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Resolution adopted by consensus * by the 120th IPU Assembly
(Addis Ababa, 10 April 2009)

The 120th Assembly of the Inter-Parliamentary Union,

(1) Recalling the fundamental model for sustainable development contained in the 1987 report of the World Commission on Environment and Development, where sustainable development was defined as meeting the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs,

(2) Emphasizing that anthropogenic climate change is already observable and is a key issue for our generation that will impede the ability of future generations to meet their needs and exacerbate the needs of the poor, and that must be addressed urgently through technological and social change,

(3) Noting that the development and deployment of renewable energies hold great promise in reconciling the increasing needs for energy, particularly in the developing world, and the ability of the environment to meet present and future needs,

(4) Commending the work of the Nobel Peace Prize-winning Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) to build up and disseminate greater knowledge about man-made climate change and to lay the foundations for the measures that are needed to counteract such change,

(5) Acknowledging that 2009 is a watershed year for the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) as the parties move into full negotiating mode to complete the Bali Road Map for strengthening the global response to climate change in time for the 15th Conference of the Parties to be held in Copenhagen from 7 to 18 December 2009,

(6) Recalling the resolution adopted at the 114th IPU Assembly (Nairobi, 2006) on the role of parliaments in environmental management and in combating global degradation of the environment,

(7) Taking note of the establishment of the International Renewable Energy Agency (IRENA) on 26 February 2009 in Bonn, whose mandate is to advise and support industrialized and developing countries with a view to increasing the share of renewable energy in their energy production,

(8) Noting that the protection of natural resources is a core concern of parliaments and governments worldwide, and highlighting the tension between natural resources and an increasing world population,

(9) Noting that per capita emissions of greenhouse gases continue to be much higher in industrialized nations than in developing nations, and recalling that the industrialized countries committed in 1992 under the UNFCCC to limit their anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and to protect and enhance their greenhouse gas sinks and reservoirs through policies and measures that would demonstrate that they are taking the lead in modifying longer-term trends in anthropogenic emissions,

(10) Aware that energy is essential for sustainable development, in particular for the alleviation of poverty, but that current supplies are reliant on fossil fuels, the use of which has led to a build-up of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that has had the unintended consequence of causing changes to the climate,

(11) Recalling that, in addition to the depletion of the ozone layer, the sharp increase worldwide in greenhouse gas emissions is regarded as the main cause of global warming,

(12) Considering that the accelerated reduction of the cryosphere (all ice and snow surfaces) and the subsequent rise in sea level is a clarion call for immediate action,

(13) Noting that the IPCC has predicted that by 2100, the global average sea level will have risen by 9 to 88 centimetres, submerging coastal communities of both developed and developing countries,

(14) Noting that the causes of global warming and effects of climate change are extremely uneven, that the historical difference in accumulative greenhouse gas emissions is clearly demonstrated by a comparison between developed and developing nations, and that particular importance should therefore be attached to the principle of common but differentiated responsibility, which is deeply rooted in the UNFCCC,

(15) Recalling that the community of nations has been dealing since the late 1970s with climate change, its causes, consequences and necessary counter measures, in terms of cutting emissions but also of adapting to the effects of climate change,

(16) Recalling that the international community raised this issue at the First World Climate Conference (Geneva, 1979); the Vienna Conference for the protection of the ozone layer (1985); the International Conference on the protection of the ozone layer (Montreal, 1987); the Toronto Conference on global warming (1988), via the establishment of the IPCC in 1988, at the Second World Climate Conference (Geneva, 1990), the United Nations Conference on Environment and Development (Rio de Janeiro, 1992), known as the Earth Summit, the first Conference of the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change (COP1 - Berlin, 1995) and the third Conference of the Parties (COP3 - Kyoto, 1997), in the Kyoto Protocol and at G8 summits and the United Nations Climate Change Conferences (Bali, 2007 and Poznan, 2008),

(17) Recalling that the industrialized countries party to the UNFCCC agreed to reduce emissions of anthropogenic greenhouse gases, alone or through cooperation, to 1990 levels and to stabilize greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system,

