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Climate change and implementation of the Paris Agreement

Doc. 14521: collection of written amendments | Doc. 14521 | 23/04/2018 | Final version

Caption: AdoptedRejectedWithdrawnNo electronic votes

ADraft Resolution

1By signing the Paris Agreement in December 2015, 194 countries of the United Nations and the European Union recognised climate change as an existential threat to humanity: there is no planet “B”, and the health of our planet is key to our own prosperity. The entry into force of the Agreement just one year after its signature was a remarkable sign of the global community’s resolve to act deep and wide, moving towards a “bottom-up” approach as opposed to the “top-down” logic pursued previously. Despite the recent withdrawal of the United States federal administration, over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions remain covered by nationally determined contributions under the Paris Agreement. However, to stop global temperatures from rising more than 2°C by 2050, additional efforts are required over the next decade.
2The Parliamentary Assembly hails European leadership in steering the global process to prevent the planet from overheating. Cleaner, more sustainable development is the only way forward to correctly accommodate the needs of the present and future generations, wherever they live. Considering that developing countries are most severely affected by climate change, although they are far less responsible for the greenhouse gas emissions than developed countries, more solidarity between developed and developing countries is needed to share know-how, (financial) resources and clean technologies, especially with the small island developing States (as agreed in the Small Island Developing States Accelerated Modalities of Action (Samoa Pathway)).
3The Assembly therefore believes that implementation of the Paris Agreement should go hand in hand with the Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) of the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development agreed by the global community in the same year. It refers to the ample evidence showing that investment in more environmentally friendly development and global sustainable policies makes good economic sense, as well as being a responsible policy choice for the future. Worldwide, the cost of extreme climatic events is ever increasing, as is the cost of inaction; in Europe, the cost of damage incurred from climatic disasters has already doubled between the 1980s and the 2000s.

In the draft resolution, at the end of paragraph 3, insert the following words: ", totalling as much as EUR 436 billion according to the European Environment Agency".

Explanatory note

Adding clarity to the magnitude of the issues at stake.

4The Assembly welcomes the launch of the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action with a view to the implementation of the Paris Agreement. This strategy aims to involve multiple actors in pro-climate action: it supports voluntary collaboration of civil society, the private sector, financial institutions, local and subnational authorities, and local communities, as applicable. In this context, urban and estuarial development models deserve special support so as to tap the huge potential of green growth in serving both the population and the climate cause.

In the draft resolution, paragraph 4, replace the third sentence with the following sentence: "In this context, urban, estuarial and island development models deserve special support so as to tap the huge potential of green growth in serving both the population and the climate cause".

Explanatory note

Islands play an essential role in sustainable developments and count with untapped potential to drive the transition to a more sustainable economy.

5Mainstreaming sustainable development and resilience to climate change in national policies through law remains a considerable challenge for European countries. The Assembly regrets that official national delegations to global climate change meetings (COPs) rarely include parliamentarians and urges European countries to lead the change by example and systematically include parliamentarians in their delegations. Such closer involvement of legislators should enable better policy coherence with a view to honouring domestic and international commitments under the Paris Agreement, ensuring a more balanced allocation of budgetary resources, and putting into place the legislative framework for green investment.
6In the light of the above considerations, the Assembly calls for strong national measures to promote the implementation of the Paris Agreement at all levels of governance. It invites the member States to:
6.1draw up an ambitious national strategy accompanied by a concrete action plan, built and implemented with the active and direct participation of regional authorities, for mainstreaming the Sustainable Development Goals, in particular where they relate to climate change concerns, across the main policy fields;

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.1, insert the following paragraph:

"draft a National Capital Raising Plan detailing the financial resources to be mobilised in order to implement those action plans, considering both national and international funding sources, thus providing certainty to domestic and foreign investors and making the most of the growth potential of sustainable development;".

Explanatory note

Investors need regulatory certainty to put their money into sustainable solutions. Public institutions need to provide that certainty detailing the investments they plan to mobilise from public sources and the instruments they plan to use to attract private capital.

6.2hold regular consultations with different stakeholders (civil society, the private sector, financial and academic institutions, local and subnational authorities, and local communities) to monitor progress in cutting emissions and to identify problem areas that hinder the attainment of nationally determined contributions;

In the draft resolution, paragraph 6.2, after the words "cutting emissions", insert the following words: "and adapting to the negative impacts of climate change,".

