AS (2018) CR 13
2018 ORDINARY SESSION
Tuesday 24 April 2018 at 3.30 p.m.
In this report:
1. Speeches in English are reported in full.
2. Speeches in other languages are reported using the interpretation and are marked with an asterisk.
3. The text of the amendments is available at the document centre and on the Assembly’s website. Only oral amendments or oral sub-amendments are reproduced in the report of debates
4. Speeches in German and Italian are reproduced in full in a separate document.
5. Corrections should be handed in at Room 1059A not later than 24 hours after the report has been circulated.
The contents page for this sitting is given at the end of the report.
(Mr Nicoletti, President of the Assembly, took the Chair at 3.35 p.m.)
The PRESIDENT – The sitting is open.
1. Announcement of the 2018 Europe prize
The PRESIDENT – First, I wish to make an announcement. The sub-committee on the Europe prize has awarded the 2018 prize. There were six finalists: Bamberg and Münster in Germany; Cervia in Italy; Issy-les-Moulineaux in France; Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine; and Sopot in Poland. It is my honour to announce that the winner of the Europe prize 2018 is Ivano-Frankivsk in Ukraine. We offer our congratulations to Ivano-Frankivsk on its engagement with Europe, and to our Ukrainian friends.
2. Election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights (continued)
The PRESIDENT – I remind colleagues that the vote is again open for the election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Montenegro in Document 14514 and Document 14529 Addendum 2.
The poll was suspended at 1 p.m. but is now open for voting. The poll will close at 5 p.m. Those who have not yet voted may still do so by going to the area behind the President’s chair.
I remind the tellers that they should meet behind the President’s chair at 5 p.m. The tellers are Mr Rafael Huseynov, Ms Sabina Glasovac, Ms Doris Bures and Mr Marian Lupu.
If possible, the result will be announced before the end of the sitting this afternoon.
3. Questions to Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
The PRESIDENT – I welcome Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe, who will answer questions from members of the Assembly. I remind colleagues that questions must be limited to 30 seconds. Colleagues should ask questions and not make speeches.
Secretary General, welcome to the Chamber for our usual question and answer session. Many important issues are on our agenda, including the preparation of the Elsinore ministerial session; the continued reform of the European human rights convention system and the follow-up to the Copenhagen Conference; and the implementation of the measures to address the new budgetary situation. I am sure that members of the Assembly will want to raise those issues, as well as many others, with you, Secretary General.
Mr KANDELAKI (Georgia, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – Secretary General, you have held your important office for nine years. There is universal consensus, in this building and beyond, that for those nine years the Organisation has eroded. An important example of that erosion is the investigative document that was published on Sunday. Are you willing to take personal political responsibility for what is described in that document? It says that in 2011 you were given concrete information about some of the acts described within it; will you explain to the Assembly why you chose to do nothing? Finally, do you still vigorously support the return of Russian parliamentarians to the Assembly after the Russian Federation’s use of chemical weapons on the United Kingdom’s territory, and with the Russian Federation not fulfilling its obligations – yes or no?
Mr JAGLAND (Secretary General of the Council of Europe) – The European Convention has not been eroded; on the contrary, the European Court of Human Rights is stronger than ever. When I came to the Council of Europe in 2009, the Court’s backlog was 130 000 pending cases. That is why we implemented important reforms in the Court and in the Council of Europe in general, which have helped a lot: the Court is now on safe ground, and the backlog has gone down to a level that the President of the Court has said is manageable. According to the latest report from the Committee of Ministers, execution of judgments has improved a lot.
We have deployed our resources in member countries including Georgia, which according to the Georgian Government has helped Georgia a lot. We have increased extra-budgetary resources for such operations to €60 million – a doubling since I came here. It is not only in Georgia where we have a huge staff on the ground; we also have that in Ukraine and other countries to help them to reform so that not so many applications come to the European Court of Human Rights.
What you are trying to do is divert attention from the serious content of the report by the Independent External Investigation Body, which is about unethical and corruption-like behaviour by some in the Parliamentary Assembly. I was very sad to learn that three former group leaders were involved in that, as well as one who was the leader of a group until yesterday. I recall the following: this is a report about Azerbaijan, and the involvement of Azerbaijan in corruption-like activities in the Assembly.
When it comes to my story, in 2014 I wrote a broad article in The Guardian and in Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung about the situation in Azerbaijan and corruption in the country based on the reports I got. Because of that, in 2015 for the first time I invoked Article 52 of the European Convention on Human Rights, giving me the right to investigate the situation in Azerbaijan, because it had failed to implement an important judgment from the European Court of Human Rights to release a prisoner. In 2016, I started to talk in the Committee of Ministers about the need to invoke Article 46-4 of the Convention, which had never been done in the history of the Council of Europe. At the end of that year, the Committee of Ministers did so, asking the Court to judge whether Azerbaijan is in compliance with its obligations under the Convention.
It is sad for me, but I need to say this in this room: at the time when I and the Committee of Ministers were struggling to get a man out of prison and to get Azerbaijan to comply with its obligations under the Convention, three group leaders in the Assembly and several others mentioned in the report were doing their utmost to undermine our authority vis-à-vis Azerbaijan. That is the sad story we face today, and any attempt to divert attention from that and from the content of the report is totally intolerable. I can talk about many other things, including the Russian Federation and its presence here, but that is not what the report is about; it is about Azerbaijan and possible corruption – unethical behaviour, at least – by several members of this Assembly.
If you want me to go into the situation with regard to the Russian Federation, I will say the following. What the Russian Federation is doing – not paying its contribution to the budget – is totally unacceptable. I have made that clear here before and in the Committee of Ministers. I have said to Foreign Minister Lavrov that it is an obligation under the Convention and under international law – the Vienna Convention on the Law of Treaties – to fulfil those obligations in good faith. That is not happening with regard to the Russian Federation. Actually, there is a rule in the Committee of Ministers that if a member State fails to pay for two years, it must take action against that member State. We will come to the end of that period mid-2019, and then the Committee of Ministers will have to take action against the Russian Federation.
In the meantime, we can deal with the situation because we have a solid economy, thanks to the many reforms we have put in place to have a good budget, which makes it possible for us to finance our activities until mid-2019. I assure you that my advice to the Committee of Ministers will be as adamant as it has been with regard to Azerbaijan and non-compliance with the European Convention on Human Rights.
Lord FOULKES (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group) – I want to follow up Mr Kandelaki’s question on the Russian Federation, because Mr Jagland either misunderstood it or deliberately misinterpreted it. I understand that Mr Jagland is keen to have the Russian Federation in – he said that he wants the money – but is not just a matter of money. I understand he wants the Russian Federation to adhere to our conventions and principles on human rights and the rule of law, but what measures does he propose to ensure that we can enforce those conventions and ensure that the Russian Federation lives up to our principles?
Mr JAGLAND – I am keen to keep the Russian Federation in, and I am keen to follow the rules in this Organisation, which is that the only body that can expel any member State from the Council of Europe is the Committee of Ministers, the high contracting parties to the Convention. There is a rule in the Committee of Ministers that if a member State fails to pay for two years, it must take action. [Interruption.] This is the rule, and I am playing by the rules.
With regard to the Russian Federation’s other obligations to the Council of Europe, it is in the same category as everybody else – every citizen of the Russian Federation can bring their country to the European Court of Human Rights and its rules. The Committee of Ministers is the body that has collective responsibility to implement the judgment from the Court. Therefore, it is important for me to say the following. As long as a member country is here – until the Committee of Ministers decides to the contrary – that country must be held accountable for the benefit of its citizens. For me, the citizens of any member country are the most important thing. We do not exist for member countries; we exist for their citizens. The European Court of Human Rights here in Strasbourg has been very important for the citizens of the Russian Federation. Non-governmental organisations and important historical personalities are now horrified by the possibility that the Russian Federation will fall out of the Convention. Why? Because the Court is the last resort in the process for those in the Russian Federation. That is why it is important to try to find a solution to the problem we face, but such a solution cannot be based on any financial pressure put on this Organisation or any other body. The Russian Federation must pay its contribution, and we must try to find a solution so that we can all move forward together in safeguarding the rights of individuals in that country, and in Azerbaijan, Norway, Sweden, the United Kingdom and elsewhere. That is our mandate, and I will stick to it and to the rules that we have established.
Mr LEŚNIAK (Poland, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group)* – Mr Secretary General, given the results of your activities and those of the Council of Europe, do you still consider yourself to be the right person for this job, and will you really be able to get people to put their trust in the Council of Europe once again?
Mr JAGLAND – Well, you have elected me, and I have already explained our record. We have put the European Convention on Human Rights on a safe footing, which was not true in 2009. The implementation of judgments has greatly improved. We have deployed resources in member States to an extent that is unprecedented in the history of the Council of Europe to help Georgia and Ukraine. There is the biggest action plan ever – worth €30 000 000 – for Ukraine, and the same is true of Georgia and of the Republic of Moldova. We have mobilised extraordinary budgetary resources, of the order of €60 000 000, which has never happened before in the history of the Council of Europe. We have decentralised our resources to help member States to make reforms, so that not so many applications are made to the European Court of Human Rights, and I hope we can move forward with that reform process.
We are facing an economic crisis because of the shortfall of €20 000 000 from Turkey reducing its contribution. We are able to deal with that because we have acted responsibly with regard to our finances over the years. If we had not done so, we would have been forced to take measures that would hurt the whole Organisation. We are even able to cope with the fact that the Russian Federation is failing to pay into the budget, but only until the middle of next year. I assure the Assembly that, after that, I will take the necessary action: it will not happen after I have left, but while I am here. I think the record of the Council of Europe is very good, but we are now dealing with something that is very unfortunate – the corruption and unethical activities of some members of the Assembly. Unfortunately, it is a very sad story.
Mr TERIK (Estonia, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – Mr Secretary General, after the election in the Russian Federation, at which we did not have an observation mission, you sent a letter to congratulate Mr Putin on his re-election. Does that mean that you approve of the result of this election and of the way in which it was carried out, even in occupied territories such as Crimea? What kind of message does that send about our values?
Mr JAGLAND – When it comes to the letter of congratulation, I am in line with all the heads of State in Europe in congratulating Putin on the election. I do not accept the fact that the election took place in Crimea, and the Committee of Ministers and the Assembly have said time and again that we do not of course recognise the illegal annexation of Crimea. The Committee of Ministers has handed down a number of decisions on that matter. By the way, this is the only international organisation that has done so; no others have done so in the way that has been done in the Committee of Ministers and in the Parliamentary Assembly. We have never accepted the illegal annexation of Crimea. When it comes to the presidential election in the Russian Federation, I have to defer to the Office for Democratic Institutions and Human Rights. It is the body with the most authorisation to observe elections – not only on the election day, but beforehand – and I have taken note of its report. In line with the normal practice in international relations, I accepted, with ODIHR’s report on the table, the result of the election that took place in the Russian Federation, as by the way did many others.
Mr NICOLINI (San Marino, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – Last January, our Assemblywoman Elena Tonnini received a summons from the Luxembourg Court for a significant amount of money to recompense an Italian businessman who is supposed to have been defamed in a speech by her. She spoke about certain dealings in San Marino, but every single word was said during a parliamentary session. If a foreign court prosecutes a politician on the basis of an argument made during a parliamentary debate, it means that freedoms are in danger. Mr Secretary General, what more can the Council of Europe do in the face of such a lack of consideration for member State institutions?
Mr JAGLAND – I have no details about this case, but I know that it is before the courts, so I cannot comment on it. That is a basic principle for us. We are in favour of the rule of law, and the Court should rule in this case.
Ms FILIPOVSKI (Serbia, Spokesperson for the Free Democrats Group) – Why did the Council of Europe not condemn the excessive use of force during the arrest of Marko Đurić, a senior government official in the Republic of Serbia, in Kosovo and Metohija on 26 March 2018? How is it possible to reconcile this event with respect for human rights as one of the basic principles of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe?
Mr JAGLAND – We are very concerned about what happened on that day. We have of course spoken with the Serbian authorities, who have informed me about it, and we are certainly in contact with the Kosovar authorities as well. We hope that it will not further harm the negotiations between Priština and Belgrade that are being facilitated by the European Union. It is very important to avoid things such as those that occurred that day.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. We will now group the questions in threes.
Mr GOUTTEFARDE (France)* – From Israeli flags being burned in Germany in protest against the fact that Jerusalem is the capital of the Jewish State, to Jewish synagogues being attacked in Sweden, a failure to prosecute people referring to Holocaust camps, and kosher bakeries being attacked in my own country, there have been lots of examples of attacks against Jews and of anti-Semitism in Europe. Do you think that there is a rise in anti-Semitism or Holocaust denial in Europe, and how can the Council of Europe respond to such phenomena?
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. Ms Hovhannisyan is not here so Mr Huseynov.
Mr R. HUSEYNOV (Azerbaijan) – The major philosophy behind culture, sport and science is to bring human beings and countries closer together. Unfortunately, sometimes those things are used as supplementary tools in political confrontations. For example, the great upcoming football festival, the World Cup, has always been eagerly awaited by the whole world; however, the positive mood of it could be disrupted by some countries’ politically motivated refusal to participate. I would like to know your attitude to such an approach and what appeals the Council of Europe can make to prevent such undesirable trends.
Mr KIRAL (Ukraine) – The fact that you congratulated Putin on his reappointment was a shameful act, but how could you not have mentioned in your letter, and condemned, the illegal elections that were held in the illegally annexed Crimea? You call for us to protect the rights of Russian citizens, but a ruling by the Russian Federation’s constitutional court overruled the mandate of the European Court of Human Rights, so how can we protect them?
