EU Council renews the EU’s commitment to place climate action at the centre of external policy


Brussels, 20 January 2020

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.

In its conclusions, the Council recalls that climate change is an existential threat to humanity and biodiversity across all countries and regions, and requires an urgent collective response. For this reason, EU leadership through example is crucial for raising the level of global climate ambition.

The Council highlights that the EU needs to urge third countries to intensify their efforts alongside the EU, and support them in their endeavours through all EU external policy instruments. The conclusions also stress the importance of stepping up outreach activities on climate action with partner countries and regionals organisations, including in the context of upcoming summits.

In line with its commitment to the Paris Agreement, the objective of achieving a climate neutral EU by 2050, and the outcome of the December 2019 European Council, the Council calls on the High Representative, Commission and member states to work jointly and urgently towards a strategic approach to Climate Diplomacy by June 2020 that identifies concrete, operational ways forward.

Read the full text of the Council conclusions 

Source: European Council / Council of the European Union: Press Release 20 January 2020