(18) Subscribing fully to the target of limiting to 2°C the average rise in temperatures since the pre-industrialization period, as set out in the above-mentioned resolution adopted by the 114th IPU Assembly,

(19) Reaffirming that the Parties to the UNFCCC agreed to protect the climate system on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities,

(20) Supporting the agreement reached at the G8 Summit held in Hokkaido Toyako in 2008, whereby the G8 seeks "to share with all Parties to the UNFCCC the vision of, and consider and adopt in the UNFCCC negotiations, the goal of achieving at least 50% reduction of global emissions by 2050",

(21) Aware that that goal cannot be met unless developed countries take the lead in significantly cutting their greenhouse gas emissions, providing financial resources and transferring environment-friendly technologies to developing countries through mechanisms established under the UNFCCC, and unless the fight against poverty, an appropriate population policy, the reduction and elimination of unsustainable consumption and production practices, and the full involvement of the population in political decision-making are recognized as prerequisites of sustainable development,

(22) Noting with satisfactionthe ambitious nature of the plan of action agreed by the European Union in December 2008 to achieve the following objectives by 2020: reduce by at least 20 per cent its greenhouse gas emissions (this percentage would increase to 30 per cent should a global post‑Kyoto accord be concluded in Copenhagen in 2009), enhance its energy efficiency by 20 per cent and increase the share of renewable energies to at least 20 per cent,

(23) Recalling that under the Kyoto Protocol, agreed to at the COP3, the Annex I or developed countries individually or jointly undertook to reduce their overall emissions of six greenhouse gases or groups of greenhouse gases to at least 5 per cent below average 1990 levels between 2008 and 2012,

(24) Considering that, in addition to cuts in their own emissions, Parties to the Kyoto Protocol have three flexible mechanisms at their disposal to help them pursue this goal, namely: global trading of rights to emit greenhouse gases (emissions trading); the implementation of measures in developing countries within the framework of the Clean Development Mechanism; and project-based cooperation with other industrialized nations for the reduction of emissions, the cuts achieved being measurable against national reduction targets (joint implementation),

(25) Recalling the commitment made in the United Nations Millennium Declaration of September 2000, which established the Millennium Development Goals (MDGs), and emphasizing the following goals: Goal 1: eradicate extreme poverty and hunger; Goal 3: promote gender equality and empower women; Goal 7: ensure environmental sustainability; and Goal 8: develop a global partnership for development,

(26) Recalling that the responsibility of parliamentarians and governments in achieving the MDGs, which correspond to a number of human rights (the right to education, health, decent housing, etc.) enshrined in the Universal Declaration of Human Rights, forms part of a broader approach that seeks to promote sustainable development, justice, peace, good governance and the rule of law,

(27) Considering the final text of the agreements and commitments adopted at the International Conference on Financing for Development (Monterrey, 2002), known as the Monterrey Consensus, the Paris Declaration on Aid Effectiveness (2005), which reaffirmed the MDGs and emphasized the role of all stakeholders in the process of development financing, and the Doha Declaration on Financing for Development (December 2008),

(28) Considering that the participants at the Fourth Tokyo International Conference on African Development (TICAD IV, Yokohama, 2008) agreed to strengthen global efforts to tackle various challenges, including African development, environmental issues, climate change and poverty, and that they welcomed the Cool Earth Partnership, Japan’s financial mechanism to assist developing countries to address climate change,

(29) Underscoring that, according to the Human Development Report for 2007/2008, climate change is undermining international efforts to fight poverty and hindering attempts to honour commitments to achieve the MDGs, that ensuring environmental sustainability is therefore a major factor in the elimination of poverty, one of the unanimously agreed goals of the international community and that, moreover, efforts to address climate change should not prejudice the achievement of the MDGs,

(30) Recognizing that it is crucially important to build sound material-cycle societies through the 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) Initiative, which was agreed at the G8 Sea Island Summit in 2004, for promoting sustainable development,

(31) Concerned that people from developing countries, especially women and children living in poverty, are particularly vulnerable to the effects of climate change because of their limited capacity and resources to respond, and that this gives them a particular claim on the solidarity and support of the industrialized nations,

(32) Underscoring the need to be aware that energy use is a prerequisite of economic and social progress, but that misuse of energy resources has a huge impact on the environment and hence on vital natural resources,