Mr JAGLAND – I am as concerned with the rise of anti-Semitism in many parts of Europe as Mr Gouttefarde. We always condemn those kinds of actions. A new and important element of the Council of Europe’s work is what we are doing in schools to get all young people on the continent to learn about human rights, the rule of law, our common obligations and that we have to co-exist, regardless of religion, wherever we live. The competencies have been worked out over many years and are based on scientific work. They are now being distributed to schools throughout the continent and will be used as much as our competencies for learning languages were in the past. That is one very important action from our side.
Since you come from France, Mr Gouttefarde, you will recall another important thing: the judgment that social media is obliged to close down hate speech and anti-Semitism if it appears on that media. That has gained support from the European Court of Human Rights. It is very important not only that we work with young people to teach them about the culture and standards in Europe, but that we use law enforcement instruments against any kind of hate speech or anti-Semitism, and that some countries have laws making Holocaust denial unlawful. There is a legal issue, which shows the importance of the European Court of Human Rights.
I cannot say anything to you, Mr Huseynov, about the thing you mentioned, but I believe that any cultural or sporting event should be seen as a way of bringing nations and people together. That is my general view. However, sport and cultural events are always in the charge of independent organisations, and they are to decide on such things.
Coming back to the elections in the Russian Federation, the Russian Federation is a member State and it is absolutely normal that I send congratulations when elections take place in all member States. We have made our position clear time and again, contrary to all other international organisations. Time and again, the Committee of Ministers has made the decision that the annexation of Crimea is illegal. This Assembly has done the same. There is no doubt about our position.
When it comes to the constitutional court in the Russian Federation, I have made the supremacy of the European Court of Human Rights clear not only to the Russian Federation but to all others—for instance, the referendum on this in Switzerland is coming up soon. I have made it clear that the moment a member country invokes its own constitution and parliament against the European Convention on Human Rights and the decisions of the Court, its membership is over. That is a fundamental principle in the Convention: the European Court of Human Rights holds supremacy vis-à-vis the domestic courts. From the moment a constitutional court rules that a judgment from the European Court of Human Rights cannot be implemented, that country can no longer be a member here. I have made that clear time and again, and I will continue to do so, because it is a fundamental principle on which the Convention is based.
Ms HOPKINS (Ireland) – Two weeks ago we marked 20 years of the Good Friday Agreement. Today, the Good Friday Agreement remains the cornerstone of our commitment to peace and stability on the island of Ireland. No one wants a return to the borders of the past. Brexit poses major challenges to that, with the potentially negative and damaging impact on the Irish border and the Irish economy. We have a very good relationship with our United Kingdom colleagues on the Council of Europe. I ask you, as Secretary General of the Council of Europe, to ensure that as close and as strong a relationship with the United Kingdom is maintained within the context of Brexit.
Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – According to a report, the then ambassador for Azerbaijan came to your office in 2010, as well as later, and told you all about the corruption that was going on. What was the action that you undertook after hearing all the evidence? Did you warn anyone? Did you start an investigation? Or did you do nothing?
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. Mr Villumsen is not here, so I call Ms Şupac.
Ms ŞUPAC (Republic of Moldova) – As you know, the Venice Commission strongly advised the Moldovan authorities not to implement the mixed electoral system at the moment because of the lack of consensus in the Republic of Moldova on the issue and the risk of corruption among majoritarian candidates. What is your opinion of the fact that the Democratic party, which has captured the Republic of Moldova, has ignored that key recommendation by the Council of Europe’s advisory body?
Mr JAGLAND – I can assure Ms Hopkins that we will do everything we can to uphold the Good Friday Agreement, which says that the European Convention on Human Rights applies in Northern Ireland. It was a cornerstone of the Good Friday Agreement. I have no doubt that this will be upheld following Brexit; I have had not heard any signals from the United Kingdom in any other direction. Of course I would also like relations between Ireland and the United Kingdom to be as strong as possible after Brexit, but that is not in my hands.
In his question, Mr Omtzigt said that I was told all about the corruption going on here. That is 100% untrue. That is not said in the report. The investigation commission never asked me for a hearing; if it had deemed that necessary, it would have done it, of course – but it did not do it. It called for a courtesy visit that lasted 10 minutes, where I expressed my appreciation that it had taken on this mission and it trusted that I would support it as much as possible.
When it comes to the ambassador, I would like to provide you with the following information. The first time he came to my office, I was very surprised because I heard two things. One thing was that I was regarded as the biggest enemy of the State of Azerbaijan, and that I had to be worried. That can be testified to by Mr Berge, who was present at the meeting. Secondly, he talked about the corruption in Azerbaijan and how the regime was behaving – how it was treating non-governmental organisations. I was really surprised to hear a representative of this State sit in my office and undermine his own authorities.
By the way, that was one of the reasons – but not the only reason – why I started to act on Azerbaijan, writing the first article: a big article in The Guardian and the Frankfurter Allgemeine Zeitung, alerting the international community to what was going on. Later on, I invoked Article 52 of the Convention, which gives me the right to send an investigation commission to Azerbaijan. When that failed, I started to talk about launching Article 46-4 of the Convention, which has never been used in the history of the Council of Europe. At the end of the day, the Committee of Ministers had no choice but to invoke that article in the Convention.
As I said earlier, it was very sad to learn that, while we were taking those actions in order to get the country to comply with its obligations and release a prisoner, somebody in this Assembly worked against us, undermining our authority. According to the report, three group leaders were involved, including one who until yesterday was leader of your group, sir – you elected him in January this year. And you elected Agramunt, who is a big fish in the report – not only as leader of the group but as leader of the Parliamentary Assembly. That is the truth of the matter.
When I learned about all this and the reports came from different institutions in Europe, I started to say to this Assembly, “You have to investigate it.” When the Bureau meeting on 9 and 10 March 2017 could not agree to establish the investigation body, I wrote a letter to Pedro Agramunt, President of this Assembly, urging him to establish the investigation body. In the letter, I reminded him about the fact that the Parliamentary Assembly is electing judges to the European Court of Human Rights, the Human Rights Commissioner, the Secretary General and the deputy Secretary General, that we could not go on without having trust in the Assembly and that he had to establish the investigation body. I complained about the fact that the Bureau had failed to come to that conclusion.
After my letter, the investigation body was established. Now we have the result. I think it is very important not to try to divert attention from the content of this report. Everybody should take account of it. By the way, this morning, Mr Schwabe, the head of the Socialist Group, said on German radio that he would urge the Bundestag to take away the credentials of Karin Strenz, who is mentioned in the report. I think that is the best way to react. If the impression to the outside world is that one is trying to divert all the attention away from this, then I think we are in a very, very deep crisis – a very deep crisis. It will hurt the whole Organisation despite the fact that we now have a stronger Court than ever, that our presence in member States is stronger than ever, and that member States are implementing judgements better than ever. That is the record, but if it is all undermined by our not taking action according to the report, I will say that, as a human rights man and a rule of law man, I will be very, very sad.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you very much, Mr Secretary General. We must now conclude the questions to Mr Jagland. On behalf of the Assembly, I thank him warmly for his answers. Thank you again.
Ms ŞUPAC (Republic of Moldova) rose.
The PRESIDENT – The last question was not answered, but we will ask the Secretary General to provide a written answer to it.
Colleagues, I must remind you that the vote is still open for the election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Montenegro. The poll will close at 5 p.m., so those who have not yet voted may still do so by going to the area behind the President’s chair. I remind the tellers that they should meet behind the President’s chair at 5 p.m.
(Ms Kyriakides, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Mr Nicoletti.)
4. Climate change and implementation of the Paris Agreement
The PRESIDENT – The next item of business this afternoon is the debate on the report entitled “Climate change and implementation of the Paris Agreement” in Document 14521, presented by the Mr John Prescott on behalf of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development.
In order to finish this debate by 6.30 p.m., I will interrupt the list of speakers at about 6.10 p.m. to allow time for the reply and the vote. I remind members that there is a three-minute speech limit in this debate.
I call Mr Prescott. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and reply to the debate.
Mr PRESCOTT (United Kingdom) – I recall many debates in this Chamber about climate change, and note how the topics debated have changed over the 20 years since I was negotiating the Kyoto Agreement on behalf of the European nations. The topic of debate then was an international framework, and that was controversial, but although we had another American President then who did not want to know along with the one we have got now, that president did not change the commitment globally to want to do something about climate change. It is no longer an argument about the science; it is now an argument about the framework needed to achieve cuts in carbon emissions and at the same time achieve a low-carbon economy.
Some 44 members wish to speak in this debate so I will keep my speech brief to allow more time for others. Therefore, instead of repeating what is in the document, which I hope you have read or can refer to later, I will place it in a framework. The framework started with the Kyoto negotiations, which eventually covered just 46 countries, and we then went on to Paris 20 years later where we got national legislation with targets set, and we are now moving to Poland next year in the conference of the parties for other proposals.
This Chamber has played a major part over those 20 years by producing reports before the important conferences, either at Paris, Copenhagen or elsewhere, to persuade the participants of what they should be doing. We have produced documents, and this one before us today started in 2013, and we have discussed exactly what we need to do.
So the international global legislation was at Kyoto, and then Paris moved the debate on to national obligations, and all the proposals were recommended in our documents here before the conferences. The beauty of that was that parliamentarians made the decisions; they were not necessarily influenced by government. It is ironic that the United Nations recognises that non-governmental organisations can be involved in climate change decisions, but not parliamentarians. The Council of Europe has shown that it has done the thinking well before governments agree with what it says. In that sense, we are effectively influencing these negotiations.
Today’s document is precisely about that: what is the next stage we need to get to? We now have an international framework and a national framework that said that each State must commit itself to a set of goals, although there is a question as to whether it is easier to put your hand up than actually produce a policy that you have agreed to so as to achieve a reduction in carbon by 2050, in accordance with the 80% and 50% targets that were set.
This document says we should come forward with another proposal before the participants arrive in Poland. We first developed this proposal in Morocco, where we said that the legislation should move to a lower level, and that the developing countries and developed countries should work at a lower level. It is called civic co-operation and involves universities, local authorities, and both the public and private sectors. That is how we can contribute to further carbon reductions and further tackle the climate change issue that we are so well aware of and that is more pressing now than ever.
I have been working with Morocco and Ghana to show that we in Britain, and my area of the Humber, can work with these countries, by using our science for agriculture, and using our various advantages and assets with developing countries at a lower level. We are moving towards that, and it will be a third stage: international, national and now we are developing not just local decisions, but decisions working with developing countries as well, as we have been trying to do over the last couple of years with Morocco and are now doing with Ghana. I think that will be one of the next priorities, and we can be ahead of the game on it.
If we are to move to low-carbon economies, we have to change a lot of the infrastructure that feeds the economy, whether on the sea, on the rails or on the road. We in the United Kingdom had the first industrial revolution, but now most of our tunnels cannot take the modern international containers. If we are talking about having a global economy that contributes to reducing carbon, we will have to change and build new systems, in this case new tunnels, as we are trying to do in my country. There is the Chinese example of the development of road and railway belts across many countries, and also at the same time developing climate change and environmental measures by developing low-carbon options with all the countries along the routes.
I also mentioned estuaries in the report. There are about 400 estuaries in Europe; they attract certain industries and they are low-carbon, such as the renewables industry in my area of the Humber, which gives a massive 20% of our power from renewable industries right along the coast. That means we have become an energy estuary, with certain industries, which I spell out in the report so I will not go into the details now. It is important to recognise that things are changing, and we need to change our infrastructure to meet the requirements of global economies, which contribute in logistics to a greater system of moving goods with lower carbon, and move forward in that way. That is true for both developing and developed countries. We have taken the opportunity to spell out in the report the thinking that should go on in Poland this year, with the next thinking being about getting ready for 2020.
One thing I have strongly advocated from 2020 is statutory powers: you accept in law that these are the climate change measures. We in Britain were the only country in 1997 that did that, and others have now done it, but the problem is that there are 190-odd nations and they are not only industrialised countries, and they have to accept a framework that is more than just agreeing because it is right. That is already happening because legislation is now being used in these countries: many hundreds of court cases are taking place in all our countries, where the legislative framework is already beginning to be established, either in the name of clean air or low carbon or other social justice in climate change targets.
This is on the way, and we should encourage it, and this debate, in line with the thinking of members of parliament, is another step towards getting ahead of the game and then arguing for our proposals. If members of this parliament have national targets, they can tackle their own governments in their own parliaments to see that they implement what they have promised. That is an opportunity that we lead here in our global gathering, and we can see that we play a part in the national context, too.
I look forward to the debates and any recommendations, and will listen carefully to what else members say we should do.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Prescott. You have just over five minutes remaining.
I call our first speaker, Ms Rodríguez Hernández from Spain.
Ms RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ (Spain, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe)* – On behalf of ALDE, I thank Mr Prescott for his work. We thank you not only for your report, but for the fact that the question of climate change has been brought to the attention of this plenary. Climate change affects both our societies and our economies in all of our countries. This debate is a way for the Assembly to show that it is committed to this issue, and that we defend the fundamental rights of everyone.
The Paris Agreement was an historic achievement, and it was not the end of a story, but was the beginning of a journey. We have committed ourselves to these targets. We want to ensure we can help build a sustainable future, which we all need. ALDE would also like to make sure that every agreement is more ambitious than the previous one, and that our targets are binding; if they are not binding, the points will remain a dead letter.
ALDE also points out that there is an aspect missing: the implementation of the Paris Agreement. We have submitted some amendments to that effect. Also, our political group has talked about the insular systems and the way in which they could be included. The whole issue and challenge of climate change is, as others have pointed out, global. We are talking about the rights of our citizens to have drinkable water and clean air. It is so important for our economies and our development, and to the right to life.
In the Assembly, we often talk about climate refugees and the report makes perfect sense in that context. There is also the issue of climate disruption. We have seen heat waves and floods, so something is going on and we need to assume our political responsibilities in that regard. On the economic aspect of climate change, we have heard that the cost of climate change has doubled over the past 30 years. It has cost us €436 million so far.
