Parties to a joint European Union-African summit said Wednesday actions taken to address the challenges of climate change are central to their partnership.
"We confirm that action on climate change is a central area of the Africa-EU Partnership and that we will do all that is in our power to convince other partners of the need for a fair, balanced, equitable and ambitious legally binding agreement to be adopted by the end of 2015," a joint statement read.
EU Climate Action Commissioner Connie Hedegaard met in Brussels with African leaders to discuss climate issues.
Both sides said in their statement that climate change is a "decisive global challenge" that will have wide-ranging effects on food security and economic prosperity. Urgent action is needed to keep the global average temperature in check for the sake of development.
"We recall the guidance of Nelson Mandela, who urged us to 'stand together to make our world a sustainable source for our future as humanity on this planet,'" they said.
EU and African leaders said they'd collaborate on the challenges ahead when they meet for the U.N. Climate Change Conference in Lima, Peru, in 2015.
A report published Monday by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change said agricultural production and access to food in many African countries will be severely compromised by climate change.