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Climate action

Climate action refers to efforts taken to combat climate change and its impacts. These efforts involve reducing greenhouse gas emissions (climate mitigation) and/or taking action to prepare for and adjust to both the current effects of climate change and the predicted impacts in the future (climate adaptation).

Since the 1990s, the European Union has been at the forefront of international negotiations on climate change and played an important role in the development of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, and the negotiation of the Kyoto Protocol and the Paris Agreement.

To prevent climate change from reaching dangerous levels, the international community has agreed that global warming must be kept to well below 2 °C above pre-industrial levels and to aim to limit the temperature increase to 1.5 °C. The EU is working hard to cut its emissions and to encourage other major polluters to take action.

The EU is already on track to meet its greenhouse gas emissions reduction target for 2020, and the Commission has put forward a plan to further cut emissions by at least 55% by 2030. The EU aims to be climate neutral by 2050.

Climate action, and in particular the cutting of greenhouse gas emissions, is a key element of the European Green Deal. Initiatives under the Green Deal include:

  • a European Climate Law to enshrine the aim of being climate neutral by 2050 into EU law;
  • a European Climate Pact to involve citizens and all parts of society in climate action;
  • a 2030 Climate Target Plan to further reduce net greenhouse gas emissions by at least 55% by 2030;
  • an EU Strategy on Climate Adaptation to make Europe a climate-resilient society by 2050, fully adapted to the unavoidable impacts of climate change.