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A Green Alliance With Europe

Efforts by the EU and the members of the Community of Latin America and the Caribbean States have set the groundwork the world’s strongest bi-regional partnership on climate change. The EU-CELAC summit on June 10-11 should cement the two blocs' cooperation ahead of the UN Climate Change Conference in Paris in December.

SANTIAGO/SAO PAULO – In December, world leaders will meet in Paris for the United Nations Climate Change Conference, which is expected to produce a new agreement to tackle global warming. But, in the run-up to the conference, heads of state and ministers will meet at various other related events. Having attended countless summits, we can attest that, if these other meetings are correctly prepared, and heads of state engage meaningfully in them, the prospects of success in Paris could be improved.

One such meeting in particular could be decisive: the June 10-11 bi-annual summit in Brussels between the European Union and the Community of Latin America and the Caribbean States (CELAC). Efforts by Europe and Latin America and the Caribbean have set the groundwork for the world’s strongest bi-regional partnership on climate change. Leaders in both regions have declared their commitment to holding the rise in global temperature to below 2º Celsius and to achieving legally binding outcomes in Paris.

The EU and CELAC heads of state can – and should – forge a close alliance and capitalize on favorable political conditions to advance a progressive climate agenda, one that mandates their negotiators to push for a fair, equitable, and ambitious agreement in December. Together, the two regions represent nearly a third of the 195 parties that have signed the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, and account for roughly 20% of global greenhouse-gas emissions. Given soaring climate-related economic costs in Europe and Latin America, both sides have much to gain (and save) from a global regime that significantly reduces emissions and strengthens resilience to climate risks.

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