Now or never, say OSCE PA leaders in calling for climate action in wake of latest IPCC report

Cederfelt   PonsMargareta Cederfelt and Pere Joan PonsCOPENHAGEN, 10 August 2021 – Monday’s release of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change’s latest report should serve as a wake-up call for policymakers to take bold action towards drastic reductions in emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases, leaders of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly said today. OSCE PA President Margareta Cederfelt (Sweden) and Pere Joan Pons (Spain), Chair of the PA’s economic and environmental committee, stressed that parliamentarians can lead the way by adopting legislation to help transition to a carbon-neutral economy as well as alerting and pressuring governments to live up to international commitments on climate change.

“The IPCC’s report should remove any lingering doubt that the climate crisis and global warming are real and that changes are actually happening at a much faster rate than previously predicted,” President Cederfelt said. “Dire consequences are already visible everywhere, serving as a tragic reminder that climate and security go hand in hand. The OSCE Parliamentary Assembly will continue to promote an inclusive perspective on international security and keep the issue of climate change high on the daily agenda of our parliaments and governments.”

Recent heatwaves, flooding and wildfires across the OSCE region are indications that no one is safe from the effects of climate change and therefore national authorities must take action to save lives and nature at this critical juncture, Cederfelt and Pons pointed out.

“The current crisis is clearly triggered by human activities, which means that only through common, shared human responses can we hope to halt it and reverse it,” Pons said. “Here in the Mediterranean region, we see wildfires ravaging our communities, reminding us in no uncertain terms that we need to do much more and much faster. It is not too late to save the planet and our civilization, although we need to catalyze change globally and urgently by halting all green gases emissions, quickly transiting to a green economy, recalibrating our growth expectations, and involving all layers of society.”

Cederfelt and Pons praised the IPCC report, which was approved by 195 member governments on 7 August, for articulating clearly and urgently what is happening to the planet. The report highlights changes in the Earth’s climate in every region, they noted, stressing that many of these types of changes have not been seen in hundreds of thousands of years. The report is unequivocal that human activity is responsible for warming the atmosphere, ocean and land, using language is a departure from previous IPCC reports, which were somewhat more nuanced in this regard.

It is also clear from the IPCC’s findings that the effects of human-induced climate change are already being felt, with increased heat waves, droughts and torrential rains, which will only become more frequent and extreme as the Earth warms further. Representing the consensus view of hundreds of scientists from all over the world, it is a clear call to action for politicians to act accordingly and protect the citizens, the OSCE PA leaders said, pointing to this year’s COP26 summit in Glasgow as an important opportunity for a true turning point on this front.

Looking ahead towards the COP26, OSCE PA Secretary General Roberto Montella emphasized the Assembly’s ongoing efforts to facilitate a meaningful parliamentary dialogue on climate action. “As a priority for all of humanity, climate change is also high on the agenda of the Parliamentary Assembly,” Montella said. “We will continue to build engagement among parliamentarians and provide a forum for exchange of best practices on this critical front.”

To read the full IPCC report and the summary for policymakers, please click here.



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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