Speech by President Donald Tusk at the UN Climate Action Summit

Europe is determined to lead the fight against today’s climate threat. That is why the European Union is more resolved than ever to implement the Paris Agreement fully and effectively.

The EU has already exceeded its emission reduction target for 2020, and will surpass its target for 2030. Instead of the foreseen 40%, we expect a reduction in greenhouse gas emissions of around 45%, as compared to 1990 levels. Turning our targets into concrete action is what matters, and this is what the EU is doing.

Our economies need massive investment to become climate neutral. Therefore, at least 25% of the EU’s next long-term budget will be dedicated to climate-related activities. And we are also taking concrete action to bring in private capital. In the coming weeks, the EU, in partnership with like-minded countries worldwide, will launch the “International Platform on Sustainable Finance”. This will help private investors to identify and take advantage of the green investment opportunities across the globe.

The EU’s emissions make up only around 9% of the global total. With this in mind, the EU is strengthening cooperation with all partner countries. As the world’s biggest climate finance donor, the EU together with its Member States are providing over 40% of public climate finance worldwide. These contributions have more than doubled since 2013, exceeding 20 billion euros per year. And we will scale up our support even further, including through the European Investment Bank, which is the European Union’s financial arm. The European Council has made it clear that it expects the EIB to increase its ambition to deliver on climate action and environmental sustainability, within the EU but also in supporting our climate objectives globally.

Looking ahead, we know that Europe must go further and faster. The President-elect of the European Commission will present a European Green Deal in her first one hundred days in office. She has also  suggested the strengthening of the EU’s emission reduction target for 2030 to 50% or even 55% in a responsible way.

Early next year, the European Union will submit an ambitious long-term strategy to our international partners. I am convinced that Europe will win the race to become the world’s first climate-neutral continent. The EU objective of climate neutrality by 2050 has already been endorsed by a large majority of our Member States. And personally, I would say that it is just a matter of little time before all EU countries subscribe to it. Thank you.