Peruvian COP presidency for its leadership and
guidance during these intense negotiations.
Although this was a difficult conference, it is
important to maintain the spirit of optimism and
political momentum that brought us to Lima;
the Lima outcome provides a solid basis for the
Now in its 15th year, the European Business
Summit brings together leading industrialists,
policy makers, academics and European
Commission officials to debate issues regarding
economic growth and the wellbeing of society.
Taking place in Brussels in May, Portal was
present at the conference, covering the
discussions taking place. One session during
the summit, ‘The Climate Challenge – How to
reconcile climate objectives with industrial
competitiveness?’, discussed the role of the EU
in international climate change negotiations, the
impact of the Emissions Trading System (ETS),
and the major steps the Union has taken to
address the warming of the planet.
Following the seminar, Portal sat down with Dr
Christoph Wolff, managing director of the
European Climate Foundation, to record his
take on the EU’s progress. Portal began by
asking Wolff how he would assess the work of
the new College of Commissioners and their
approach towards addressing climate change.
“It is very encouraging that climate change is
high on the agenda of the new Commission.
They have made the Energy Union a central,
programmatic piece and, within the first month,
started at a remarkable pace.
“There are two areas on which the Commission
have set their focus – the first is the ETS. Last
October, the heads of states decided on the
2030 climate and energy targets, and the ETS
he EU is widely considered a major, global leader in
tackling climate change. In December 2014, the European
Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy, Miguel Arias
Cañete, joined other world leaders in Peru to agree key steps ahead
of the COP21 talks due to take place in Paris this December.
The high level conference saw agreement on the Lima Call for Climate
Action, which requires all countries to describe their proposed targets in
a way that will bring clarity and understanding as to whether we are on
track to achieve the below 2°C objective. The conference also laid down
the key draft text elements for a 2015 climate change agreement.
Representing 28 countries and over 500 million people, the EU played a
strategic role during talks in the Peruvian capital. Following the
conference, Cañete said: “The EU came to Lima to lay the ground for
negotiations in Paris. Now we are on the way to Paris, and although the
EU wanted a more ambitious outcome from Lima, we believe that we
are on track to agree a global deal in Paris.
“The EU has taken a constructive approach throughout the last two
weeks and has shown itself willing to build bridges and compromise
where possible. The EU particularly builds on its own experience of
overcoming differences and finding common ground. Our ambitious
2030 climate and energy package is proof of this.”
Adding her thoughts, Gian Luca Galletti, the Minister of Environment of
Italy, which held the EU Council Presidency at the time, said: “We have
spent many long days and nights seeking a compromise. We thank the
I S S U E S E V E N
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S O C I E TA L C H A L L E N G E S : C L I M AT E A C T I O N
The European Climate Foundation’s
Dr Christoph Wolff
continent’s leading role in tackling climate change, but said further efforts are
needed to realise the Union’s full potential
Dr Christoph Wolff
Arias Cañete said he
was pleased with the
overall outcome of
talks in Lima