BRUSSELS – The Council of the European Union described on Monday climate change as a problem that posed a direct and existential threat to the planet and urged the world’s nations to foment cooperation in order to tackle the issue.
The Council said in a statement that action aimed at curbing climate change remained “insufficient,” despite the world “already witnessing multiple devastating impacts” of it.
“Climate change is a direct and existential threat, which will spare no country,” the Council warned in conclusions adopted by EU foreign ministers gathered in Brussels on Monday for a Council of Foreign Ministers of the European Union.
The Council reiterated the EU’s commitment to the Paris Agreement, which was signed in 2015 by 175 states with the main aim of keeping the global temperature rise to well below 2 degrees Celsius (35.6 degrees Fahrenheit) above pre-industrial levels.
The deal also aims for efforts to be made to limit the rise even further, to 1.5 C, as well as seeks to boost countries’ capabilities when it comes to dealing with the impacts of climate change. The agreement came into effect on Nov. 4, 2016.
“The Council reiterates that ambition in climate action is not only about reducing greenhouse gas emissions, it is also about addressing the implications of climate change on peace and security,” the Council statement added.
The Council said: “2019 is a critical year for accelerating domestic climate action and raising global ambition in the context of the pursuit of sustainable development, with leadership from the United Nations.”
The institution added that it welcomed the European Commission’s long-term vision for “a prosperous, modern, competitive and climate-neutral economy,” and vowed to continue to be a leader in the global drive for action.
EU foreign ministers were meeting in Brussels to discuss a wide range of topics, with elections and security in Ukraine, developments in Syria, the Horn of Africa region and Venezuela on the agenda.
The Council of the EU is the institution that defines the general political direction and priorities of the bloc, according to its website. It is made up of heads of state and government of EU member states, along with the presidents of the Council and Commission.