European Council Endorses Post-Copenhagen Strategy

26 March 2010: The European Council, gathering Heads of State and government of the EU, met in Brussels, Belgium, on 25-26 March 2010, to discuss the EU's strategy on the international climate change negotiations, among other things. In its conclusions, the European Council called for introducing a new dynamic to the international negotiation process, and proposed following a stepwise approach building on the Copenhagen Accord and its swift implementation.

It recommends that: the next negotiating session in Bonn, Germany, in April 2010, should set the roadmap for taking the negotiations forward, integrating the political guidance of the Copenhagen Accord into the negotiating texts; and the 16th session of the Conference of the Parties (COP 16) to the UNFCCC, to be held in Cancun, Mexico, at the end of the year, shoul provide concrete decisions and address remaining gaps, including adaptation, forestry, technology, and monitoring, reporting and verification (MRV).

According to the conclusions, the EU commits to initiate consultations on practical ways to implement fast-start funding in specific areas. The European Council also notes that while remaining firmly committed to the UNFCCC process and supporting ongoing efforts to make it more effective, this process could be complemented and supported by discussions in other settings and on specific issues. To this end, the EU commits to address climate change at all regional and bilateral meetings, including at summit level, as well as other fora, such as the G20.

Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action, stated that the European Council conclusions constitute a strong signal to carry on with an analysis of practical policies to implement a 30% emission reduction, and on its co-benefits for growth and job creation. [European Council Conclusions] [Spanish Presidency Press Release] [Hedegaard's Statement]