(33) Aware that the vast majority of humankind cannot live without electric power and liquid fuels and that approximately two billion people in the world have no access to electric power,

(34) Pointing out that poverty reduction is closely linked to the access of the most underprivileged populations to energy services that meet fundamental human needs and contribute to social development,

(35) Considering that there are stark imbalances even within societies with regard to people's capacity to cope with the impacts of climate change and that these are reflected especially in the precarious situation of women in developing countries, which is often a direct result of the link between the climate, the environment and an unstable supply,

(36) Cognizant of the fact that the industrialized nations and the countries with growing economies should honour their commitments to the fight against underdevelopment and poverty, notably by fulfilling the pledges made by the Members of the Organization for Economic Co-operation and Development (OECD),

(37) Noting that the increasing interdependence of energy-producing, -consuming and transit countries creates a need for dialogue in a spirit of cooperation and solidarity, which will enable these countries to benefit fully from their mutual dependence and promote global energy security with due regard for the interests of all stakeholders (Kyiv Declaration of the OSCE Parliamentary Assembly - 2007),

(38) Recognizing the work being developed in the energy field by some Latin American and Caribbean countries under the Bolivarian Alternative for the Americas (ALBA) integration project,

(39) Strongly rejecting all efforts to use energy issues as a means of exerting political pressure,

(40) Underscoring that the nations of the world should create mechanisms to prevent crisis situations and supply shortages, in other words an energy-crisis-management system that would facilitate capacity-building of the most vulnerable countries,

(41) Aware that good governance is an indispensable tool for combining economic development and environmental protection,

(42) Underscoring the adoption at the 107th Inter-Parliamentary Conference (Marrakech, 2002) of a resolution that encourages "States to create conditions enabling countries to maximize the use of renewable energy sources",

(43) Considering the results of the 2007 Fourth Assessment Report of the IPCC regarding biofuels, as well as inter alia the outcome of the discussions that took place during the International Conference on Biofuels, held in Sao Paulo, Brazil, from 17 to 21 November 2008, and the Declaration on "Parliaments and Biofuels" of Sao Paulo signed by 20 parliamentarians from all continents present at the Special Session for Parliamentarians held in the wings of that Conference,

(44) Aware that, in view of the effects of climate change, which are already recognizable today, little time is left for effective action to reduce the volume of greenhouse gases,

(45) Noting that all polluting vehicles, particularly used cars, in circulation in developed and developing countries are a huge source of CO2 emissions,

(46) Noting that the Strategic Plan for the Convention on Biological Diversity, adopted in 2002, indicates that "biodiversity provides goods and services that underpin sustainable development in many important ways, thus contributing to poverty alleviation",

(47) Considering that land-use changes and deforestation are responsible for approximately 20 per cent of anthropogenic emissions of greenhouse gases and that these practices can also lead to soil erosion and biodiversity loss,

(48) Recognizing that renewables are a significant means of promoting low-carbon power generation, helping to cut CO2 emissions, contributing to energy self-sufficiency and security of supply, reducing dependence on fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) and mineral resources (uranium), and helping to boost regional economies and safeguard jobs through reliance on local energy sources,