We need to be more ambitious and more proactive. We also need to see this challenge as an opportunity for the modernisation of our economies and to ensure that our industry is more competitive. We want industry to be sustainable and low emission. We also need to use this opportunity to tell our citizens what we can offer them: something sustainable and something lasting for the future. It is an opportunity on which we should all – public sector and the private sector – work together.
I again thank the rapporteur. For us, the fight against climate change is not just about talking about the future; it is about working on the present.
Ms BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR (Iceland, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – I thank the rapporteur for this excellent report. Climate change is an existential threat to humanity. As the report states, there is no planet B.
Hopefully, we are all aware of the seriousness of the threat posed by climate change. The signing of the Paris Agreement in 2015 by 194 countries of the United Nations and the European Union further illustrates a growing awareness and seriousness by the countries of the world. Despite this historic signing, the agreement lacks commitment from some its major parties, most notably the United States. Despite the recent retreat of the United States, over 70% of global greenhouse gas emissions remain covered by national commitments under the Paris Agreement. However, to stop global temperatures rising by more than 2° by 2050, additional efforts are required over the next decade.
I agree with the suggestions in the report that implementation of the Paris Agreement should go hand in hand with work towards the sustainable development goals of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development agreed by the global community in 2016. I also agree with the call on behalf of the Assembly for strong national measures to promote the implementation of the Paris Agreement at all levels of governance. I especially welcome paragraphs 6.1 to 6.12 of the report.
Iceland, a country well known to the rapporteur, can be seen as a frontrunner in the use of renewable energy, with our hydroelectric and geothermal resources, and our relatively clean air and waters, but we cannot relax our commitment. We need to play a full part in the battle against climate change. It seems that even Iceland will not be able to fulfil its commitments to the Paris Agreement in time, despite being the poster child for renewable energy use. That is deeply worrying, but it is also a reminder that the 194 nations that signed the Paris Agreement have to be vigilant. We have a huge responsibility, and it is not enough to just sign the agreement. We need to put in the hard work as well.
Let us bear in mind what is pointed out in the report: developing countries are the most severely affected by climate change, but they carry less responsibility for the cause of the problem, having lower greenhouse gas emissions than developed countries. Inequality among nations is therefore a relevant issue in the discussion on climate change. This inequality must be tackled along with the issue of climate refugees.
Dear colleagues, European leadership is clearly strong in the battle against climate change, but we all have a responsibility to contribute to a cleaner environment and to combat climate change. That is the only way forward to ensure a sustainable future for our future generations, wherever they live. Let us all join hands in doing so.
Ms De PIETRO (Italy, Spokesperson for the Free Democrats Group)* – Climate change is one of the major challenges facing humanity. Our different countries are already facing the consequences of climate change, with rising temperatures and more and more severe weather events, which often lead to natural disasters, desertification, acidification, rising sea levels and coastal erosion. All of that has very serious effects on human health, biodiversity, ecosystems and natural and energy resources. It also has profound effects on the basic infrastructure which is necessary for our economic and social affairs. Climate change also affects security. A shortage of resources, such as water, can lead to migration among affected populations and creates genuine humanitarian emergencies.
Our group is committed to supporting States and non-State actors who are helping to pursue the objectives of the Paris Agreement. Climate change has a serious impact on security and foreign affairs policy, as we have seen in many crisis areas around the world. It is important that the Assembly works towards creating genuine climate diplomacy. Climate change should be a strategic aspect of all diplomatic exchanges. We should support the Paris Agreement via development of low environmental impacts and a reduction in the use of carbon. We also have to double our efforts to demonstrate the link between climate, our use of resources and stability. Parliamentary diplomacy should play a role in spearheading State efforts to move towards compliance with the Paris targets. That is why we are in favour of the resolution and support the work of the rapporteur, although we realise that this resolution, like others adopted at international level, does not, unfortunately, have the binding nature that is necessary to solve these problems.
On what the Assembly can do, apart from calling on member States to act more efficiently, a very important aspect of the resolution is the call for the greater involvement of parliamentarians as parts of delegations to international climate change meetings. This is very important in encouraging national decision makers to move towards the adoption of the legislation we need to tackle and slow climate change. Only by bringing together the various positive examples of action at national, regional and local level can we hope to reverse this trend at global level. Our Assembly’s efforts must continue to push all member States to take practical action with a view to achieving the Paris objectives, together with other future agreements that will have to be more and more ambitious.
Mr KORODI (Romania, Spokesperson for the Group of the European People’s Party) – I congratulate Mr Prescott. As a former minister, he was involved in the Copenhagen and Paris processes. He has done a great job.
In the context of the actions that need to be taken to solve the global issue of climate change and its effects, the implementation of the Paris Agreement is the only way for humanity to achieve that. Limiting global warming to well below the 2° increase requires global and ambitious efforts by all national and sub-national actors. The leadership of the European Union, its member States and other European countries must fill the significant gap left by the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement.
The decision of the United States to withdraw from the Paris Agreement is regrettable, but I want to welcome the large number of non-federal actors, in particular United States states and cities, which have reaffirmed their commitment to meeting the targets set by the Paris Agreement. I believe that Europe must remain a pillar of stability and continuity in global climate talks. We must remain open to finding solutions that will keep international partners, including the United States, involved in climate change talks.
Action to mitigate greenhouse gas emissions and to adapt communities to the effects of climate change should go hand in hand with the sustainable development goals. We are all aware of the societal costs and the economic impact of greenhouse gas emissions that currently affect our societies. The impact on urban infrastructure, public health and social care systems is expected to meet growing and more complex challenges. The responsibility of all sections of society to contribute to vital measures to reverse a trend that threatens life on the planet is crucial. That is why the rationale for parliamentary involvement in the debate and in political action is becoming stronger.
We share the rapporteur’s view about the need to co-ordinate the implementation of the Paris Agreement with the sustainable development goals of the 2030 agenda for sustainable development. I believe that in the specific case of integrated sustainable urban development, local authorities should be empowered to prepare, design and implement local development schemes.
The measures that must be taken by all countries should be based on solidarity between developed and developing countries, and this principle must be observed also among European countries. Ultimately, the success of the climate initiatives can be assured only as the result of all the contributing decisional factors. Parliamentarians, as legislators, have the power to ensure the coherence of the policy.
Ms De SUTTER (Belgium, Spokesperson for the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group) – On behalf of my group, I express our appreciation for this very important and urgent report. As Christiana Figueres justly commented on the World Economic Forum: “Getting 196 countries to agree on climate change was the easy part. Now comes the real work”. To stop global temperatures rising more than 2° by 2050, substantial and sustained reduction in greenhouse gas emissions is required.
Sustainable development includes both ecological sustainability and justice. That means that we should focus on things such as the quality of life, ecological capacity, democracy and justice. That is exactly what the report pleads for. Not only does it recommend a closer involvement of legislators, but it also asks for more solidarity between the developed and the developing countries. That is only a fair thing to ask for since the three countries most responsible for CO2 emissions are China, the United States of America and the Russian Federation, not to mention the European Union. So another member of the Council of Europe, the Russian Federation, along with the European Union, completes the top 10. That is a striking fact as the Russian Federation has still not ratified the Paris Agreement. The report therefore rightfully insists that the Russian Federation, San Marino and Turkey should ratify it.
Africa and Asia will be most affected by climate change. A country such as Bangladesh is already suffering from droughts, floods and extreme temperatures. Vietnam, for instance, will experience first the dramatic consequences of a rising sea level; and let us not forget to mention the small island developing States which, because of their unique features, are even more vulnerable to rapid changes.
The report also refers to the involvement of and consultation with different stakeholders and parties. This is not a new idea, as it was previously proposed in the United Nations initiative on the sustainable development goals. The 17th and final goal is to build partnerships to achieve the previous goals. Even longer ago, nine “major groups” were recorded in the Agenda 21 in 1992, in the Rio Declaration. Groups such as “women”, “farmers” and “indigenous people” have been recorded as three of the “major groups” to be involved in climate change policy.
Top-down steering and a green market need to be supplemented with the creation of networks between governments and all the relevant actors, including parliamentarians. This is the only way to live up to the appealing slogan “think globally, act locally”. However, to act locally, Europe needs financially to support the local level. Therefore, European structural and investment funds should actively contribute to the finance of member States’ integrated energy and climate plans for 2030. I again thank the rapporteur for an excellent report, and thank you for your attention.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Ms De Sutter. The last speaker on behalf of the political groups is Mr Howell.
Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – I am glad that Lord Prescott has not decided to follow the Arsenal football manager, Arsène Wenger, and retire, because this report makes some very good and fundamental points. As it points out, our climate is warming at an alarming rate, and I too look nervously at the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement. However, I want to turn to the issues around the Marrakesh Agreement and the situation in developing countries.
I say this in my role as the United Kingdom Prime Minister’s trade envoy to Nigeria. I mention that to show that this is an example of a parliamentarian being involved with a developing country, and because this is a country that is heading for a population of 400 million people by 2050, making it the third most populous country in the world. It has an economy that has been based on oil and gas, which has led to many problems affecting the currency and sustainability. I have been very pleased to see a political agenda based on diversification of the economy and, in this context, the leadership of Europe in promoting alternatives to oil and gas. The use of solar power is really taking off, and there are now growing areas of solar power installations. It is a very good example of what the report calls well-informed and supportive actors taking a role in this country. Combine this too with moves to make the agricultural economy more sustainable and we have a model for the developing world that I think is second to none. My colleague Cheryl Gillan will speak about electric cars, but let me just say that I think they have a major role in reducing pollution. But in order to take that forward, we need some real policy coherence right across the board to make sure that it works. She will explain more about that.
Finally, in what the report calls the “squeezing of emissions”, I mention the case of plastics. This is not only a question of protecting marine environments, but it is also a case of limiting emissions. I am pleased to see that this is being tackled on a global basis, and it was tackled at the recent Commonwealth Heads of Government meetings in London, where the United Kingdom Government allocated £20 million to curb environmental pollution that has been generated by the manufacturing of plastics. As the report points out, the last four years have been the hottest on record for our planet, and we need to work hard to ensure that we do all we can to tackle the problem of emissions and to reduce them. We need to ensure that we are working globally on this, as it is, above all, a global problem.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Howell.
The rapporteur can reply at the end of the debate, but does he wish to respond at this stage?
Mr PRESCOTT – No, I want to leave more time for the other speakers.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. So we will move on with our speakers’ list.
Ms HOPKINS (Ireland) – Thank you to the rapporteur, John Prescott, for the excellent report. I suppose that the aim of the Paris Agreement was for the first time to bring together nations – not everybody, but most nations – with the main objective of undertaking targets to deal with climate change and adapt to its impact. This obviously is very positive in driving global action.
For the last number of months in Ireland, we have been provided with very strong evidence that climate change is very real. Our action needs to be real, and it needs to be urgent. We have seen the devastating impact of prolonged wet weather, with storms that have resulted in limited fodder supplies and delayed grass growth, which in turn very much have a knock-on effect next year for our farmers and for farm incomes.
Ireland clearly faces a very significant task in reducing its greenhouse gas emissions. I believe, however, that the scale and complexity are not underestimated by the government. Our first statutory national mitigation plan was published last July. It provides a framework to guide the government’s decisions to invest in domestic measures to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. As my United Kingdom colleague stated, those measures include: creating sustainable green jobs; ensuring sustainable food production; deepening our energy security; and making our environment healthier. There are measures in it to support flood risk management. Electric buses for public transportation will be widely introduced from 2019, and from 2021 approximately 30 000 homes will be made more energy efficient every year.
I suppose the point that I would like to make is that Ireland is moving in the right direction, but like every other nation, we have a lot more to do to meet our commitments under the historic Paris Agreement. All sectors must play their part and do their best to reduce climate change impact, which is very real. A sustained, focused effort is required by government, all sectors, business, and every single citizen.
Mr SCHWABE (Germany)* – I thank John Prescott for this excellent report. We have known each other for a long time – at least 10 years – from various climate negotiations and events, so it is good to see him again, and to have a report from him in the Council of Europe.
What does climate change have to do with human rights? The link has been emphasised several times. The rich tend to cause climate change, and will not be as affected by it as the poor, who will bear the brunt of it. An example is Bangladesh, which was just mentioned, where 35 million people live within a metre of sea level; you can imagine what that means for the future. We are standing on the brink of terrible changes. We will have to change the whole world, reorganise all our societies and achieve CO2 neutrality. That will be very difficult – and it will be difficult, too, to implement the necessary national policies, as I know from personal experience in Germany.
The targets are ambitious, but I would like to give some praise and voice some hope. There have been developments in countries where one would never have expected them. Azerbaijan has been mentioned in other contexts, but that country of oil and gas now has solar plants and wind turbines, so it is moving quickly in the right direction.
To come back to climate change and human rights, the great thing about the Paris Agreement was not just that many countries came together for it, but that, for the first time, a human rights element was anchored in its preamble. We have ensured that climate negotiations also deal with human rights. The United Nations Human Rights Council is also looking at climate questions. The United Nations High Commissioner for Human Rights has written a report on the effects of climate change on the full implementation of human rights. In various initiatives, such as the Geneva Pledge of 2015, groups of States, Germany among them, have got together to consider climate change and human rights. This is a very important subject.
A lot of climate change measures, though well intentioned, have adverse effects on human rights. For example, national instruments may affect indigenous populations – an important point to look at. We need to look harder at the connection between the two in years to come.
Ms BARTOS (Hungary) – I thank the rapporteur for choosing this subject, which it is important to raise, because the fight against climate change requires consistency, persistence and will power. In 2015 and 2016, we changed our views a lot on the importance of tackling climate change in international fora. We also underlined the significance of the sustainable development goals.
