News story

European Climate Diplomacy Day, 17 June 2015

British embassies and high commissions are taking part in activities to highlight the EU’s commitment to tackling climate change.

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As the world looks to agree a global climate deal in Paris this December, we are seeing increased interest in the social, political and economic risks and impacts of a changing climate, and growing momentum from governments and business in the shift to a climate resilient, low carbon economy. Combined global effort is needed to secure a strong, legally binding deal in Paris in December at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) and to keep us on track to limiting global temperature rise to below 2°C on pre-industrial levels.

Today, British Embassies and High Commissions in over 40 locations worldwide – in partnership with EU Delegations, Germany, France and other EU Member States – are coordinating activities and social media campaigns to highlight the EU’s leadership and commitment to tackling climate change, and encourage a heightened global response to the climate challenge.

Foreign Office Minister Baroness Anelay commented:

The climate challenge is urgent and real. We need to see a strong and binding global deal agreed in Paris this year to limit dangerous climate change and pave the way for a secure and prosperous future for all.

Britain and the EU are at the forefront of the international response. Today, our diplomatic missions worldwide are encouraging governments, business and civil society to take action. This work is vital. It is only through collective action globally that we can avoid catastrophic climate change.

The Foreign Secretary’s Special Representative on Climate Change, Sir David King, said:

The FCO and Foreign Ministries worldwide have a key role to play in shifting the political conditions needed to secure a meaningful and durable agreement on climate change, and inspiring change in attitudes and action at local and international levels. Following the clear signal of continued G7 commitment to climate action last week, I’m glad to see the UK and EU partners in active coordination around the world today on Climate Diplomacy Day, highlighting the risks and opportunities of the climate challenge, sharing UK and EU expertise and ambition, and mobilising global action in this pivotal year.

The UK and EU partners are leading actors on climate change, through our ambitious domestic emissions reduction targets (at least 40% on 1990 levels), our international political engagement and active climate diplomacy, and the delivery of substantial climate finance to support other countries in their efforts to adapt to climate impacts, tackle deforestation, and enable sustainable, low carbon development (the UK’s International Climate Fund is providing £3.87bn in 2011-2016).

Climate Diplomacy Day events are happening across the globe. Examples include:

  • In Paris, EU Ambassadors will be cycling to meet French Foreign Minister and COP21 Chair Laurent Fabius
  • Across Australia, Africa, Asia and the US, film screenings and panel discussions will stimulate debate on climate change
  • Around South East Asia, Africa and Latin America, EU and Member State Ambassadors will publish op-eds and give interviews on key climate themes
  • Worldwide, EU Delegations and Member State Embassies will be holding social media campaigns using #ClimateDiploDay

Further Information

  • The first Climate Diplomacy Day (a UK-German initiative) took place on 9 September 2014, with participation from Embassies and High Commissions in over 30 countries. This year sees the event widen to include more EU Delegations and Member States.
  • Currently, the EU is on track to overachieve on its 2020 greenhouse gas reduction target of 20% against 1990 levels, and the UK is taking a leading role in working to secure an EU climate and energy package which includes a greenhouse gas reduction target of at least 40% for 2030. The UK, Germany and France all have domestic targets in place that would put us on a path to combined emissions reductions of at least 75% by 2050, compared with 1990 figures.
  • Activities in London, Berlin and Paris and other participating locations overseas will be accompanied by a social media campaign with interviews, photos and films on Facebook and Twitter, using #ClimateDiploDay.
  • 17 June is also #UKNationalDay at Milan Expo, where the UK pavilion is showcasing how UK innovation and creativity is helping to feed the planet, and tackle global sustainability challenges.
  • All the latest Foreign & Commonwealth Office news is available on www.gov.uk at www.gov.uk/fco.
  • Follow the Foreign & Commonwealth Office on Twitter @foreignoffice, and our climate diplomacy work via @FCOClimate and @Sir_David_King.
Published 17 June 2015