  1. Urges all parties involved in the UNFCCC Bali Road Map negotiations, particularly those whose parliaments are also Members of the IPU, to work diligently and in good faith towards an effective global response to the climate change crisis, to be concluded this year at COP15, knowing that such a response is not an option, but an imperative;
  2. Urges governments to recognize that safeguarding natural resources in the spirit of the MDGs depends on both the creation of a global development partnership and a common commitment, in particular by the developed countries, to a vigorous struggle against global poverty and hunger; further urges them to recognize that sustainable development will require them to address gender-based discrimination and provide equal rights for women, including access to and control of resources and land;
  3. Requests governments to carry out a national assessment of the impact of climate change on women with a view to developing evidence-based policies and national plans of action that address the differential impact of climate change and build on the potential of both men and women;
  4. Calls on parliaments to understand that they bear a special responsibility for the protection of natural resources and for sustainable development of our planet, and encourages government action and citizen mobilization in favour of environmental protection;
  5. Calls on parliaments and parliamentarians of the developed countries to urge their governments to honour their commitment to allocate 0.7 per cent of GNP to official development assistance, as stipulated in the Millennium Declaration;
  6. Believes that parliaments have an important role to play in increasing international cooperation between States with a view to protecting and cleaning up the marine environment by strengthening synergies in common fields such as coastal zone management, eliminating pollution hot spots, protecting biodiversity, achieving sustainable fisheries, etc.;
  7. Maintains that access to drinking water and a balanced diet are indispensable to public health; also maintains that access to drinking water is essential to reduce poverty and the diseases associated with water scarcity and, in this connection, strongly supports the UNDP proposal to declare the right to water a basic human right;
  8. Calls for global action for climate protection, careful stewardship of valuable resources and worldwide sustainable development, as key challenges of the 21st century to be met by developed and developing countries acting together with genuine political will;
  9. Urges those States that have not already done so to sign and ratify the Kyoto Protocol;
  10. Encourages the development of the emissions-trading system in accordance with the Kyoto Protocol and the building of bridges between this system and other systems established by non-signatory States;
  11. Invites States that emit large quantities of greenhouse gases and the regional organizations concerned to follow the example of the decisions taken by the European Union in December 2008 to limit its emissions, enhance its energy efficiency and increasingly resort to renewable energies, and to adopt action plans aimed at obtaining significant results in these three areas by 2020; 
  12. Calls on States to increase cost efficiency and flexibility in the pursuit of climate-related goals by means of a global emissions-trading system and geographical and sectoral extension of the project-based mechanisms established by the Kyoto Protocol;
  13. Encourages both developed and developing countries that produce environmentally thoughtful technologies to promote the transfer of technology to developing countries in order to raise environmental, health and living standards in those countries, and to coordinate the pursuit of environmental, economic and development objectives;
  14. Encourages developed countries to work with each other and with developing countries to support the transfer of new, low-cost, renewable energy technologies to developing countries, particularly in rural areas; further encourages all countries to support the implementation of energy-saving solutions through educational and training programmes that target women in particular and through microcredit initiatives;
  15. Encourages countries to develop appropriate population policies, including planning, to find a balance between natural resources and increasing demand for them;
  16. Urges States to step up implementation of the Clean Development Mechanism with a view to minimizing the cost of achieving the contractually agreed reduction targets while using the mechanism to promote the transfer of state‑of‑the-art technology to developing countries;
  17. Calls on all States to participate in a constructive spirit in international climate negotiations with a view to defining a post-Kyoto mechanism in Copenhagen that is based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibility and under which each State contributes effectively to the necessary global reduction of greenhouse gases and is subject to inspections;
  18. Calls for greater energy efficiency, particularly with regard to everyday appliances and devices, such as lighting, computers and televisions, and to transportation in cities, with the development of car-sharing initiatives and the improvement of public transportation, with a view to further reducing energy consumption;
  19. Encourages countries to promote energy efficiency in the sectors of energy generation and distribution, heat production for heating buildings, and electrical engines;
  20. Encourages countries to emulate the Japanese top-runner programme and to work to ensure that the most energy-efficient appliance is used as the benchmark for all other appliances;
  21. Urges governments to involve all relevant stakeholders in the design, development and distribution of efficient and cost-effective energy‑saving initiatives;
  22. Calls on the relevant authorities to ensure that buildings to be constructed or renovated are designed so as to require less energy for heating and cooling and to use energy from renewable sources;
  23. Urges governments to engage the automobile industry in greater production of low-emission vehicles;
