warming, to show greater solidarity towards the vulnerable states, mainly in the Global South and islands, that are most affected by the impact of climate change and to ensure continuous support in order to increase their resilience, contribute to disaster risk reduction, including through conserving nature and restoring ecosystems that play an important role in regulating climate, help them recover from damage related to climate change, and improve adaptation measures and resilience through adequate financial support and by means of capacity building, particularly through NDC partnerships; notes that vulnerable states are crucial partners in pushing for ambitious climate action internationally, given the existential threat posed to them by climate change;

42.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to provide support for less affluent countries in efforts to decrease dependence on fossil fuels and increase access to affordable renewable energy, as well as through programmes to support access to science, technology and innovation in line with SDG 17, and by making them aware of the technologies available to monitor and protect the environment and citizens, such as the flagship space programme Copernicus and its climate change service; highlights the opportunities offered by the EU External Investment Plan in stimulating climate-smart investments and supporting sustainable development; stresses the importance of ensuring that humanitarian agencies devise a long-term perspective for their action, based on well-founded knowledge of climate impacts in vulnerable areas; calls also on the Commission to develop a comprehensive strategy to promote EU excellence in green technologies at global level;

43.  Highlights the need to streamline EU policies in order to adequately respond to situations such as water and food scarcity, which are likely to occur more often in the future; recalls that such scarcities of fundamental nutrition would pose severe long-term security challenges, which risk potentially offsetting other achievements of EU development policy;

44.  Calls on the EU to give priority to aid in the form of grants and technology transfers to the poorest countries in order to carry out the energy transition;

45.  Recommends that the EU deepen its strategic cooperation at state- and non-state level through zero-carbon development dialogues and partnerships with emerging economies and other countries which have a major impact on global warming, but which are also decisive in terms of global climate action; notes against this backdrop that climate can be an entry point for diplomatic engagement with partners with whom other agenda items are highly contested, thereby offering an opportunity to enhance stability and peace; calls for the EU to share policy experiences and lessons learnt with its partners in order to accelerate the implementation of the Paris Agreement; calls on the EU to create dedicated panels to debate climate and sustainability policies economic and technology dialogues on transition and resilience solutions, including at high-level ministerial meetings; calls for the EU to build up and support partnerships in areas of common interest, including 2050 pathways, sustainable finance reform, clean transport, carbon markets and other carbon pricing instruments beyond Europe with the aim of limiting global emissions while establishing a level playing field for all economic sectors;

46.  Calls for the EU to be at the forefront of developing international and regional partnerships on carbon markets, as set out in Article 6 of the Paris Agreement and make use of its expertise in setting up, adjusting and operating the EU Emissions Trading System (ETS) and its experience in linking the ETS with the Swiss carbon market; calls on the Commission and the Member States to promote the development of carbon pricing mechanisms in third states and regions and to foster international cooperation with the aim of making them largely compatible in the medium term and creating an international carbon market in the long term; emphasises, in this connection, the successful cooperation in recent years between the EU and China, which enabled the launch of the nationwide emission trading system in China in December 2017; looks forward to the results of the ongoing work which will be key to the good functioning of the system; urges the EU to continuously support China’s carbon trading ambition and enhance future cooperation in order to work towards a global level playing field;

47.  Calls for the EU to actively promote at international level a proactive policy to tackle greenhouse gas emissions, including through the establishment of emission limits and immediate measures to reduce emissions in the international maritime and aviation sectors;

48.  Believes that further work on developing carbon border adjustments is necessary as a leverage for further efforts by all countries to achieve the objectives enshrined in the Paris Agreement;

49.  Recommends that the EU, together with the UN, support greater global cooperation to address the issue of sandstorms which, especially in the Middle East, is heightening existing tensions and creating new ones; points out that these storms, as well as causing serious health problems, are drying up the already limited water resources in the Middle East; urges the EU, in this regard, to cooperate with the United Nations in improving monitoring and alert systems;

50.  Urges the EEAS, the Commission and the Member States to focus their strategic dialogues on energy with fossil fuel exporting countries in the EU’s wider neighbourhood on decarbonised energy cooperation and zero carbon economic development models in order to enhance peace as well as human security and well-being in Europe and globally;

