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On eve of Paris climate change talks, negotiators urged to use PACE plan

Negotiators at the forthcoming Paris climate change talks are being urged to make use of an existing 11-point plan drawn up last year by the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe (PACE), as a “last chance to close in on a deal” which would allow national climate change commitments to be recognised within any legally-binding global agreement.

“The elements of this deal are already on the table – we urge Europe to seize them,” said John Prescott (United Kingdom, SOC), Chair of PACE’s Sub-committee on Environment and Energy and a former Assembly rapporteur on climate change who also negotiated the Kyoto Accord on behalf of the EU.

“UN experts tell us action to keep global warming below the internationally agreed target of 2 degrees centigrade is technically and economically feasible – and that it shouldn’t cost the earth. That is already good news,” pointed out Mr Prescott.

“And early negotiations suggest a deal may be in sight: a global set of legally-binding commitments, with a separate agreement on how each country will meet them. That is not far from what our Assembly demanded last year. But there’s still a big problem to sort out – how to ensure national laws are recognised within the global agreement, while sticking to the agreed principle that richer countries help poorer ones, and big or longstanding carbon-emitters must do more.”

“In last year’s resolution, the Assembly set out how that can be done – an 11-point plan that is exactly what the negotiators need now. We call on the 47 governments of the Council of Europe to take account of that plan when they meet in Bonn in October, the last chance to close in on this deal before Paris.”

PACE’s Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development adopted a more detailed statement on the plan, which it will forward to the Paris negotiators.