Interest in these topics may seem smaller nowadays; migration and terrorism have taken their place. Attention is focused on many regional and global problems that give rise to security risks and challenges that have to be met, but climate change is not just a matter for a report, or a topic of debate; it is a key issue for the future of humanity. We have talked a lot about migration in recent years. The Hungarian position emphasises – and I, too, always underline this point – that migration is a symptom, not the cause, of a problem, so first and foremost we have to manage the phenomena causing migration, which include the consequences of climate change.
I completely agree with the report’s urgent messages. The report draws attention to the need for national and international communities to ensure greater engagement and take greater responsibility for achieving our goals. I highlight two points. First, sustainability has personal, social, economic and environmental pillars. The draft of Hungary’s second national climate change strategy covers, for example, the effects of climate change in Hungary; its national social and economic consequences; evaluation of the vulnerability of ecosystems; targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions; methods of adaptation and prevention; and public awareness. That shows the complexity of our approach, and of the solution, and it shows that effort is needed by everybody. Secondly, we are the transitional generation. We are learning what to do, and how to do it. We should not be discouraged, and small steps and results should not be underestimated. Results can be achieved only if we have confidence. Hungary is committed to implementation of the Paris agreement; it was the first European Union country to ratify it.
One more point: in February 2017, the Hungarian national group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union organised a regional seminar for central and eastern European and central Asian countries on the implementation of the SDGs. We think that parliaments also have a key role in this process. Finally, I again thank the rapporteur for his conscientious work, and thank colleagues for their kind attention.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. It is almost 5 p.m., so if any member still wishes to vote in the election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Montenegro, they should do so immediately.
I call Dame Cheryl Gillan.
Dame Cheryl GILLAN (United Kingdom) – May I, too, praise Lord Prescott for this excellent report, and for bringing his experience to bear, to our benefit, in the Council of Europe? As my colleague John Howell said, I want to talk about the reduction of emissions, and particularly a significant contributor to that reduction: the development and adoption of electric vehicles in all member countries. To meet our ambitious targets, we will have to get rid of our gasoline and diesel vehicles. Indeed, countries such as ours have said that they will ban sales of new gasoline or diesel vehicles by 2040; other countries have more ambitious targets.
I want to mention two barriers that we need to address if we are to achieve our goals. The first is the level of investment in electric vehicle recharging infrastructure, which I believe is key to progress. The European Environment Agency produced a report this month that reflected the serious underinvestment in recharging points among our member States. Some, like the Netherlands and Germany, have thousands, but Turkey and Greece have only 76 and 38 respectively. The United Kingdom has only 14 000. A rapidly developed and widespread international recharging and refuelling infrastructure is necessary to give people the confidence to purchase electric vehicles that will satisfy their travel needs. Sales are increasing but market penetration is poor and will grow only if we increase the charging infrastructure. Currently only 10 out of 28 European Union countries have specific incentives for electrical vehicle charging point installation.
Secondly, policy makers should be aware of the new data from the European Automobile Manufacturers’ Association, which shows that at the moment, electric vehicle market share of above 1% occurs only in western European countries with a GDP per capita of more than €30 000. Countries with a GDP below €17 000 have a market share that is close to zero, and that includes many countries in eastern and central Europe. That should be a wake-up call for all policy makers that future decarbonisation measures should be inclusive and not assume that all countries will make progress.
In view of that, I hope that, under paragraph 7 of the draft resolution, the Assembly and the rapporteur will encourage parties to the Paris Agreement to step up their national efforts on climate change, look at ways in which to encourage a widespread recharging infrastructure throughout all our countries, and assist those less advanced countries to help their consumers access the new electric vehicles.
(Sir Roger Gale, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Ms Kyriakides.)
The PRESIDENT – We are now past 5 o’clock, which means that the ballot for electing a judge to the European Court of Human Rights has closed. The counting of the votes will take place under the supervision of the tellers, Mr Rafael Huseynov, Ms Glasovac, Ms Bures and Mr Lupu. I invite them to go at once to meet behind the President’s chair. If possible, the result will be announced before the end of the sitting.
I call Mr Tornare.
Mr TORNARE (Switzerland)* – Let me make several points. First, for reasons that we all understand, the United States has pulled out of the Paris Agreement. It prefers to protect its economic interests rather than its children and grandchildren. Europe therefore needs to show a stronger will to save the planet.
Secondly, representatives have talked about their countries’ signatures to COP 21, but that is a commitment. Countries have signed, but we do not see any results – there is no impact. Such a signature is a responsibility. You are all parliamentarians in your own countries – I am a Swiss parliamentarian in Bern – and I exhort you to ensure that your governments follow up their signatures. Words are one thing but actions are more important.
My third point is to do with public opinion. We all seem to agree here that the climate is warming and changing, but we often hear the opposite. Some pseudo-scientists claim that there is no such thing as climate warming. We need to present the scientific facts, especially in schools, to prove that all this is true.
Fourthly, there is the behaviour of lobbyists. In many of our parliaments, lobbyists pay our parliamentarians and there is corruption. That can really influence crucial debates and votes. We need to combat such deleterious lobbying as a high priority.
Fifthly, I hope that we will set up a green United Nations, with its head office in New York, Geneva or elsewhere so that it imposes what needs to be done to save the planet, as decided in Paris. The future of the planet is not a left-wing or a right-wing issue. To paraphrase Albert Camus, for the planet to continue, we must ensure that we do not deface it.
Ms EBERLE-STRUB (Liechtenstein)* – Scientists have studied the impact of climate change – its effect on the environment and human beings – since the 1970s. The human factor is likely to be the main cause of the global warming that we have witnessed in the past five decades. We have rising sea levels, extreme weather, droughts and floods. All those are forecast for the future, as well as a need for more emergency and reconstruction assistance. There is also a threat to security and, of course, migratory flows are set to increase.
Even in Liechtenstein, we feel the effects of climate change. Temperatures over the course of the past 150 years have increased by 1.9⁰C and the number of summer days since 1971 has increased from 40 to 50 days a year. There is also a lack of snow, which causes a big problem for our ski resorts, which are situated at heights of 1 200 metres or even 1 600 metres.
On the Paris Agreement, Liechtenstein has agreed several pieces of legislation, for example on the emissions trading scheme, CO₂ and energy efficiency. Liechtenstein’s ambition is to ensure that by 2030, we have reduced greenhouse gas emissions by 40% compared with the benchmark year of 1990. The government would like to achieve at least 30% of that target through domestic measures. The biggest savings will be possible through cutting back CO₂ emissions – that is our main target. That will be done through, for example, renovating buildings and promoting heat pumps. Liechtenstein also subsidises the renovation of old buildings, solar panels, photovoltaic systems and ensuring that people who feed into the energy grid with renewable energies get a refund for their contribution.
In transport, there has been an increase in CO₂ emissions duty per tonne of CO₂ emitted and we want to ensure that electric and hybrid cars, and those that use biofuels or solar power, are promoted. Vehicle tax will be reduced for people who use those vehicles. As I have said, 30% of our targets should be reached through domestic measures. The remaining 10% will be achieved through external measures, particularly the international ETS system. We want to ensure that the certificates that are granted are only those that are approved by the United Nations. We hope that our standards will match the gold standard set by the United Nations. For example, we have supported two methane gas plants in Thailand and a water power plant and a biomass power plant in India.
Liechtenstein ratified the Paris Agreement on 20 September 2017 and we will do whatever we can to achieve the targets that we have set ourselves.
Mr O’REILLY (Ireland) – At the outset, I warmly congratulate Lord Prescott on the report. I commend his years of work in this area alongside another very good friend of mine, Sir Alan Meale. Both have pioneered this subject for many a year.
Of course, climate change represents the big contemporary threat to mankind and our whole civilisation. The objective is to stop temperatures rising by 2% by 2050. It is a human rights issue in that it threatens to displace people. It will particularly affect the poor and the vulnerable.
There is evidence of erratic, unpredictable weather in all our countries and across the globe. The cost of remediation – of addressing that type of weather – would greatly exceed the cost of putting the right strategies in place in the first instance.
The Paris Agreement covers 70% of global emissions, despite the regrettable United States withdrawal. National strategies are needed, and I am happy that Ireland has a national mitigation plan. Adaptation in agriculture is needed, but I make a plea for green grass and environmentally friendly agriculture, such as the Irish method, which produces milk and beef in that way. It should be supported, not displaced.
Funding support should be there. The European Union has committed to a 40% reduction in emissions by 2030. We need to achieve the objectives internationally, in the European Union and in all our member States. We need to refocus education and employment, and put employment strategies in green energy in place and link our education to that. We need to have parliamentarians on side, as the report says, and we all have a duty in that respect among our colleagues. We should have international support for the global green fund.
The report sums it up well in saying that while the 19th century was about the inception of industry and the 20th century was about consumption, the 21st century is about sustainability. I agree that the development of electric cars is critical. Technologies are improving. Solar energy needs to be developed and wave energy has enormous potential. Support for university research in this sphere is of the utmost importance. The truth is that a range of strategies, as well as any funding and support offered by bodies such as the European Union, should be linked to the green agenda. If the European Union gives social and support funding for the regions, it should be linked to the green agenda. All types of State funding in our countries should be linked to the green agenda. We need both a universal and a local focus on this grave issue, which I am glad is the subject of discussion.
Mr BLAHA (Slovak Republic) – I very much appreciate the report, especially the parts about solidarity with developing countries. There is a huge historical injustice between the rich countries of the global North and the poor countries of the South. The northern countries had the historical opportunity to use the industrial revolution for their welfare and progress, without any limits. They have devastated the natural world for two long centuries, and they are much more responsible for the global damage than their southern counterparts. Climate change and the ecological crisis are the results of their industrial growth.
We now tell the poor southern countries to be more ecological, green and restrained in their industrial strategies. Yes, that is of course right, because we need to protect our mother Earth, but it would be fair to compensate them for this historical injustice. That is why I really appreciate the call for solidarity in the report and its connection with the agenda for sustainable development. That is extremely important.
We should realise that post-materialistic thinking is natural for the rich welfare states in Europe: when we overcome the basic material problems of poverty and hunger, we can start to think of post-materialistic values, including ecological issues. That is why it is natural that the European Union is the frontrunner in respect of the green agenda. I am proud that the Paris Agreement was signed during my country Slovakia’s presidency of the European Union. But we Europeans should not only express solidarity with developing countries in their ecological goals; we should express our understanding that it is also about their bravery. They are not well-off metropolitan countries, with strong middle classes in the cities with their postmodern and liberal thinking – no, they still live with their daily materialistic problems: they are poor and they need growth. We should not mentor them, but help them. That is our moral and political responsibility.
The Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is always strict in its criticism of any human rights breaches in the world. Europeans often criticise the Chinese, Asians, Africans, Arabs, Latinos – everybody – but the United States of America withdrew from the Paris Agreement and we comment only very politely in this report. I do not understand that. It is as if we forget that this arrogant American decision could bring much more migration, health problems, hunger and deaths, because of climate change. It was the United States that did not ratify the Kyoto Protocol, and now it is the United States that is going to ignore the commitments of the Paris Agreement. It is not time to be polite – this is a crime against humanity. Why do we not condemn this American arrogance in the report?
Ms McCARTHY (United Kingdom) – I was extremely proud to be part of the Labour Government that passed the world’s first ever Climate Change Act, in 2008. That legislation was ground-breaking at the time, and similar legislation has since been adopted by around 100 other countries. When he was our Deputy Prime Minister, Lord Prescott was very much at the heart of that initiative. The Climate Change Act put a duty on the Government to ensure that the net United Kingdom carbon account for all six Kyoto greenhouse gases will be at least 80% lower in 2050 than the 1990 baseline.
To meet the Paris commitments, we need to see a much stronger sense of political purpose in many countries’ domestic policy. It is accepted that fossil fuels will remain in use until around 2040, particularly in parts of our economies that cannot easily adapt to use electricity generated from renewable sources, but that does not mean that we should exploit to the max all known fossil fuel reserves. If we are to meet the 2 degree target, we must keep the majority of fossil fuels in the ground. If we are serious about environmental protection, there should be no drilling in the Arctic and no exploration of the tar sands. I was proud last year to stand on a general election manifesto that pledged to ban fracking.
One of the greatest producers of greenhouse gases is livestock farming: at around 14.5% of the global total, it accounts for more than emissions from cars, planes, ships, lorries and all other transport put together. It is very unlikely that it will be possible to limit global warming to below 2° without a reduction in global meat and dairy consumption. That is yet another issue that currently politicians simply do not have the moral courage to move forward on.
I wish to finish by paying tribute to my Labour colleague Lord Prescott. Like his home city of Hull, Bristol, the city that I represent part of, sits on a major estuary, near the mighty River Severn. We can learn a lot from what he says on that in the report. Bristol was the first United Kingdom city to be awarded the title of European Green Capital in 2015. Sadly, Brexit means that we will possibly be the last United Kingdom city to receive that accolade. We must ensure that the United Kingdom’s exit from the European Union – if it happens – will not stop collaboration, on a city or nation-State level, to deal with climate change. The report refers to the sustainable development goals; I am glad that Bristol, under the leadership of our elected mayor, Marvin Rees, is moving towards becoming a more sustainable city. It is important that cities take a lead by doing what they can to reduce emissions, with particular attention paid to carbon-neutral housing and better transport systems.
I hope that the report can be used as a stepping stone and that the 47 countries that are represented here at the Council of Europe demonstrate a greater sense of urgency in tackling climate change, a stronger sense of purpose and greater political will. I hope that we can turn the words of the Paris Agreement into action.
Mr LOUCAIDES (Cyprus) – I congratulate Lord Prescott on his excellent report.
