Video message from the HR/VP Josep Borrell

Acting now is acting for the next generation. It will save many lives around the world. It is the best investment in a green, healthy and prosperous future. It is still within our reach.

- EU High Representative Josep Borrell

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    drought, fighting climate change

Climate Action

The EU is a climate leader: guided by science, it has stepped up its domestic commitments, adopting the objective of climate-neutrality by 2050, and enhancing its short-term GHG emission reduction target, and thus the EU’s Nationally Determined Contribution (NDC), to at least 55% by 2030 compared to 1990.

The EU contributes to fighting climate change at global level through both domestic action and international cooperation.

Domestic policies, legislation and initiatives include:

Energy Diplomacy

EU energy diplomacy aims to accelerate a global energy transition that is just, inclusive and leaves no one behind, promoting energy efficiency, renewable technologies and well-functioning global markets, amongst other things. At the same time, the EU’s energy diplomacy – taking into the geopolitical risk and climate impact associated with fossil fuels – systematically promotes and calls for a global move towards energy systems free of unabated fossil fuels well ahead of 2050, starting with coal, and a peak in fossil consumption already in the near term and an end to environmentally harmful fossil fuel subsidies.

Recognising the transition role of natural gas, EU energy diplomacy supports urgent efforts in light of Russia’s weaponisation of energy supplies to reinforce and safeguard the EU’s energy security while avoiding new dependencies, which is necessary to preserve the competitiveness of the EU and ensure affordable energy to citizens.

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    wind turbines, solar panels, renewable energy
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    Bees, Biodiversity


The environmental diplomacy of the EU seeks to build alliances and coalitions to address the triple planetary crisis of climate change, biodiversity loss, and pollution.

The EEAS collaborates with EU delegations and member states to engage with partner countries and advocate for the adoption of sustainable environmental policies and practices. The EU is leading by example on environmental issues as underlined by the EU’s environmental legislation, strategies and action plans.

The European Green Deal set out ambitious environmental targets including to:

  • Protect and restore biodiversity by planting three billion trees by 2030, and by protecting 30% of the EU's land and oceans.
  • Reduce air and water pollution, with a particular focus on air pollution, which is responsible for an estimated 400,000 premature deaths each year in the EU.
  • Transition to a circular economy, where waste is minimized, and resources are used in a more sustainable way.

Food Systems

A food system includes every step of the food lifecycle, notably production, transport, transformation, commercialisation and consumption.

The transition towards sustainable food systems is a key component of the green transition, ensuring social, environmental and economic sustainability (healthy people, healthy societies and a healthy planet). Food systems are globally responsible for around one third of greenhouse gases emissions and is the primary driver of biodiversity loss.

The transition towards sustainable food systems is necessary to provide long term resilient responses to the current food security as sustainable food systems is the foundation for providing sufficient food for all.

The Farm to Fork Strategy is the main EU contribution in this field, combining new standards for EU production and consumption, as well as promotion of these standards towards partner countries and relevant international organisations.

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International Ocean Governance

International Ocean Governance (IOG) plays a crucial role in fostering healthy oceans, halting the loss of biodiversity and fighting climate change.

In 2016, the EU was the first economy in the world to develop an IOG agenda and commit to a safe, secure, clean, healthy and sustainably managed ocean.

On 24 June 2022 a new IOG agenda was launched, addressing the points below, among others:

  1. Fighting climate change and environmental degradation;
  2. The ocean amongst the world’s foremost geopolitical arenas;
  3. Ocean prominence in international debates.

Water Diplomacy

Tensions and conflicts over access to water continue to rise, as the world’s water resources and ecosystems deteriorate, and the threat of water scarcity spreads. Water has become a key foreign policy issue, as recognised in the EU already by the 2013 Foreign Ministers Conclusions. On 19 November 2021, the Foreign Affairs Council adopted Conclusions on EU Water Diplomacy. The Council made the case for making the link between water, security and peace, including the potential of transboundary water cooperation as an instrument for peace.

The Council Conclusions on Water in the EU’s external action adopted on 19 November 2021 seek to develop an approach to water which reflects increasing challenges (such as climate change or growing water insecurity) and the impact on EU water diplomacy of both the UN 2030 Agenda on Sustainable Development and the Paris Agreement on Climate Change. The Council Conclusions recognise the potential for water to affect international peace and security and stress the importance of transboundary water cooperation and governance. The Council Conclusions also highlight the EU's commitment to the human right to safe drinking water and sanitation.

At the UN 2023 Water Conference the EU committed to improve transboundary cooperation across water basins, including aquifers, to strengthen regional integration, and make water a key driver for sustainable development, green transition, and peace. The EU also committed to actively promote further accessions to, and compliance with, the UNECE Convention on the Protection and Use of Transboundary Watercourses and International Lakes (the Water Convention).

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    eu-unicef water borehole