Leaders of OSCE PA’s economic and environmental committee welcome Earth Day signing of Climate Agreement

Sena Tidei 2016Nilza Sena and Marietta TideiCOPENHAGEN, 22 April 2016 – The signing of the historic Paris Climate Agreement by world leaders in New York today is a fitting tribute to the global celebration of Earth Day and a reminder of the work that remains to be done in countering global warming, said the leaders of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly’s economic and environmental committee, Nilza Sena (MP, Portugal) and Marietta Tidei (MP, Italy), today.

The one billion-plus citizens of the OSCE area, which includes some of the world’s primary producers and consumers of fossil fuels, expect vigorous follow-through on these Paris commitments, noted Sena and Tidei. In a joint statement, the two lawmakers welcomed in particular the significance of the United States and China – the two biggest emitters of greenhouse gases – taking the lead in pushing the Paris climate deal into force early.

“With the United States, China, Russia and a number of other countries signing the Agreement today, hopes are high that the Paris deal could go into force years before the initial target date of 2020. Having just emerged from the warmest winter on record, this is fantastic news for the prospects of mitigating the potentially catastrophic effects of climate change. However, it should be noted that the Agreement is only aspirational until the hard work of deep emissions cuts takes place,” said Sena and Tidei.

“Only when governments commit to taking the sweeping actions necessary to move rapidly to a low-carbon economy can we really begin to celebrate turning the tide against climate change and all of its related challenges, including increased migration,” added Sena and Tidei.

The parliamentarians recalled that although the Paris commitments are ambitious in theory, the individual targets that countries have put forward in the so-called Intended Nationally Determined Contributions are so far not enough to prevent a potentially disastrous rise in the earth’s temperature. But with the Paris Agreement possibly going into effect early, additional momentum could be provided to efforts aimed at strengthening those national targets, the parliamentarians said.

“In order to meet the challenge of global warming, leaders must seize every opportunity to strengthen and surpass targets for emissions reductions, as well as pursue policies geared towards adaptation to the effects of climate change already taking place. Parliamentarians can play a major role in this regard by holding governments accountable and by helping develop mechanisms for sustainable, environmentally friendly growth,” said Sena and Tidei.

Sena and Tidei are the acting chair and rapporteur, respectively, of the OSCE PA’s General Committee on Economic Affairs, Science, Technology and Environment. Last year, at the OSCE PA’s 24th Annual Session in Helsinki, the committee adopted a resolution authored by Tidei – which was ultimately included in the Helsinki Declaration – that “implor[ed] participating States to pursue policies on the local, national and regional levels to take preventive measures, mitigate and adapt to climate change, as well as to forge bilateral and multilateral agreements toward this end.”

Climate change is also expected to feature prominently in Tidei’s forthcoming report and draft resolution to be debated at the 25th Annual Session in Tbilisi, Georgia.



Nat Parry

Head of Communications and Press

Office: +45 33 37 80 55
Mobile: +45 60 10 81 77
Email: [email protected]

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