Let me begin by referring to the words of Stephen Hawking, who said characteristically: “To save mankind from the threats of climate change, disease and overpopulation, we must colonise Mars within 100 years”. I wonder whether ultimately that solution will be needed to address the huge problem facing the planet today. For nearly 20 years, United Nations negotiators have tried, without succeeding, to establish a legally binding global treaty that would demand that States cut air-pollutant emissions. Similarly, the aim of the Paris climate change summit was to achieve a legally binding agreement so that, with the contribution of all countries, we could keep the increase in global average temperature below 2° above pre-industrial levels. Unfortunately, the result was negative, with countries undertaking only voluntary national commitments – a fact that permitted Donald Trump to announce in June 2017 the United States’ withdrawal from the agreement. Consequently, although the international community approved the agreement, with rave references, no substantial changes have been made since 2015.
For example, although the principle of solidarity is a decisive factor for the effective implementation of the agreement, even the poorest developing countries in the South are waiting for financial assistance to help them to adapt to climate change and to develop new clean technologies. Furthermore, it is clear that policies aimed at regulating the problem through the mechanisms of the market cannot solve the problem of climate change, as they cannot solve the problems of poverty and unemployment, along with so many other social problems that the peoples of the world face. Therefore, as long as economic growth continues to take place within the framework of the existing socio-economic system, with profit placed above everything – before people and the environment – we will continue to approach zero point for the planet.
Given that, in two days, we will have the anniversary of the nuclear disaster at Chernobyl, I conclude my speech in this debate about climate change and the protection of the environment by highlighting the great dangers arising from the ratification by Turkey and the Russian Federation of the agreement for the construction of a new nuclear plant in Akkuyu, on the southern coast of Turkey. The plant will be located 90 km from the Cyprus coast and is being constructed in an area of great seismic activity that is also of particular environmental value. It is more than certain that the consequences of a nuclear accident would be devastating for the entire south-east Mediterranean region.
Mr REISS (France)* – Climate change is not just a question of degrees; it goes to the heart of all our values. In fact, the devastating effects of climate disruption, be they extreme drought or a rise in sea levels, will primarily affect the poorest populations of developing countries, creating conflicts over the control of land, and climate migration to our continent that will be much greater than the influx of refugees we have seen hitherto. Climate disruption is a major challenge for our democracies.
The hope born of COP 21 and the Paris Agreement has given way to a certain disaffection, with the pulling out of the Americans and only lukewarm solidarity from rich countries with regard to the African continent’s challenges in managing the consequences of climate change.
Green growth does not happen on its own, although a great deal of effort has been made to develop renewables. Biomass is the main source of renewable energy in France, representing more than 55% of such energy production and therefore significantly contributing to reducing fossil fuel consumption. Other techniques such as ground-source heat pumps should be developed, yet for developing countries many of those sources of fuel are less accessible and too expensive. That is why Senegal and Morocco are going for photovoltaic energy.
One of the challenges is water management. Beyond 2° of climate warming compared with 1990, every degree will entail a reduction in renewable water resources of 20% for at least 7% of the world’s population. As a result, when water is lacking – say, in a drought – the populations will use surface water, which is not healthy. Floods adversely affect the quality of water and cause sewage plant problems, which often lead to an increase in waterborne diseases. That is a huge challenge, because without safe water, social and economic human rights around health and food no longer exist.
Finally – this is particularly relevant to our continent – commitments to decarbonise the economy are not easy to bring in. Take, for example, the failure of the carbon tax in France. It is clear that applying a tax in just one country leads to a distortion in competition between companies who are affected by it or not. In that area, as in so many that affect climate change, we can achieve something only by working together and co-ordinating between European countries. It sounds bleak, but it is all about our ability to work together, including with the countries in the South, and to shoulder our responsibilities so that we do not disappoint future generations. Congratulations, rapporteur, on this excellent, determining report for the future of our planet.
The PRESIDENT – Mr Madison does not wish to speak, so I call Mr Grosdidier.
Mr GROSDIDIER (France)* – It was important to take stock of how we stand on the implementation of the Paris agreement, because the conclusion of that agreement led to a lot of hope, particularly in the light of the multiple risks that climate disruption is causing all of our populations throughout the world. I thank John Prescott for his excellent report and its resolution, which come with perfect timing.
We know the targets set in 2015 to limit global warming to below 2° compared with pre-industrial levels, and possibly to 1.5°, but where are we at? Countries have presented broad-ranging domestic climate action plans to reduce their emissions and governments have agreed to communicate about their contributions over the next five years when it comes to setting more ambitious targets and informing each other of transparency and monitoring of actions.
Paradoxically, notwithstanding the withdrawal of the United States, the scientific reality of global warming is no longer being called into question. This is a matter of urgency: we have a credit remaining of only 1 000 billion tonnes of carbon to keep within our 2° target, and at current pace that means 20 to 25 years. It really is a matter of urgency. However, things are moving forward: last week in the International Maritime Organization an agreement was reached to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 50% by 2050 compared with 2008. That is very important for maritime transport internationally – it is certainly progress.
The repercussions of the United States’ withdrawal for meeting our objectives will be primarily financial, and Europe cannot compensate for that. We need to start thinking again about international taxes or carbon markets in order to arrive at solutions. The Paris agreement is not just about States; non-State actors such as civil society, the private sector and local and regional authorities also have a role to play in climate change mitigation. To offset the effects of the United States withdrawal, we need to start working with a network of major cities. We know that Democrat and Republican mayors and governors have already stated that they want to meet the United States’ commitments when it comes to reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
We need to be mobilised, because climate change has direct and indirect repercussions on international security and stability, and it will touch the most vulnerable populations. It will lead to the displacement of populations and social and political upheaval. We must ensure that we bring climate policies and commercial policies in sync. By promoting their complementarity, we will be able to guarantee a low-emission, safe and sustainable economy for the future.
Mr HONKONEN (Finland) – I thank Lord Prescott for this excellent report. Climate change is not something that will happen in the future, but the reality of here and now. The measures of the Paris Agreement must be implemented effectively. Under the agreement, 200 nations committed to cut carbon dioxide emissions to a level where global warming would stay below 2°. Nevertheless that is not happening with the current agreement; instead the world is on track for a 3° temperature rise, which would have catastrophic consequences for our planet – for humans, animals and the whole ecosystem.
Luckily, the much criticised United States withdrawal from the Paris Agreement has not had as much of a negative impact as had been feared, thanks to the action of federal states in the United States and business leaders. Even Trump cannot ignore business and the major trend towards green growth. Much of the mitigation and adaptation measures are implemented on a local level around the world. The role of local companies, civil society and communes in pro-climate action is significant.
The huge transformation in the energy sector is a major opportunity for the private sector to create new business and growth through product innovations and new technologies. The decarbonising of society in Europe should be led by the private sector, while the European Union’s task is to set the legal framework and the right incentives for companies. We should encourage actors in the private sector, civil society, academic institutions and local authorities to foster co-operation and co-ordination. We are all in this together, and we should try to diminish confrontation between industry and the State.
I want to make a final point about phasing out fossil fuels, especially coal. The phasing out of coal is a precondition for limiting the global temperature rise to 1.5°C. Most emissions from coal are in the electricity sector, and we already have the technologies needed to replace coal. The phasing out of coal is a relatively easy and cheap way to reduce carbon dioxide emissions, so what are we waiting for? Our climate can no longer afford the burning of coal. Finland has just made the decision to shut down its coal power plants by 2029 at the latest, and I warmly invite others to join us in this progressive and necessary decision.
Ms RAUCH (France)* - I am very honoured to take the floor for the first time in the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe, whose role is to promote and protect human rights in the 47 member States. As a member of the French delegation, I am proud to say a few words about climate change and the implementation of the Paris Agreement. I thank the rapporteur, Lord Prescott, for his excellent report and resolution. I fully support both the expression of the need for solidarity between countries that are developing and those that have developed, and the constructive exchange of good practice on sustainable development.
As the Assembly will know, the Paris Agreement was the first universal agreement on the climate. Since its historic signature in Paris in December 2015, we have had COP 21 and COP 22, as well as COP 23 in Bonn in November 2017 – and we will have COP 24 in Poland in December – which have been held in the same spirit and have revised the commitments. The agreement provides a record in terms of environmental law and really pushes forward the dynamic, despite the media circus around the withdrawal of the United States, because there is no planet B.
Unfortunately, however, we cannot ignore the fact that the results are not at the level required. The President of the French Republic deplored this situation when he opened the One Planet Summit on 12 December 2017, saying that we are losing the battle, and we know it. On 17 April, in speaking to the European Parliament in this city of Strasbourg, he again stressed the consequences of climate change and that there is a need to respond at European level, perhaps by raising the European contribution under the Paris Agreement, and there must be greater mobilisation.
If I may, I will close with a note of hope about the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The French idea is to include the combat against climate change in our constitution, probably in Article 34, which defines which areas are covered by law. If that is done, France will be the first G20 country to insert such a legal category into its constitution. That example could be followed elsewhere, making it possible to set in stone in each State the objectives needed to combat climate change. Yes, we can do what is required to make sure that our planet survives and is a pleasant place on which to live.
The PRESIDENT – I congratulate you on your maiden speech, Ms Rauch.
I call Mr Coaker.
Mr COAKER (United Kingdom) – I congratulate my friend and colleague Lord Prescott on a brilliant and excellent report. Like many members, I am both a father and a grandfather. We all have families, friends and communities, and the report is yet another wake-up call for all of us. There have been many fine contributions this afternoon, and we have all talked about how good the report is, but there is also a sense of frustration. Yes, progress has been made and there has been some movement forward, but I think the Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe is now asking: can we not do this a little bit more quickly, and can we not have more urgency across not only our continent but the world in dealing with this problem? Time after time, we see the ice melting and we see the consequences of climate change, yet the reaction is often bureaucratic and slow, somehow putting obstacles in the way of responding to that change. I very much see the report as a wake-up call, with the Council of Europe speaking up and speaking out to the people of this continent and beyond by stating that such a response must come more quickly.
We have heard about many policies – clean energy, electric cars and the quicker phasing out of coal – and all of those will play a part. However, there is not just one solution or policy objective that will bring about the required changes; we need all of them together if we are to do so. Lord Prescott mentions sustainable development in the report, and it is incredibly important that many of the signatories to the Paris Agreement were among the poorest countries in the world. They wanted development, but they recognised that if it was to bring them lasting prosperity, it had to be sustainable development. What an example that is to those of us in the developed world – that we who use the vast majority of this planet’s resources can bring less developed countries along with us. I say that we have a moral obligation to them to look at what we can do to make sustainable development a reality; otherwise, we will get climate refugees, and development in the world will not be sustainable.
Yes, this is a wake-up call. Let us not sleepwalk into the disaster that may occur, but be optimistic about the fact that, if we adopt the report’s recommendations, in 2050 – I will not get there, but a lot of members will, and my children and grandchildren certainly will – people will be able to look back at this report by the Assembly and see it as yet another milestone on the road to doing something about climate change in the world.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Coaker. Mr Roca is not here, so I call Ms Smith.
Ms SMITH (United Kingdom) – I congratulate Lord Prescott on an excellent report, as many people have already said. It is worth noting that John Prescott first became a member of this Organisation in 1973, and he has been here on and off since then. He has pursued an interest in climate change for many years, and was one of the driving forces behind the Kyoto Agreement on climate change, which he mentioned in his speech, while serving as the Deputy Prime Minister of the United Kingdom.
The report is completely right to point out that climate change is “the most important threat to mankind”, with the future of the next generation and the sustainable development of our planet being at risk. The real challenge is how we deal with a global crisis of this scale. In many ways, that is what the Paris Agreement of 2015 is trying to grapple with. As the draft resolution quite rightly points out, there is no planet B.
If we are to deal with climate change effectively, it is clear that, as the report states, this cannot just be left to multinational agencies. We have to allow and encourage all levels of governance to draw up strategies that embed responses to climate change at every level of society. As someone who serves on the Environment, Food and Rural Affairs Committee in my own country, I was particularly pleased to see that the report refers to sustainable agriculture and species adaptation, which it is crucial to encourage in both the developed and the developing world. It is imperative that European nations stand together to make sure that the sustainable development goals agreed in 2015 are met. Climate change is deep-rooted in industrial expansion, and western economies have for too long underestimated the need for collective action to deal with environmental issues.
In relation to this, Brexit is unhelpful, to say the least. The issue of environmental standards is a hot topic in the United Kingdom, with opinion divided about whether they can be maintained in post-Brexit Britain – if, indeed, Brexit happens. For me, as a delegate from the United Kingdom, this underpins the importance of the role the Council of Europe has to play in maintaining a collective approach on this issue. It can shine a light on the responses of individual governments and send a message to countries that have yet to ratify the Paris Agreement. The Paris Agreement embodies a global solution for the climate, and parliamentarians have a moral duty to deliver on it: unborn generations are depending on our success, and we cannot afford to fail.
Mr GAVAN (Ireland) – I welcome the report and the draft resolution, and congratulate John Prescott on the excellent work that he has done.
There is no single action to meet the challenge of climate change, and no single State has the power to reverse climate change. It will take many actions by all States to protect our environment. The Paris Accord brought 195 countries together to work collectively to reduce the effects of climate change. It sets out a long-term emissions reduction goal of keeping the global temperature increase well below 2°C while pursuing efforts to limit the rise to 1.5° C.
The nations involved in COP 21 agreed that they would all be required to work towards ensuring that the earth’s temperature does not rise above that critical point, as 2° is recognised as being the tipping point for preventing massive effects of climate change. The agreement demonstrates a recognition of the changes we are experiencing in our climate and a commitment to lowering our carbon emissions.
