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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

forthcoming negotiations.”

Initial assessment

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

T

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

H O R I Z O N 2 0 2 0 P R O J E C T S : P O R TA L

www.horizon2020projects.com

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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

Climate leader

The European Climate Foundation’s

Dr Christoph Wolff

outlined to

Portal

the

continent’s leading role in tackling climate change, but said further efforts are

needed to realise the Union’s full potential

Dr Christoph Wolff

European Climate

Commissioner Miguel

Arias Cañete said he

was pleased with the

overall outcome of

talks in Lima

©EuropeanClimate Foundation