51.  Calls on the EEAS, the Commission and the Member States to make their international policy dialogues and cooperation with partner countries fully consistent with the objectives of the Paris Agreement and with the EU’s ambition to be the world leader in renewables;

The EU’s Strategic Partners

52.  Considers it important for the EU to keep up its efforts to re-engage the US in multilateral cooperation on climate action, urging the US to respect the Paris Agreement without jeopardising its level of ambition; considers that parliamentary dialogue and cooperation with local authorities are key to this end;

53.  Points out that the Brexit negotiations and future relations with the UK must reflect the need for continued cooperation on climate diplomacy;

54.  Notes that regions and cities play an increasingly important role as regards sustainable development, given that they are directly affected by climate change, that their growth has a direct impact on the climate and that they are becoming more active in the mitigation of and adaptation to climate change, sometimes in the light of the opposing policies of their national governments; reiterates the key importance of cities and regions in introducing innovations and environmental protection measures, using green technologies, investing in skills, training and increasing competitiveness by developing pure technologies at local level; calls, therefore for the EU to further intensify its relations with local and regional authorities and indigenous peoples in third countries and overseas countries and territories (OCTs), to enhance thematic and sectoral cooperation between cities and regions both within and outside the EU, to develop adaptation and resilience initiatives, and to strengthen sustainable development models and emission reduction plans in key sectors such as energy, industry, technology, agriculture and transport in both urban and rural areas, e.g. through twinning programmes, through the International Urban Cooperation programme, through support for platforms such as the Covenant of Mayors and by building new fora for exchanging best practice; calls on the EU and the Member States to support efforts by regional and local actors to introduce regionally and locally determined contributions (similar to NDCs) where climate ambition can be increased through this process; notes the role EU delegations in third countries can play in this regard;

55.  Notes also that the increasing urbanisation visible in many parts of the world is aggravating existing challenges caused by climate change owing to a higher demand for resources such as energy, land and water and contributing to a further heightening of environmental problems in many conurbations in and outside the EU, such as air pollution and increased volumes of waste; notes that further consequences of climate change, such as extreme weather events, droughts and land degradation, are often felt in rural areas in particular; believes that local and regional authorities need to receive special attention and support to address these challenges, to establish better resilience and to contribute to mitigation efforts by developing new forms of energy supply and transport concepts;

56.  Highlights the importance of cross-border cooperation between Member States and partner countries, particularly as regards cross-border environmental impact assessments, in keeping with the relevant international rules and conventions, notably the UNECE Water Convention, the Aarhus Convention and the Espoo Convention;

57.  Calls for the EU and its Member States to strengthen their ties with and support for civil society around the globe as agents for climate action, and to form alliances and build up synergies with the scientific community, non-governmental organisations, local communities, indigenous communities and non-traditional actors in order to better align the goals, ideas and methods of different actors, feeding into a coordinated approach to climate action; encourages the EU and its Member States to engage with the private sector, to enhance cooperation on how to reap the opportunities from the transition towards a zero-carbon economy, to develop export strategies for climate technologies for countries globally and to encourage technology transfer to and capacity-building in third countries which encourage the use of renewables;

58.  Underlines the importance of scientific research for climate political decision making; notes that transboundary scientific exchange is a fundamental component of international cooperation; urges the Commission and the Member States to continuously support scientific organisations that work on climate risk assessment and that seek to estimate the implications of climate change and that offer possible adaptation measures for political authorities; urges the EU to use its own research capacities in order to contribute to global climate action;

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59.  Instructs its President to forward this resolution to the Council, the Vice-President of the Commission / High Representative of the Union for Foreign Affairs and Security Policy, the Commission, the European External Action Service and, for information, the United Nations General Assembly and the Secretary-General of the United Nations.

(1) OJ C 215, 19.6.2018, p. 46.
(2) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0380.
(3) OJ C 207, 30.6.2017, p. 51.
(4) OJ C 487, 28.12.2016, p. 24.
(5) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2017)0493.
(6) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0005.
(7) Text adopted, P8_TA(2018)0066.
(8) Texts adopted, P8_TA(2018)0075.

Last updated: 4 July 2018Legal notice