The European Union announced Friday that it agreed on its climate change position for the upcoming Paris Conference to be held in late November.
"The EU will aim at reaching an ambitious, legally-binding and dynamic agreement, with the objective of keeping global warming below two degrees centigrade," the Council of the European Union said in a statement.
In order to achieve its goal, the Council stated that global greenhouse gas emissions need to peak by 2020 at the latest, be reduced by at least 50 percent by 2050 compared to 1990, and be near zero or below by 2100, the statement read.
"We will settle for nothing less. We are now equipped with a solid position for Paris," European Commissioner for Climate Action and Energy Miguel Arias Canete said in the statement.
Canete reiterated President of the European Commission Jean-Claude Juncker's stance last week by saying that the EU is not prepared to sign just any deal, an added "With this solid position, the EU will be a deal maker in Paris, and not just a deal taker."
Luxembourg Minister for Environment and President of the Council Carole Dieschbourg said the EU will facilitate a global agreement that is acceptable for all parties in the Paris conference.
"The real work starts after Paris. I am sure the EU will implement its commitments responsibly and it has a huge potential for reducing greenhouse gas emissions. We should build on the successful policies already in place," she said, according to the statement.
Since the emission reduction targets for Paris only cover a five or 10-year period starting in 2020, the Council urged that European countries should come together regularly every five years to consider and strengthen emission targets.
In order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions before 2020, the Council emphasized the involvement of non-state actors, such as businesses, cities and organisations.
The Council's last negotiating session before the Paris conference will take place in Bonn, Germany, from on October 19-23.
The UN's international climate change conference in Paris will be held between November 30 and December 11. It aims to achieve a legally binding international agreement, although the 1997 Kyoto Protocol, which tried to reduce greenhouse emissions, was not ratified by all countries throughout the world.
By Ovunc Kutlu