COP21: more than 100 nations call for ambitious and legally binding climate deal

9 Dec 15

A “high ambition coalition” consisting of more than 100 countries has called for a climate deal that is both as strong as possible and legally binding.


Miguel Arias Cañete, EU commissioner for energy and climate action. Credit: EC Audiovisual Service
Miguel Arias Cañete, EU commissioner for energy and climate action. Credit: EC Audiovisual Service


As the COP21 climate conference in Paris heads towards its conclusion, the coalition, which consists of the US, all EU member states and 79 African, Caribbean and Pacific countries, was announced yesterday after being formed in secret six months ago. However, some major emerging economies, such as India and China, are not party.

Miguel Arias Cañete, the European Commission’s climate action and energy commissioner, urged other countries to join the group, which pushes for an ambitious outcome when the COP21 conference concludes on Friday.

The group wants to see four key elements in the agreement: that it be legally binding; that it sets clear long-term goals in line with the science; that it establishes a review mechanism to track progress every five years; and that it sets up a transparent system to follow how well countries deliver on their national commitments and hold them accountable.

Cañete said: “This is not about ‘them’ and ‘us’. These negotiations are about all of us, both developed and developing countries, finding common ground and solutions together. The EU stands shoulder to shoulder with its long-term partners in the African, Caribbean and Pacific regions.”

But the coalition is likely to face resistance to some of the issues it has raised both from outside and within. Prospects of a five-year review and limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C do not appeal to China and India, while the US doesn’t want some aspects of the deal, namely emissions targets and finance commitments, to be legally binding.

But Patrick Gomes, secretary-general of the African, Caribbean and Pacific Group of States, warned that an accelerated global transition is urgently needed.

“Now is the time for leaders to be ambitious. The adverse impacts of climate change threaten this world as a whole, including the very survival of the 79 countries in the ACP Group, while impeding their achievement of the sustainable development goals,” he urged.

A global agreement is due to be signed on Friday. 

  • Emma Rumney

    Emma is a reporter at Otsubo7 International. She also writes for in the UK.

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