EU to discourage further investments into fossil-fuel-based infrastructure projects in third countries

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The Council of the UE adopted conclusions on “Climate and Energy Diplomacy – Delivering on the external dimension of the European Green Deal”. The document is to guide the EU energy diplomacy so that its primary goal to be to accelerate the global energy transition, promoting energy efficiency and renewable technologies, amongst other things. Thus, the EU’s energy diplomacy “will discourage further investments into fossil-fuel-based infrastructure projects in third countries, unless they are aligned with an ambitious climate neutrality pathway, and will support international efforts to reduce the environmental and greenhouse gas impact of existing fossil fuel infrastructure”. The Council also calls for a worldwide phase-out of unabated coal in energy productions, and will launch or support launching international initiatives to reduce methane emissions.

Once again, the Council recognizes that climate change is an existential threat to humanity. It notes that global climate action still falls short of what is required to achieve the long-term goals of the Paris Agreement and the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development. Although Europe is showing leadership and setting an example by stepping up its domestic commitments, “there is an urgent need for collective and decisive global action”. The coherent pursuit of external policy goals is crucial for the success of the European Green Deal.

The Council’s conclusions confirm the EUʼs continuous commitment to further scale up the mobilization of international climate finance, including sustainable finance practices, as a contribution to the transition towards climate neutrality. The Council notes, in this context, that the EU is the largest contributor of public climate finance, having doubled its contribution from the 2013 figure to EUR 23.2 billion in 2019.

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