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You are here: Home / News / COP16: Climate talks set the way forward

COP16: Climate talks set the way forward

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Two-week long negotiations on a global climate deal ended with a balanced and substantive package of decisions adopted on 11 December, known as the Cancún Agreement. The European Union welcomed the positive outcome of the COP16 conference and stressed that it is willing to do its fair share of the global effort.

The Cancún Agreement builds on the decisions taken a year ago in Copenhagen and also sets out processes for making further progress in the future. It represents a compromise between different interests within the United Nations system.

The European Union has set itself ambitious climate and energy targets for 2020 but is also looking at the long term. Next spring the European Commission will present a strategy for completing the transition to a low-carbon economy by 2050. The strategy will aim at stimulating economic growth, job creation and innovation while strengthening the EU's energy security.

The Cancún Agreement acknowledges for the first time in a United Nations document that global warming must be kept below 2°C compared to the pre-industrial temperature and establishes a process to define a date for global emissions to peak and a global emissions reduction goal for 2050. The text also recognises that overall mitigation efforts need to be scaled up in order to stay within the 2°C ceiling.

The agreement also confirms the goal that developed countries will mobilise US$ 100 billion in climate funding for developing countries annually by 2020, and establishment of a Green Climate Fund through which much of the funding will be channelled. Furthermore the agreement includes ‘Cancún Adaptation Framework’ to enhance action on adaptation to climate change and the launch of a "REDD+" mechanism enabling action to reduce emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries.

More information


European Commission on Climate Action

EU Press Release on COP16 results

Statements by the President of the European Commission, José Manuel Barroso, and Connie Hedegaard, European Commissioner for Climate Action

United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change

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