Explanatory note

Stressing the need to focus also on adapting to the economic, social and other impacts of climate change. Mitigation and adaptation are two sides of the same coin.

6.3take advantage of regional opportunities for exchanges of good practice and co-investment in climate-friendly development models under the Marrakech Partnership for Global Climate Action;
6.4make pledges and honour their commitments towards replenishing the Green Climate Fund set up under the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 2010, in line with the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities;
6.5prepare the transition to the circular economy and devise incentives for both public and private sectors for the re-use of materials at the end of the product cycle;

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 6.5 with the following paragraph:

"advance the transition to the circular economy, devise incentives for both public and private sectors for the re-use of materials at the end of the product cycle, as well as to establish ambitious national recycling targets for 2030 and 2050;".

Explanatory note

The transition to the circular economy is already ongoing, and needs a strong signal from public powers. Establishing national targets provides a medium-to-long-term certainty for investors to mobilise their capital and for economic sectors to undertake structured, organised reforms.

6.6promote a sustainable urbanisation vision by pursuing smart-city policies, with special attention to the means for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, cooling and heating systems, energy production, waste management and industrial activities;

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 6.6 with the following paragraph:

"promote a sustainable urbanisation vision by pursuing smart-city policies to turn European cities into global leaders in attracting sustainable investment, with special attention to energy efficiency in buildings, the means for cutting greenhouse gas emissions from transport, district heating and cooling, renewable energy generation, waste management and sustainable, innovative industrial activities;".

Explanatory note

Smart, sustainable cities can also become an opportunity for innovation, investments and modernisation of our economies.

6.7map out the transition to more sustainable agriculture so that the use of natural resources is optimised and greenhouse gas emissions from cattle breeding are significantly reduced or captured and diverted to other uses;

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 6.7 with the following paragraph:

"map out the transition to more sustainable, innovative farming practices so that the use of natural resources is optimised, value-added generation is maximised, European biodiversity is protected, and greenhouse gas emissions are significantly reduced or captured and diverted to other uses;".

Explanatory note

Agriculture must also become an innovative, dynamic economic sector, offering opportunities to populations in rural areas in Europe. The transition to a more sustainable economy comes hand in hand with the transition to a more sustainable agriculture that attracts investments.

6.8foster participation of the private sector – through both voluntary and binding measures – to ensure that it contributes its fair share to achieving domestic climate goals;

In the draft resolution, replace paragraph 6.8 with the following paragraph:

"establish the adequate regulatory framework for the private sector to thrive and become a leading actor in the transition to a decarbonised economy, facilitating its contribution to achieving domestic and international climate goals;".

Explanatory note

The private sector has demonstrated that it is ready to take action to implement the Paris Agreement and to drive the transition to a more sustainable enocomy. The role of the public sector is therefore to provide the necessary framework and incentives for private actors to better play this role.

6.9restructure their energy production and consumption in such a way that fossil materials are increasingly diverted to non-energy uses and gradually replaced by renewable energy sources;

In the draft resolution, after paragraph 6.9, insert the following paragraph:

"foster the adoption of ambitious measures on green public procurement, reinforcing the role of the public sector in creating a market pull for low-carbon, innovative solutions and reinforcing the role of Europe's industry in providing those solutions;".

Explanatory note

Green public procurement can be a venue to introduce more innovative, more sustainable products into the market, thus fostering European innovation while cementing the transition.

6.10secure the involvement of national parliamentarians in global climate negotiations and in prior governmental consultations on the national negotiating position;
6.11where feasible, consider joining the European Emissions Trading System following the example of non-European Union countries that have already done so;
6.12assure gender-responsive climate policy by implementing the Gender Action Plan as agreed by the COP23.
7The Assembly stresses the importance of parliamentary action in relation to the above measures. It believes that legislators of the Parties to the Paris Agreement have the duty to check that the five-year roadmap for assessing national climate policies is on track and in line with the agreed national targets. The Assembly therefore calls on national parliaments to ensure that dedicated structures, mechanisms and resources are in place for stepping up national efforts on climate change.
8Finally, the Assembly urges the three member States (the Russian Federation, San Marino and Turkey) that have not yet ratified the Paris Agreement to do so at the earliest opportunity.