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Developing ‘climate resilience’ in the face of global warming through the rule of law

The Council of Europe must help develop “climate resilience” to deal with global warming by promoting the rule of law – meaning the supremacy of law, equality before the law, accountability to the law, separation of powers, participation in decision making, and transparency, according to the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, meeting today by video-conference.

Adopting a report by Edite Estrela (Portugal, SOC), the committee encouraged member States to respond to UN Secretary-General António Guterres’s call and to adopt the aim of “net zero emissions” to keep the global temperature increase in line with the Paris Agreement's overarching objective, amounting to an increase in average temperatures of 1.5°C It encouraged Turkey to ratify the Agreement.

Stressing the importance of the role of parliaments, the committee proposed the establishment of a parliamentary network under its auspices, whose task would be to monitor action by national authorities to meet the commitments made in response to the climate crisis, and to foster regular opportunities for parliamentarians in Europe and on other continents to pool their experience.

Finally, the committee recommended that the Committee of Ministers incorporate the sustainable development goals, and those aimed at tackling the climate crisis, into all Council of Europe activities, including when preparing strategies and action plans.