  24. Urges governments to invest in fast rail and public transport systems as a way to reduce CO2 emissions, create new economic opportunities, increase mobility and reduce traffic congestion and pollution;
  25. Encourages the automobile industry to promote the use of sustainable biofuels, recognizing the ever increasing importance of renewable energy sources in the context of a sound and sustainable climate policy;
  26. Encourages governments to help coordinate and fund better urban planning, including public transportation, with the goal of reducing the number of vehicle-kilometres travelled each year;
  27. Recommends that governments make clear that the increased use of biofuels should not result in diversion of arable land, cause environmental damage or restrict food production;
  28. Requests the governments of countries with equatorial and tropical forests to put in place alternatives to the charcoal production and consumption patterns that are responsible for deforestation and the consequent disastrous climate change, soil erosion and extinction of animal species;
  29. Calls on countries to take action to reduce the current rate of biodiversity loss, and invites them to strengthen cooperation with a view to the Convention on Biological Diversity COP10 and the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety COP-MOP5 to be held in Nagoya, Japan, in 2010;
  30. Calls on the parliaments of industrialized nations in particular to ensure that their governments take the lead in the global fight against climate change and in the reduction of greenhouse-gas emissions by equipping and retrofitting buildings with electricity, heating and cooling systems fuelled by renewable energy and by modernizing buildings and equipping them with energy-efficient technology;
  31. Calls on countries to take into consideration pricing policies and subsidies for fossil fuel energy in the various relevant sectors with a view to promoting climate policy;
  32. Affirms that a powerful commitment by the government and parliament in every country is of crucial importance to the implementation of common development strategies in every sector that can improve the quality of the environment (including fisheries);
  33. Urges governments to support the global expansion of renewables (wind power, biomass and biogas, photovoltaics and solar energy, hydroelectricity and geothermal energy) as a major source of energy supply since renewables are the best means of promoting low-carbon power generation, helping to cut CO2 emissions, contributing to energy self-sufficiency and security of supply, reducing dependence on fossil fuels (oil, gas and coal) and mineral resources (uranium), and helping to boost regional economies and safeguard jobs through reliance on local energy sources;
  34. Encourages governments to support and fund research on development and promotion of renewable energies, including low-cost light technology, both nationally and internationally, giving consideration to the differential effects on men and women; further encourages parliaments to make use of gender-sensitive budgets to that effect;
  35. Calls on governments to build national competence and expertise in order to master the energy technologies of today and tomorrow;
  36. Urges governments to increase, through research and development, the ratio of renewables to conventional energy sources in the energy mix, in keeping with each region’s specificities;
  37. Calls on States to improve existing climate-protection technology through research and development in order to create more mechanisms for the fight against climate change; urges developing countries to actively participate in the Cool Earth Partnership;
  38. Encourages States to take into account the following factors when choosing nuclear energy as an option for CO2-free energy production: the finite nature of natural resources, including uranium; the highly complex and sensitive nature of this technology, which can entail malfunctions with serious consequences; the impact of nuclear accidents on the environment and people's lives, such as Chernobyl; the unresolved problem of final disposal; and the fact that the long-term problems posed by climate change cannot be solved by nuclear technology alone;
  39. Urges States to support research and development of carbon capture and storage, recognizing that, while carbon capture and storage has great potential to reduce emissions, it has limitations in capacity, is currently expensive, and can only be one of a series of actions that should focus on deployment of renewable energy and increased energy efficiency;
  40. Calls on States to give high priority to the development of energy-storage systems and alternative fuels and to intensify research efforts in the fields of hydrogen and other fuel cells;
  41. Urges parliaments to support scientific research into biofuel energy, including second-generation biofuels, and encourages the establishment of an international centre of excellence;
  42. Urges States to give serious consideration to the development of infrastructure, such as the so-called "hydrogen highways", for the use of hydrogen technology;
  43. Recommends that research in the field of thermonuclear fusion should be supported and welcomes the ITER project;
  44. Encourages States to attach greater importance in the future to a multilateral response to the challenge of sustainable climate protection in the context of a "global domestic policy", whereby nations commit to ensuring that every political decision is governed by the sustainable development imperative and the need to conserve our planet’s vital natural resources;
  45. Encourages countries to build sound material-cycle societies through the 3R (reduce, reuse, recycle) Initiative;
  46. Calls on governments to pursue large-scale national and international public-awareness campaigns to highlight the need to combat climate change, underscore the importance of renewable energy sources, and draw attention to new technologies;
  47. Urges governments to develop specialized educational and awareness programmes about climate change and its effects, targeting in particular children through the school curriculum and women in rural areas;