The American decision to pull out of the agreement is deeply disappointing, short-sighted and stupid. It is a classic decision of unfettered capitalism, where short-term greed trumps humanity’s long-term interest. The United States of America is, of course, the second largest greenhouse gas polluter in the world. The European Union has also set obligations: an overall reduction of at least 40% in greenhouse gas emissions by 2030 compared with 1990 levels.
What we are required to do is simple: cut carbon pollution as much, and as fast, as possible. However, that will be possible only if there is a shift towards the public good rather than private gain. It will require prioritising public investment and regulation over the greed of free market economics. Unregulated markets lead to an unregulated climate. We know where that is leading us: we are seeing the effects of climate change; we are experiencing more erratic weather patterns; and since the 1990s, sea level rises of 3.5 cm per decade have been observed around the Irish coast.
Finally, when talking of climate change, we must also be aware that developing world States are now feeling its effects. The principles of climate justice must be at the forefront of delivering the goals of the Paris Accord. Europe must be a beacon of hope in the battle to contain climate change in a manner that recognises and supports those principles.
Ms CHRISTOFFERSEN (Norway) – I too would like to thank Mr Prescott for his very important report. Climate change is a fact. Unless we are able to do what has to be done, we are through – not tomorrow, not the day after tomorrow, but soon. If we do not stop global temperatures rising above 2°, we will lose control. Thus a great responsibility is placed on our shoulders. People want to contribute. As politicians, it is our responsibility to enable them to do so through systematic transition to a sustainable circular economy and by giving them the tools that they need to contribute.
In 1859, one quite controversial scientist launched his theories under the title “On the Origin of Species”. His name was Charles Darwin. Nearly 100 years later, his theories became more broadly accepted. Today, mankind is about to change the premise of his evolution theory in a way that even Darwin himself could not possibly have foreseen. Climate change threatens to exchange further evolution based on survival of the fittest with the question of humanity’s pure survival. That is frightening.
In my youth, the Moody Blues were a popular prog rock band. In 1970, they released their famous album “A Question of Balance”. The cover is a picture of mother earth, covered by pollution. Through the fog, we spot a discouraged Albert Einstein. By the way, they also had two albums called “To Our Children’s Children’s Children” and “Days of Future Passed”.
That was just before the 1972 Stockholm conference on the human environment, which was reaffirmed in Rio 1992 with Agenda 21. That recognised “The integral and interdependent nature of the Earth, our home.” We have had follow-ups in Kyoto, Buenos Aires, Haag, Bonn, Berlin, Copenhagen and Johannesburg, and Rio+10, Rio+20 and Paris 2015.
The Norwegian Climate Minister is worried. There is far too little progress. We are behind schedule and, even more worryingly, off track when it comes to important parts of the Paris Agreement. Instead, we tend to turn negotiations into discussions of technicalities that go far above the heads of ordinary people. We know what we have to do, but no one seems to want to pay the price. We would rather engage in buying and selling quotas. However, at the end of the day, the price will inevitably be higher. We have known that for decades, but we still hesitate to act.
Maybe I sound like a prophet of doom, but I am still an optimist. A lot has been achieved, but even more needs to be done at a much higher speed. It is up to us. It is high time we take on our responsibility.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you very much. Is Mr González Taboada here? No.
I call Mr Kern.
Mr KERN (France)* – This is a very serious time; time is pressing. In 2002, Jacques Chirac, the then President of France said, “Our house is burning down and we’re blind to it.” Now, with the Paris Agreement, the international community has decided to take up the issue of the planet’s future.
That is only common sense, because the future of the planet depends on the future of humankind. Global warming brings potentially dire consequences. The melting of the ice caps leads to a rise in sea levels, which could drown thousands of islands and cities such as Amsterdam, Miami and Tokyo. It could involve the disappearance of one sixth of all animal species. Poor harvests resulting from climate change could lead to famine and soaring food prices. Europe will not be spared either, with episodes of freezing weather and, at the same time, a rise in temperatures.
What will happen? There will be massive shifts in population. In 2015, 1 000 inhabitants of the Bikini Islands in the Marshall Islands asked to resettle in the United States because of the threat of rising sea levels. While the situation will be difficult in Europe, it will be even worse in Africa. How will we cope with the arrival of millions of people fleeing drought in Africa or violent cyclones in Asia? We need to act now.
In 2004, France adopted the environment charter, which has a constitutional weight. It says that everyone has the right to live in a balanced environment, conducive to health, and that everybody has a duty to participate in the conservation and improvement of the environment. Those two principles should guide our thoughts on how to stem climate change.
I deplore the withdrawal of the United States from the Paris Agreement when that country produces about 20% of greenhouse gases. Of course they say that they are making efforts to limit the release of such gases, but climate change needs world co-ordination. International organisations such as the Council of Europe have an important role to play because they promote multilateral approaches. Indeed, I encourage Russia, San Marino and Turkey to ratify the Paris Agreement as soon as possible. It is important that every State contributes to the fight against climate change.
The Paris Agreement cannot just be an end in itself. It should lead to strengthened global co-operation and allow for fresh initiatives among signatory States. Colleagues, every one of us must try to move our national legislation on, to limit greenhouse gases and to promote renewable energies. Do not forget Antoine de Saint-Exupéry: we are not inheriting the world from our parents; we are passing it on to our children.
Ms TUȘA (Romania) – Dear colleagues, first and foremost I thank the rapporteur for this timely and in-depth report on climate change and the implementation of the Paris Agreement. The challenge of climate change is a matter of paramount importance. The European Union recognises climate change as an existential threat to mankind. Globally speaking, the increasing intensity of extreme weather events is obvious, including their frequency, and should be acknowledged. These occurrences have claimed many victims among numerous communities, have had an impact on the lives of millions of people across the globe and have resulted in massive material damage by destroying not only infrastructure, but several ecosystems.
The world and the climate are changing, so we should try to change our approach as decision makers when it comes to decisions of major importance. I know it is not easy for companies that feel directly affected by the measures proposed by the Paris Agreement. That is why we have to show that we are really close to them and able to offer them a sustainable alternative so that they can abandon old technologies and instead use the latest generation of low carbon technologies. We certainly do not want to bankrupt such industries, but it is important to show much more responsibility towards the future of our planet and our children. That is why I believe that a new economic vision is required, which truly represents the interests of mankind. To achieve that goal, technological progress is our main asset. More than ever, adapting to the effects of climate change by including specific measures in the process of developing and updating national strategies is becoming increasingly necessary. Moreover, the particularities of each and every State should not be ignored when adjustments are made. At the same time, the reality is that we need much more solidarity between developed and developing countries and to encourage and support any initiative in this direction, however small.
Last but not least, besides socio-economic factors, innovation and technological development, political decisions can make a difference for sure when it comes to addressing efficiently the effects of climate change on the environment. Parliamentarians and legitimate policy makers should combine their powerful resources for the sake of a healthy planet, which is a prerequisite of their citizens’ wellbeing.
In conclusion, I want to stress that apart from its effect on the environment, climate change will affect the life of the population. It will increase pressure on natural resources, leading to economic instability. Only by working together can we make the world we live in a better place for us and our children.
Mr Don DAVIES (Observer from Canada) – Thank you, Lord Prescott, for your report to the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development. The vast majority of Canadians understand that human-caused greenhouse gas emissions are causing climate change, and they want their government to take effective action – not just to avert catastrophe, but because Canadians feel a moral imperative that we have to do more.
Canada is experiencing the consequences of climate change, and the impacts are clear, costly and increasing. Temperatures are rising at twice the global average and are warming at three times the rate in our Arctic zone. Across the country, growing seasons are shifting and plant and animal species are migrating, including invasive pests that carry disease, destroy our forests, and push out native species. Precipitation patterns are changing and the polar sea ice along Canada’s Arctic coast is breaking up earlier, freezing later, and becoming thinner. Ice roads to our remote Arctic communities are melting sooner and disrupting the access of people, goods, and services. Tens of thousands of Canadians have already felt the damage caused by wildfires and flooding associated with climate change, and extreme weather events that used to happen every 40 years can be expected every six.
Yet Canada has been, and remains, a major emitter of greenhouse gases. Previous emission reduction targets were missed, and we will not achieve our 2030 Paris Agreement targets if the current trend continues. However, there is hope and cause for optimism. Provincial governments have shown leadership in Canada’s fight against climate change. For example, my province of British Columbia was the first to introduce a carbon tax on fossil fuels – one that will get more stringent over time. It is also taking a strong stand against the expansion of fossil fuel infrastructure. Ontario has eliminated coal-fired electricity, and Quebec is building a network of electric vehicle charging stations powered by clean hydroelectricity. Furthermore, Ontario and Quebec participate in an integrated cap-and-trade system with California.
Saskatchewan is a world leader in carbon capture, sequestration and use of technology that is vital to fight climate change and which should see widespread use across Europe in the future. Even in a country such as Canada, where citizens want strong climate policy and there is a national strategy for tackling climate change, it is challenging to make smart policy choices coherently over the long term. Our federation needs to build momentum and look for opportunities to co-operate for our climate policies to be successful. Likewise, concerted action among Parliamentary Assembly of the Council of Europe-participating States over the short and long terms is required if we are to succeed as a globe in implementing the Paris Agreement.
Thank you, Lord Prescott, for raising these very important issues. Our planet depends on our addressing them successfully.
Mr LACROIX (Belgium)* – Combating climate warming also means combating social inequality, so I would be in favour of a transition that would really transform our societies and turn us into carbon-poor and really sustainable societies. If that transition is to be tangible, various economic sectors will have to adapt themselves to low carbon production. That does not mean that people will have to be laid off – on the contrary, people will need to be retrained through lifelong education and preparation for new types of jobs. I am also thinking of the gradual suppression of any subsidies of fossil fuels by 2030. We have to strengthen the ability of all citizens, including renters, to improve the energy performance of their housing. Tomorrow’s society will also have to guarantee to all access to green energy at a reasonable price.
I want to consider climate warming from a different point of view: that of gender. People might say that, in this context, gender does not really matter, but that is not true. In southern countries, climate change impacts more directly on women. Natural disasters result in growing inequality between men and women, especially in developing countries, because of the economic activities of the women, who are traditionally involved in agriculture, health care, education or the collection of water and wood. Drought and heavy rainfall can result in an increasing burden for women and make it difficult for them to be educated, educate their children or obtain good health care.
We, here in the Parliamentary Assembly, send recommendations to member States and the world as a whole and we should show a good example. This may not be directly related to climate change, but we use plastic cups during our sessions and sandwiches in the cafeteria are packaged in plastic. We should show that we can follow words with actions and make sure that we replace those.
Mr SHEPPARD (United Kingdom) – I also congratulate John Prescott on the work he has done in getting this debate before our Assembly today. The level of detail and precision in his report must be replicated in our national parliaments if we are to achieve the climate change objectives to which our respective governments are signed up.
In Scotland, most of the government responsibilities in this area have been devolved from the United Kingdom parliament to the Scottish parliament in Edinburgh, and I am pleased to report that the Scottish Government is making good progress. By 2030 every kilometre of public road in Scotland will have the infrastructure required to run electric vehicles, but in advance of that we are committing a lot of money to try to promote active travel so that people walk or cycle rather than get into the car in the first place. We have ambitious energy targets, too. By 2020, which is in two years’ time, 100% of all electricity generated in Scotland will be from renewable resources. This represents a dramatic shift in thinking away from reliance on fossil fuels towards renewable energy. I am particularly proud of the fact that in Scotland we have decided that fracking will have no part in the energy mix of the future and hope to persuade colleagues elsewhere in the United Kingdom of the merits of that approach.
On waste and recycling, by 2025 over 70% of all waste will be recycled, and I am continually impressed by how simple practical measures can have a dramatic effect in this area. In 2014 the Scottish Government introduced a mandatory charge for the use of plastic bags in shops and supermarkets. The results were dramatic. Almost overnight, usage fell by 80% and millions of pounds were raised for good causes, but most importantly every one of our citizens who went shopping had to interface with the public policy, so the effect in raising awareness was dramatic. We must also work with local communities, and not just take government action by itself. That is why in Scotland we have the climate challenge fund, with over £100 million spent on more than 1 000 local community projects designed to raise awareness and achieve material change.
I shall finish by addressing two international dimensions to this debate that have already been mentioned. The first of them is Brexit. Colleagues will know that the United Kingdom is in the throes of leaving the European Union; that is not something that people in Scotland voted for, but it is happening none the less. All sides to that negotiation must ensure that, whatever agreement comes out of it, the ability of the United Kingdom Government to take action in this area is not compromised. Finally, may I also mention the United States of America? Not for the first time, everyone recognises that the most powerful country on earth has abrogated its responsibility and is abstaining from these debates. That means that, more than ever, the nations of Europe must act together and exert global leadership in this matter, not only to protect our own citizens but to protect the citizens of America as well.
Mr THIÉRY (Belgium)* – I also thank Lord Prescott, the rapporteur. He is right that the overwhelming majority of the international community adopted the Paris Agreement setting out the way forward in the fight against climate change. Despite that, however, we have a long way to go in effectively implementing the recommendations, and the decision of the United States of America to withdraw from the agreement severely hampers that.
The agreement is designed to ensure that the average rise in temperature on the planet is kept well below 2 °C compared with pre-industrial levels, while at the same time continuing efforts to limit temperature rises to 1.5°C. The European Union has also adopted a minimal target of minus 40% in terms of internal emissions by 2030 measured against 1990, but we do not yet know whether the European Union will be in a position to lodge a more ambitious objective with the United Nations before 2020.
