Colombia and EU sign Climate Action declaration

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As part of his official visit to several European countries, and which included a meeting with the European Commission on Monday, President Iván Duque and Commission President Ursula von der Leyen, oversaw the signing of the EU-Colombia Joint Declaration on Environment, Climate Action and Sustainable Development.

Accompanied by their respective co-signees, Commissioner for Environment, Oceans and Fisheries Virginijus Sinkevi?ius and Environment Minister Carlos Eduardo Correa, the Climate Action pact “marks the highest point in relations between Colombia and EU,” stated President Duque. Words matched by von der Leyen, who praised the South American nation as “an indispensable partner in the fight against climate change.”

The joint declaration focuses on key shared priorities, from climate action, to biodiversity and ecosystems conservation, disaster risk reduction, fight against deforestation, and sustainable development initiatives. “Global goals can only be achieved if countries around the world work together. With today’s declaration between the EU and Colombia we move one step further in the green transformation we need. We both want an ambitious global biodiversity agreement at COP15 this year,” remarked Sinkevi?ius.

The declaration is an important signal ahead of upcoming milestones in multilateral processes, such as the UN Environment Assembly in Nairobi later this month, and the COP15 summit under the Convention on Biological Diversity later this year. President Duque and his EU counterpart discussed a full bilateral agenda, including implementation of the European Green Deal.

The so-called Green Deal requires all 27 European Union Member States to commit to implementing a transformative strategy to achieve climate neutrality by 2050, with a target of reducing more than half all emissions by 2030 compared to 1990. Among many policy proposals is the circular economy as climate strategy (based on waste and pollution elimination), and blue economy for sustainable use of ocean resources.

The EU and Colombia outlined areas to strengthen bilateral relations, including “successful implementation of the 2016 peace agreement between the government and FARC.” This agreement is “a contribution to global peace and stability,” states the official communique. Other focus areas is an “ambitious agenda on the environment, climate change, resilience and biodiversity; economic, social and territorial cohesion in the European Union and Colombia; and solidarity around the Venezuelan refugee and migratory crisis.”