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GUIDE: EU and Africa’s position at COP21 – media alert


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From today, 30 November, the world will decide on the global agenda for climate change at the COP21 in Paris. The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) has a large amount of expertise on climate change and the impact on Africa.

The European Union – what happens after COP21?

Developing countries – especially the most vulnerable – need a robust deal at the 21st Conference of the Parties (COP21) in Paris, as well as an ambitious action plan to ramp up action afterwards. The European Union (EU) can help finalise the deal by offering more in the key negotiating fora, especially on adaptation support and finance. But the real work will begin after Paris.

  • The Paris Agreement must be balanced, durable, dynamic and transparent
  • The EU should be open to raising the ambition of its 2030 emissions target and a 55- 60% reduction target by the mid-2030s
  • Climate change should be reflected in the forthcoming Global Strategy on Foreign Policy and Security Issues.

READ our report written by four influential think tanks: Climate change: The European Union towards COP21 and beyond

Climate smart agriculture

Climate change has already had devastating effects on agriculture. This impacts people’s livelihoods, and in worse case scenarios can create life-threatening food shortages. Up to 9 out of 10 Africans work in agriculture. Climate-smart agriculture can help to solve this problem.

“Agriculture has suffered neglect on the fringes of the climate change negotiations. There are a number of barriers, ranging from the complexity of finding a globally agreed definition of the agriculture sector to remaining gaps in technical knowledge on the climate impact on agriculture;” explained Dr Hanne Knaepen, Policy Officer at ECDPM.

READ our report: Making agriculture in Africa climate-smart: From continental policies to local practices
WATCH our video
CHECK OUT our infographic

High stakes for the EU and Africa – COP21 position

Climate change is a threat multiplier – it is linked to migration, conflict, food shortages, the economy and more. This is not just a problem for Africa, this is a problem for the world. How can the EU and Africa successfully work together to combat climate change?

“There are high stakes for both the EU and Africa when it comes to agreeing a global climate agreement that curbs emissions. The EU’s position for COP21 – released today – aims to ensure global temperatures do not rise above 2 degrees. There will be balanced focus on adaptation and mitigation:” said Dr Hanne Knaepen, Policy Officer at ECDPM.

READ our report: Africa and Europe combatting climate change: Towards a common agenda in 2015
READ our op ed: From Lima to Paris: 5 promising pathways for a joint EU-Africa position on climate change

Experts available for interview

Dr Hanne Knaepen, Policy Officer and expert on climate change, will be attending COP21 on 1st December for Agriculture Action Day. She will be available for comment throughout the COP21.

Alisa Herrero-Cangas, Policy Officer for the Strengthening European External Action Programme.

Notes to editors:

The European Centre for Development Policy Management (ECDPM) is an independent foundation, which aims to facilitate efforts to revitalise and deepen relations between Europe and Africa beyond aid.

It has been working on EU-Africa relations for over 25 years.

For more information or to set up an interview get in touch with Emily Barker at or on +32474123473


EU foreign and development policySustainable food systemsAgricultureClimate change