Implementation of the Paris Agreement must go hand in hand with implementation of the sustainable development goals, in particular in terms of the main political areas, while at the same time highlighting the need for greater solidarity between developing and developed countries. For example, this year Belgium was one of the first countries in the world to issue green State bonds. Thanks to these bonds our country was able to attract more than €4.5 billion, to fund its transition policies in many sectors including energy efficiency, transport, renewable energy and the circular economy and biodiversity. In other words, if we want to find solutions, the first step is to ensure we have the necessary tools, but it is possible.
Creating an effective and adequate regulatory framework is also important, so as to ensure the private sector can become an effective and important stakeholder in the transition to a decarbonised economy, promoting the adoption of more ambitious measures in public tendering and encouraging innovation in the public sector to create a market designed to promote innovative solutions with low-carbon emissions. The objective of COP 23 was to set out practical proposals, but no decision has been taken in terms of substance. The objective of COP 24 will be to implement the policy defined in COP 21. Belgium will comply with its commitments, and is currently drawing up a joint resolution affecting all tiers of government so as to ensure that powers and responsibilities are fairly shared between the different stakeholders.
Ms De TEMMERMAN (France)* – I thank Lord Prescott for an excellent job of work and commend him for his commitment to this key issue of efforts to combat climate change. This is the major challenge for our century, and it is high time to make progress.
In 1988 the United Nations set up the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. Some 30 years have gone by since then, and where are we now? Yes, we have moved forward, but there is still a long way to go. The sustainable development goals adopted by the United Nations in September 2015 are vital to the future of our planet and to our future. I share the rapporteur’s hope that in the different ways that we work in parliament, we will more systematically and effectively promote the SDGs throughout Europe. The SDGs should be involved at all stages of the legislative process; they should be part of all of our policies, social, environmental and economic.
We, in France, have already started to move forward in promoting the SDGs. Our prime minister, Édouard Philippe, has announced that he wishes them to be included in the drafting of legislation when relevant. In order to guarantee the coherence of policies promoting sustainable development and to enhance synergy in implementing both Agenda 2030 and the Paris Agreement, our government has reasserted its commitment to the SDGs at national and international level. Several road maps are being worked on, such as on the circular economy and the implementation of the SDGs, and we are undertaking broad consultation with all stakeholders, including parliamentarians.
When we think of the ban on the use of hydrocarbons or the law on housing or recent legislation on agriculture or healthy nutrition, we recognise that big changes are taking place. I attended COP 23 and the One Planet Summit; I was there as a parliamentarian. Issues of green financing were at the heart of the discussions, and financing is one of the issues taken up in this report. Your proposals, Lord Prescott, are realistic and achievable, and I hope other countries will, having read the report, join us in this work.
Ms D’AMBROSIO (San Marino)* – I thank Lord Prescott for the huge amount of work done on the report, a document that offers a resolution which we will be examining and voting on. Climate change is a priority challenge for all countries, and it is a strategic issue as it will have a direct impact on the future in terms of both quality of life and economic development. We must ensure that national policies increasingly comply with the standards embodied in the Paris climate agreement and the SDGs and that there is growing synergy between developed and developing countries, with the exchange of skills, know-how and equipment. That will ensure we all meet higher global standards and limit the increase in the world’s temperature with all that follows.
I could talk in general terms about the document and how the retrograde step of the United States administration undermines the overall results to be achieved thanks to compliance with the Paris Agreement, but I am the head of the San Marino delegation and my country is one of the nations called upon to sign up to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change. My country is prepared to ratify it in September; that is news hot off the press that I give to you here in the Assembly. That is our first response to the document we are examining. We will also reduce greenhouse gas emissions by 20% by 2030; that is an aim we have set ourselves.
In the time remaining to me, I shall say a little about what San Marino is doing to make its own contribution at a local, and therefore a global, level, because all climate policies should be referred to as “glocal”: we need to act locally to have an effect at global level. The Republic of San Marino has enacted legislation to provide generous tax relief for the purchase and use of electrical vehicles, and we have installed a certain number of recharging points for electrical vehicles. We are also building green routes that criss-cross the country to support sustainable transport. We have adopted two strategic objectives: Organic San Marino, converting farming to organic farming; and a masterplan to transform San Marino into the garden of Europe when it comes to town and country planning.
In 2017, Earth overshoot day – the day on which the world uses up its resources available for the year – was 2 August, which is a very low point indeed. As the report states, there is no planet B. We therefore have to ensure that active policies are in place so that we can link sustainability and development and do not risk squandering our resources, which we have been doing for far too long.
Mr Espen Barth EIDE (Norway) – There is bad news and good news. The bad news, as we have heard, is that if we get this wrong we will make the planet uninhabitable – bad news indeed. The good news, however, is that it is increasingly likely that we can get it right.
Technology is increasingly on our side. We are now in the midst of what has been referred to as the fourth industrial revolution. Unlike previous industrial revolutions, this one comes with the opportunity to ensure more use of clean energy, a more effective use of energy, new means of production, new uses of material and the so-called circular economy. The issue is no longer technology, but policy.
On energy, for instance, solar, wind and hydro power are actually less expensive than fossil fuels. The problem is that they are not necessarily located exactly where they are needed. We need to build broad international grid systems to get electricity from where it is produced – for example from where the wind blows – to where it is needed in industrial plants. We need to break down national barriers to share this energy effectively. There are countries in Europe with an abundance of clean energy, but other countries are still protecting or subsidising their fossil fuel energy. We can work on the politics around that by co-operating and building systems to improve the situation.
Transport is also in the midst of a revolution. In Norway, four out of every 10 new cars will soon be electric. This has been achieved through massive tax benefits for electric and low emission vehicles. With that comes the market and with the market comes the demand for systems – charging stations and so on. We are now developing electric sea transport and have a number of ferries that are all electric. We are also investigating the possibilities for long-term transport with hydrogen-electric hybrid solutions. These things are possible.
We have to think about how we build cities. There are much smarter ways of thinking about how people live, how they move around, how we build and how we think about the reuse of materials to avoid waste and contribute to the circular economy.
My point is that these things are all achievable with the industrial tools that are now available. We now need to build together the policies that can make them happen. We cannot sit down and wait. We have to accelerate this development if we want to meet the Paris goal and achieve the noble goals we have set together.
The PRESIDENT – Because of the time, the final speaker I can call is Ms Puppato.
Ms PUPPATO (Italy)* – I would like to make some positive points – a few decades ago, no one thought we could achieve what we have achieved – to demonstrate what efforts have been deployed, even if there is, of course, so much more to do. There has been a 20% decrease in emissions compared to 1990. In that same year, we had 3% more gross national product, so in fact emissions have gone down by half. We have gone from 17.3% to 9% of worldwide emissions, but, as the GNP of Europe demonstrates, a great margin of improvement is still required.
Mr Prescott’s proposals are extremely positive. He underlines the urgency that is required, as well as the need to reinforce the circular economy and the need for a low carbon emissions economy. I want to make two important points in particular. We have to ask member States to implement tax policies that favour low emission processes, rather than traditional processes, and products that do not contain primary or secondary raw materials, which, unfortunately, still exist on the market and create a great deal of damage. We must promote eco-design and research by making use of all the tools available in European funds thanks to the work of the European Parliament. This will enable us to bring down fluorinated gases and those that come from hydrocarbons, which have such an impact on our air.
In terms of GDP, some member States waste less than half the amount of other member States, so there is great room for manoeuvre in the efforts deployed to reduce the impact of European products on the environment. That is something that should truly be taken into account.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. The speeches of members on the speakers list who have been present during the debate but have not been able to speak may be given to the Table Office for publication in the Official Report. I remind colleagues that type-written texts can be submitted, electronically if possible, no later than four hours after the list of speakers is interrupted.
Lord Prescott, as rapporteur you have five minutes to respond to the debate.
Mr PRESCOTT (United Kingdom) – This has been an excellent debate, with so many speakers. Rapporteurs like to see their reports being debated by so many members. I thank everyone for their kind comments about the report, which was not produced solely by me but by the secretariat and all of us who got together in committee to debate these issues and come to our conclusions. I thank them all.
A number of themes have come out of the debate. The President of the United States came up quite often. In Kyoto, it was another United States President, President Bush, who told us he would take no notice. He did not believe in the science, but what happened next? United States State governors and industries decided it was necessary to join this great change and the new low carbon revolution in industry. Presidents might say they do not recognise what is going on, but environmental policies have been on the increase and many have followed the Kyoto recommendations. I will not say much about President Trump – I will move on – but he has made the same point. Actually he does not go as far as saying that he does not believe – I do not think he gives many subjects much thought – but he has said that he does not agree. However, he has to go through Congress and he knows that he cannot possibly win that debate. At the moment, therefore, it is not such a terrible thing. I would prefer the United States to be there – make no mistake about that – but, as we have gone on, many measures have been adopted and that is welcome.
Sustainability has been mentioned by almost everybody, which I think is one of the major changes rapidly taking place. At Kyoto we were concerned with the basket of gases. We did not give much attention to diesel but, by God, we have to look at diesel now. The important thing is that the United Nations has brought together all the issues under the heading of sustainability, and it is not just about carbon; it is about health, education and the community we live in. All speakers picked up on that important point. We have moved beyond the issue of carbon alone, important as that is, and are looking at other important factors as well. The emphasis on sustainability is a very important development.
The emphasis on renewables, whether solar or wind, is another important development. At paragraph 15 of the report I mention estuaries. People who live near estuaries ask, “Why pick on estuaries?” Estuaries provide access to new developments in wind technology because this technology has to go out to sea. An American from Massachusetts came to the Humber to have a look at the technology that we have there. Massachusetts has the old assets, as we do in Humber – namely the ports and estuaries that we use for trade – but they do not have assets in the deep sea, the real sea. To reduce the price of renewables we need to have big units that can only be placed out at sea. These estuaries are therefore becoming corridors of growth for renewable energy. The report gives some examples. These are not only energy estuaries but corridors for new types of growth. A whole new industrial development is coming.
Our colleague from Canada, Mr Davies, mentioned trade. In the Humber we have been using wood from Canada for the biomass industries on our estuary. Unfortunately, because our tunnels were built in the first industrial revolution, the containers we receive now are too big to get through them, so we have to make major changes to our infrastructure and logistics to take advantage of the new global trade that is occurring.
One speaker talked about positive developments being brought about by technology and the low-carbon economy. Yes, there is a major challenge but, as I have been involved in the issue for a long time, I think these are exciting times. As one member said, there is a long way to go but we are going in the right direction. Speaking of which, wasn’t it nice to hear the delegate from San Marino, Ms D’Ambrosio, say that San Marino will sign the agreement? We end on a positive note by being able to welcome a new family member to the Paris Agreement. I hope that others who have not yet signed it will do so soon. It is a positive and exciting time and I very much welcome the fact that so many people are going in the right direction on climate change.
The PRESIDENT – Mr Leite Ramos, as the first vice-chairman of the committee, do you wish to comment? That is not the case.
The Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development has presented a draft resolution to which nine amendments have been tabled. I understand that the committee wishes to propose to the Assembly that Amendments 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 to the draft resolution, which were unanimously approved by the committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly. Does anybody object?
As there is no objection, I declare that the amendments to the draft resolution have been agreed.
Amendments 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9 are adopted.
We come to Amendment 2, which is, in the draft resolution, paragraph 4, replace the third sentence with the following sentence: "In this context, urban, estuarial and island development models deserve special support so as to tap the huge potential of green growth in serving both the population and the climate cause".
. I call Ms Rodríguez Hernández to support the amendment.
Ms RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ (Spain)* – We thought that it was important to include islands in this paragraph as they can be an example not only in terms of ensuring sustainable development but in reducing current emissions.
The PRESIDENT – I have been informed that Lord Prescott wishes to propose an oral sub-amendment, on behalf of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development, as follows: in amendment 2, at the end, insert the words: “, as well as low carbon growth and renewable energies”.
It is my opinion that the oral sub-amendment is in order under our rules, but do 10 or more members object to the oral sub-amendment being debated? That is not the case.
I therefore call Lord Prescott to support his oral sub-amendment.
Mr PRESCOTT (United Kingdom) – I hope the Assembly will accept the oral sub-amendment as it increases the importance of the amendment, which is about the growth of remarkable industries on the water and in estuaries.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the oral sub-amendment? That is not the case.
What is the opinion of Ms Rodríguez Hernández?
Ms RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ (Spain)* – I can agree to the oral sub-amendment.
The PRESIDENT – The committee is clearly in favour.
The vote is open.
The oral sub-amendment is adopted.
We will now consider the main amendment, as amended. Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment, as amended? That is not the case.
What is the opinion of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development on Amendment 2, as amended?
Mr LEITE RAMOS (Portugal)* – The committee is in favour.
The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.
Amendment 2, as amended, is adopted.
We come to Amendment 8. I call Ms Rodríguez Hernández to support the amendment.
Ms RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ (Spain)* – As I said earlier, the fight against climate change should involve not only the public sector, which is not able to invest by itself, but the private sector as well. Through this amendment we want to establish a regulatory framework and basis to make such investment more attractive to the private sector so that it will invest in sustainable development.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?.
Mr PRESCOTT (United Kingdom) – At the heart of what the Council agreed before we went to Morocco was the belief that it is necessary to have a public-private partnership in civic arrangements and universities. That is called the civic agreement and is a partnership. The amendment concentrates only on the private sector. I must say, after years of involvement in the issue, that I am not totally convinced that the sector will do it voluntarily. We need co-operation in these areas, not a sole emphasis on the private sector. I am therefore against the amendment.
The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the Committee on the amendment?
Mr LEITE RAMOS (Portugal)* – The committee rejected Amendment 8.
The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.
Amendment 8 is rejected.
We will now proceed to vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 14521, as amended. A simple majority is required.
The vote is open.
The draft resolution in Document 14521, as amended, is adopted, with 78 votes for, 3 against and 4 abstentions.
Congratulations, Lord Prescott.
