Paris Climate Agreement: EU and Africa committed for the future of the planet

By British High Commission Accra

195 countries adopted in Paris an ambitious and legally binding agreement that includes clear, fair and ambitious targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. European and African countries decisively contributed to the positive conclusion of the negotiation. The implementation of the agreement will be regularly reviewed and countries targets strengthened in light of limiting global temperature rises below 2 degrees and possibly to 1.5 degrees. Developed countries have agreed to mobilise $100 billion annually to support the poorest and most vulnerable countries in their pathway to low emissions economy.

COP 21 Agreement

The Paris Agreement adopted at the Paris Climate Conference (CoP 21) is a significant step forward, with an unprecedented number of countries, representing over 95% of global emissions, committing to action for the first time ever.

European and African countries played a pivotal role for the building of the broad coalition that shaped the successful outcome of the Paris Conference.

European Commission President Jean-Claude Juncker said: “Today the world is united in the fight against climate change. Today the world gets a lifeline, a last chance to hand over to future generations a world that is more stable, a healthier planet, fairer societies and more prosperous economies. This robust agreement will steer the world towards a global clean energy transition”.

This agreement drives us forward on our path to limiting global temperature rises to below 2 degrees, or even 1.5 degrees if action happens quickly enough. The whole Paris process has already resulted in transformational action that will have a real impact on the ground in countries, cities and communities around the world.

Key outcomes

The goal to limit global warming below 2°C from pre-industrial levels has been agreed by all countries. They will now have to come together regularly to review their climate plans and collectively ensure that the necessary action is being taken to tackle climate change. Governments cannot act alone, all parts of society, including businesses and investors have a role to play.

Developed countries will collectively mobilise $100 billion per year from both the public and private sector, for the poorest and most vulnerable countries to protect themselves from the effects of climate change and support low carbon development. This agreement now recognizes the role of emerging economies in mobilizing resources and contributing finance over time as well.

The deal sets out a clear long-term goal of near net zero emissions by end of the century, showing that the world is committed to decarbonizing. This sends a strong signal to businesses around the world that the shift to a clean economy is global, irreversible and transformational, and provides confidence that will help drive the scale of investment needed.

In 2020, countries will be expected to update their plans to cut emissions by 2030. They will also be legally obliged to make new post-2030 commitments to reduce emissions every 5 years, from 2025. For the first time, all countries will be held accountable by independent review for acting according to their pledges.

Ghana and climate change

Ghana has been one of the first African countries to release its national plan for emission reduction. Moreover, the national consultation process was timely implemented and inclusive, engaging Government ministries and line agencies, Civil Society Organizations and private sector, to share their views.

In addition, the Ghana Day side event organized during the Paris Climate Conference, gave a strong signal to the international community on the transparency and accountability principles Ghana seeks to achieve on climate. It also highlighted the key role of education and awareness creation of the future generations for sustaining all the benefits the new climate deal offers. The EU and Member States will continue to support climate education efforts in Ghana after the success of the 2015 outreach campaign.

This Press Release is issued on behalf of the European Union and Member States