  48. Urges the competent authorities to examine whether the close link between worldwide oil prices and regional gas prices in Europe can be justified over the long term;
  49. Insists on the need to promote energy efficiency in all sectors of the economy and society through the rational use of energy in all its applications and the adoption of responsible behaviour in daily life in order to avoid all wastage and thereby save on energy;
  50. Calls on States to encourage the decentralization of solar electricity and heating plants to avoid the transmission losses that result from long supply lines, while also engaging in regional supergrids of renewable energy sources;
  51. Calls on States to support the dissemination of appropriate decentralized technologies at the local level, including small-scale composting and waste-recycling facilities, for green energy production;
  52. Urges States to recognize that this applies in particular to the supply of electricity from solar plants in desert areas, which would make it possible to provide reasonably priced, reliable and sustainable electricity supplies in the desert areas of North Africa, for example, and to supply the countries of the Middle East and North Africa with drinking water from desalination plants, thereby giving fresh supranational impetus to the political struggle against climate change and defusing political tensions;
  53. Encourages the establishment of an international centre of excellence in order to foster biofuel research and development;
  54. Calls on governments to build national competence and expertise in order to master energy technologies associated with the development of renewable energies;
  55. Also encourages IPU Member Parliaments to exchange information on technological development and international cooperation in the area of biofuels;
  56. Urges governments and IPU Member Parliaments to intensify research and technical cooperation in the field of renewable energy, and to actively promote the participation of women in this field;
  57. Encourages the competent authorities to examine the possibility of increasing funding and technological support with a view to developing the production of low-carbon energy in developing countries; confirms that promoting cooperation in this field should increase the number of energy users while reducing carbon emissions and strengthening efforts geared towards reducing poverty;
  58. Invites States to put in place a strategy to combat deforestation, which has harmful consequences both for humankind and for the entire planet;
  59. Invites governments and relevant international organizations to promote environment-friendly agricultural technology, including organic agriculture, in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and biodiversity loss stemming from agricultural activity in developing countries, as well as to enhance sustainable development in those countries;
  60. Encourages States to put in place national strategies - and to enhance those that already exist - with a view to increasing the role of renewable energies in meeting basic energy needs while curbing the environmental effects of their systems;
  61. Encourages the transfer of renewable energy technologies through agreements that guarantee active national participation in the production, marketing and maintenance processes, without neglecting regional cooperation in this field;
  62. Encourages governments to implement appropriate measures to mitigate the negative effects of the current international economic crisis on investment in the energy and environment sectors and on the development of developing countries; urges governments to promote the establishment of an international financial institution - funded by industries that contribute to climate change - for financing the mitigation of severe consequences of climate change and environmental degradation in affected countries;
  63. Calls for policy-making in the area of climate change and renewable energies to be more inclusive of women as key stakeholders and to build on best practices collected through specialized national and international networks, and for women’s participation in overseeing the implementation of international conventions on climate change; further calls for greater cooperation between parliaments and their members, on the one hand, and United Nations agencies working in this field, on the other, especially the United Nations Environment Programme;
  64. Urges governments to make every effort to achieve agreements for establishing a post-Kyoto regime at COP15 in Copenhagen;
  65. Encourages greater awareness of the impact of climate change and optimization of renewable energy resources, including through media campaigns, and urges people to play their part in mitigating climate change through environmental protection programmes aimed at forestation and energy-rationing campaigns;
  66. Encourages governments to invest in environment-friendly real-estate projects that avoid overuse of natural resources, following in the footsteps of the “Blue communities” initiative in Dubai;
  67. Encourages the establishment of pollution-free cities, inspired by the Masdar City initiative launched by the United Arab Emirates in 2006;
  68. Underscores that the global financial crisis and the ensuing economic meltdown should not thwart States’ efforts to protect the environment and reduce the impact of climate change via the use of environment-friendly but costly clean energy; considers that funding for environmental projects and programmes should not be affected;
  69. Calls for the establishment of international awards to recognize efforts aimed at environmental protection and climate change mitigation, said awards to be open to government agencies, private companies, non-governmental organizations and individuals.
* The delegation of the Russian Federation expressed reservations on preambular paragraphs 36, 38 and 40, as well as on operative paragraphs 20 and 38. The delegation of the Islamic Republic of Iran expressed reservations on preambular paragraph 25.

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