On 7 November 2021 PACE President Rik Daems took part in a special parliamentary meeting organised by the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) on the occasion of the UN Climate Change Conference (COP26) in Glasgow. He addressed the Advocacy session, which focused on parliamentary action to increase government accountability.
In his intervention Mr Daems stressed that the topic of the environment and human rights is a top priority for PACE, illustrated by the Assembly's recent adoption (on 29 September 2021) of seven resolutions demanding a paradigm shift in international and national law, as well as government policies, to ensure that a healthy environment is recognised as a basic human right.
The President praised the effective co-operation that has been established on this matter with the Committee of Ministers under the current Hungarian Presidency, which demonstrates the importance of climate and environmental issues for the whole Council of Europe.
Mr Daems urged the elevation of environmental issues globally from policy to principle, and called for robust parliamentary oversight of government action. For that purpose, the President proposed the creation of a World Parliamentary Environment Accountability Day, when parliamentarians all around the globe could question representatives of their executive on what they had done to combat climate change.