Paris, 11 September 2009
There are now 87 days to Copenhagen. An enormous diplomatic challenge lies before us if we are to secure the ambitious, effective and equitable agreement that we need to avert runaway climate change that would have disastrous consequences for Europe and the world.
Around the world and particularly in the poorest and most vulnerable countries global warming already threatens to undermine development efforts in health, agriculture and infrastructure. Migration caused by lack of access to water and land is increasing social tension and undermining political stability and security.
Climate change has the potential to bring about substantial geopolitical change. It will increasingly affect the foreign policy decisions of all our countries. European Foreign Ministries must make a real contribution now to the drive to achieve a deal at Copenhagen. The European Union must show renewed leadership to help unlock the negotiations through its commitment to take ambitious mitigation action at home, and on financial and technological support to help developing countries move to a low carbon growth path.
After the meeting in Copenhagen on 10 September we agree on how to tackle this collective diplomatic challenge. We pledge the following:
We will press for a deal at Copenhagen of sufficient ambition to keep global warming to a maximum of 2 degrees.
We will work to promote an ambitious and equitable international offer in which Europe will take its fair share in financing mitigation, technology and adaptation efforts by developing countries.
We will engage personally to direct the full force of our diplomatic efforts and mobilize the resources of our collective diplomatic networks to persuade the key participants in this negotiation to come forward with ambitious commitments.
We will work to ensure that the challenges climate change poses to international stability and security gets a prominent position on the international agenda.
We will work to ensure that the EU continues to show leadership in the negotiations with a readiness to move from our current commitment of reducing carbon emissions by 20% by 2020, to a commitment to reduce emissions by 30% in the context of an ambitious deal and comparable efforts by the other partners.
Through a strong message on finance for mitigation, adaptation and technology we will contribute towards a deal that gets all countries on board a new agreement to be reached in Copenhagen.
The Copenhagen conference cannot agree a new international regime to fight climate change unless we find a political balance between all parties. We must create mutual confidence and trust that the only sustainable global growth path is for us to transform our economies to low carbon. We can make this the great defining cause for Europe in the twenty-first century./.
¹ This article is in English on the FCO website in the form of a joint letter to newspaper editors.