5. Election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights - results
The PRESIDENT – I can now announce the results of the election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Montenegro.
Number voting: 167
Blank or spoiled ballot papers: 7
Votes cast: 160
Absolute majority: 81
The votes were cast as follows:
Ms Ivana Jelić: 101
Ms Mirjana Popović: 48
Mr Boris Savić: 11.
Accordingly, Ms Jelić, having obtained an absolute majority of votes cast, is elected a judge of the European Court of Human Rights for a term of office of nine years, which will commence no later than three months after her election.
(Mr Jonas Gunnarsson, Vice-President of the Assembly, took the Chair in place of Sir Roger Gale.)
6. Funding of the terrorist group Daesh: lessons learned
The PRESIDENT – Good evening. The next item of business is the debate on the report entitled “Funding of the terrorist group Daesh: lessons learned”, Document 14510, presented by the rapporteur, Mr Phil Wilson, on behalf of Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy.
In order to finish by 8 p.m., I will interrupt the list of speakers at about 7.45 p.m., to allow time for the reply and the vote. I remind members that there is a three-minute speech limit in this debate. I call Mr Wilson. You have 13 minutes in total, which you may divide between presentation of the report and your reply to the debate.
Mr WILSON (United Kingdom) – Thank you, Mr President. When I was granted the rapporteurship for this report almost two years ago, Daesh was at the peak of its strength; today, I think it is fair to say that it is not necessarily at its peak, but that is not to say that it has gone away. This terrorist organisation established a caliphate in Iraq and Syria, imposing a particular translation of Islam that was inhumane, tyrannical, nihilistic and essentially a death cult. Today, after a fierce counter-offensive, Daesh has lost 98% of the land that it once occupied. The caliphate that the terror group established is no more, but, in its time, the caliphate was self-governing and raised billions in revenue to fight for and maintain a pseudo-state based on a warped interpretation of Islam.
Daesh’s most important requirement was the finance to sustain its activities. At its peak, its annual revenue stream was an estimated $3 billion. That made it the richest terrorist organisation in the world, and in history. However, by the end of 2017, it was reported that its annual revenue had tumbled to an estimated $200 million – still a great deal of money, but not what it was receiving in revenue just a couple of years before. At the end of last year, and to date, it occupies only 2% of the land that it held after its first offensives in Syria and Iraq. At its peak, ISIS controlled 60% of Syria’s oil reserves and seven important gas and oil fields in Iraq, including the nation’s largest refinery. This enabled them to secure an estimated $2 million to £3 million per day, or £1 billion a year, through the sale of oil on the black market. However, the success of coalition airstrikes, and oil prices tumbling from nearly $110 per barrel in 2014 to less than $30 a barrel in 2016, meant that Daesh was receiving $4 million a month in oil revenue by June 2017. That represents a 97% fall since 2014.
Another key source of revenue for ISIS had been taxation and protection payments. According to estimates, that has amounted to hundreds of millions of dollars per year. However, as their territory and captive population dwindled, so did their revenue, and Daesh struggled to receive $8 million per month in revenue by June last year. Although that considerable fall in revenue represents a true accomplishment for all partners in the anti-Islamic State coalition, a decline in the group’s finances does not necessarily mean a decline in the external threat that it poses. Daesh will no longer be able to fund a sprawling bureaucracy in Iraq and Syria, which will limit its appeal to a degree, as it will be unable to pay salaries to its fighters, and for their upkeep. However, it no longer needs to fund a pseudo-state and a standing army, so it can focus its resources elsewhere. That will allow Islamic State to prioritise external attacks that will cause chaos and destruction, while attracting maximum publicity, at a fraction of the cost.
Now that ISIS has lost control of most of its territory in Iraq and Syria and no longer has the financial resources it once had, it is anticipated that it will prioritise smaller external attacks. The key tool in doing this has been virtual planning, whereby ISIS fighters identify, convert and groom individuals who carry out attacks through the Internet and social media in the countries around the world where they live. We should not forget that Daesh and other Islamic-inspired groups are now believed to be operating in at least 39 countries around the world, including, in Europe, Albania, Austria, Azerbaijan, Belgium, Bosnia and Herzegovina, Bulgaria, Denmark, France, Georgia, Germany, Italy, Kosovo, the Netherlands, Norway, the Russian Federation, Serbia, Spain, Sweden, Turkey and the United Kingdom. Daesh has claimed responsibility for attacks in France, Belgium, Germany, the United Kingdom, the United States of America, Turkey, Bangladesh, Spain and many more countries. Although foreign fighters are returning home – there are about 5 000 from the European Union area alone – the main threat is seen as coming from those who never journeyed to the caliphate, but remained in their country, radicalised and ready to commit atrocities. The London and Manchester attacks in my country prove that point.
What lessons have we learned from the origins of Daesh’s financing? The main source, as I have said, was oil, but the extraction of oil could be achieved only through the occupation of land; the “state” part of Islamic State was critical. Daesh also raised money from crops, phosphates, sulphur extraction, a salt mine and a cement plant, raising over $600 million in 2014 alone. Then there was kidnapping for ransom, which was worth up to $120 million per year, and the control of bank branches. The Iraqi Government tried to cut Daesh’s access to the international banking system by instructing financial institutions to prevent wire transfers to and from Daesh-held territory. However, in Syria, the Assad regime allowed banks in Daesh-held territory to continue operating, and may even have done business with Daesh.
There is also the looting of artefacts. The main culprits and recipients were private individuals, not necessarily auction houses. Donations from rich individuals were received, but not in the quantities first thought; they were only about 5% of the group’s revenues. The main reason for that was Daesh wanting to remain autonomous.
How did Daesh move its funds via the international financial system? Through the banks it controlled. Also, there were money or value transfer services – a system that involves the acceptance of cash and cheques, and makes payments in cash to a beneficiary, using intermediaries. Hawala is reportedly used by Daesh, and those transactions are impossible to trace because there is no paper trail. Using hawala to fund terrorism via tribes is made possible because of the loyalty and trust that characterise tribes, which offer significant cover to terrorist operations.
Other methods that are relatively new on the scene include pre-paid cards and virtual currencies. Pre-paid cards are a particular concern. They were used by terrorists in the November 2015 attacks in Paris. As there were only small amounts of money involved, it is extremely difficult to trace their movement, and therefore the source of the money that the attackers used. Daesh may have disappeared in the form that we know – it is no longer the land-controlling, revenue-raising terrorist organisation that it once was – but it is still a terrorist organisation that is linked into a network in many countries around the world. It is more important than ever that the world community does all it can to disrupt the movement of terrorist funding.
The G7 established the Financial Action Task Force to combat money laundering and terrorist financing, and all nations should work towards implementing the task force’s 40 recommendations on combating money laundering and financing terrorism and its proliferation. The key issue – the task we want to emphasise – is that we need international co-operation and information sharing. There are weaknesses in the international system, with less than one in five nations receiving a conviction for terrorist financing, even though most have the essential legal tools and regulations.
The Council of Europe adopted the Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime in 1990. In 2005, it was brought about that we could also look at the financing of terrorism. That came into effect in 2008. A lot of work needs to continue to be done, but we have in place the international framework to ensure that the financing of terrorist organisations can be effectively counter-attacked and removed from the global financial system. We need to work together to do that, and the Council of Europe has done a great deal to ensure that we have the framework to achieve that.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you, Mr Wilson. You have three and a half minutes remaining.
In the debate, I call Mr Gavan.
Mr GAVAN (Ireland, Spokesperson for the Group of the Unified European Left) – On behalf of the Group of the European Unified Left, I welcome the report, but with some reservations. We utterly condemn the ideology and tactics of Daesh. We all need to stand against fundamentalism, bigotry, sectarianism and racism.
Daesh was born during the Iraqi insurgency that followed the illegal invasion of Iraq in 2003 by the United States of America and Britain. Daesh and other fundamentalist groups thrive on the chaos and destruction wrought in Iraq, Syria, Libya and elsewhere in the Middle East as a direct result of western military and political interference. That reality cannot be ignored. The other reality that cannot be ignored is that jihadist groups such as Daesh have been covertly supported by Saudi Arabia, Turkey and others.
I heard testimony yesterday from a representative of the Democratic Society Movement of 3 000 Daesh members fighting alongside the invading Turkish army in Afrin in Syria. Serious questions need to be asked about the funding and arming of groups such as Daesh. The Council of Europe and other international organisations should firmly and clearly stop allowing countries and their citizens to provide logistical and financial support to Daesh and other extreme Wahhabi groups.
In 2016, the Assembly passed Resolution 2090 on combating terrorism while upholding human rights standards, which Tiny Kox championed. The resolution referred to the urgent need to cut off the financial lifelines to Daesh and also highlighted the role of foreign fighters. Some member States have failed to abide by this resolution.
A lot of weapons sent by Council of Europe member States to rebel forces in Syria have been captured by Daesh. That allowed them to capture territory and carry out their genocidal attacks on Christians, Kurds and Yazidis. I give particular credit to the Kurdish YPG forces, who bravely and successfully fought Daesh in Syria.
It is hugely important to cut off the revenue streams of Daesh and other extreme jihadist groups. I welcome the report’s call for the swift implementation of the Financial Action Task Force standards worldwide, but it is also extremely important to tackle the covert support that they receive from nation States. That political, financial and military support allows them to operate.
All Assembly members should unite in condemning the use of jihadist groups as proxy forces in the geopolitical battles taking place in the Middle East and North Africa. The Assembly should particularly condemn the Turkish Government’s covert support for those groups, along with Saudi Arabia and other Gulf countries.
Mr DIVINA (Italy, Spokesman for the Free Democrats Group)* – The situation in the Mediterranean is the outcome of wrong policies that the Obama administration implemented. The idea was to free North Africa from dictators, then the Arab Spring destabilised those countries. Presidents Ben Ali, Gaddafi and Mubarak all fell. Bashar al-Assad was the one who was left in 2011, and civil war broke out in Syria. Then a whole set of latent conflicts emerged. Iran was on the side of the Shiites, then the Russians intervened. Hezbollah entered the conflict, and the Kurds were also involved. All those conflicts allowed fundamentalist groups to get closer to one another, which led to the birth of Daesh.
The International Centre for the Study of Radicalisation has told us how Daesh is funded. The income comes from the territories that it occupies. For example, archaeological artefacts are sold to provide revenue. Residents whose territory Daesh occupies also provide revenue, which went from $1.9 billion in 2014 to a great deal more in 2016. In 2017, Daesh lost the two large cities of Mosul and Raqqa. Those are the major urban areas, with the largest populations, which provided greater revenue to Daesh. It has been vanquished militarily, but it is not extinct.
According to certain reports, Daesh is present in 39 countries – including nearly all the member States of the Council of Europe. The Warsaw Convention was the first on money laundering, but there is also the Nicosia Convention, which was signed last year, on the trafficking of cultural goods. Cyprus has ratified that, but we need more signatures and ratifications for the convention to come into force.
The resolution should be supported, but we must co-ordinate policies in all our member States because we must end the funding to this criminal organisation.
Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands, Spokesperson on behalf of the Group of the European People’s Party) – I thank the rapporteur for providing a timely report. Daesh should be beaten on the battlefield and on the financial battlefield, and the commanders of Daesh should be brought to justice.
We are talking about an organisation that commits genocide. In 2016 and again last year, the Assembly decided that Daesh was not only a terrorist but a genocidal organisation. Mr Divina already hinted at that. For that reason, and to keep our citizens safe, we are obliged to ensure that it does not get a penny, and this fight is serious. I therefore wonder whether we should ask our countries to have a follow-up and make sure that, in a year’s time, we know what we have done.
Two more things need to be done that are not yet completely worked out. First, we need to figure out who provided the arms to Daesh. It is militarily beaten, but still, Conflict Armament Research found that weapons from quite a few Council of Europe member States ended up in Daesh’s hands. That does not mean that those countries supplied weapons directly – they may have supplied them indirectly – but extensive research shows that weapons made in the Russian Federation, Bulgaria, Romania and Hungary, along with a very few weapons from countries such as Belgium and the United Kingdom, ended up in Daesh’s hands. Will we ever find out who supplied the weapons with which a terrorist regime committed genocide? Will we ever try to? I was appalled that the Bureau decided not to write a report on that; I shall make a new attempt to make that happen next time.
Secondly, if we say that what Daesh did was genocide, we have to protect our citizens. The rapporteur gave a long list of what Daesh did in our countries, which is minor compared with what it did on Mount Sinjar or what it did to Yazidis and Christians. We should all go home and make sure that our governments start to prosecute these people, because a few thousand of them come from our countries. We may find a few of them among the refugees – among the large number of victims of Daesh, we may find that a few of the perpetrators try to reach our shores. If we do not step up the fight, we will not cut off the next Daesh attack. I sincerely hope that the next time I am here I am able to say that several of our countries are at least prosecuting people from Daesh for genocide, because as yet I have seen no genocide conviction.
Mr BYRNE (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the Socialists, Democrats and Greens Group) – I am proud to speak on behalf of my group and to offer the rapporteur our support, congratulations and thanks.
As the report says, we have now largely defeated Daesh and its caliphate of carnage, but, as we heard from a previous speaker, it is important to remember for a moment what we were taking on. This was a heretical project to build a totalitarian super-state that corralled 67 different nations, home to 1.1 billion of the world’s Muslims, and to wipe out, among that Islamic population, all the glorious tradition and diversity of that faith and replace it with the micro-management of religion around a simple vision – as Daesh commanders were fond of saying, “We love death as you love life.” Absolutely central to that project was an attempt to wipe out the overlapping consensus between Islam and the values enshrined in the European Convention on Human Rights. Daesh wanted to wipe out any notion that there were universal rights and that there was equality before the law. It wanted to wipe out the idea that there was a right to life and any idea that there was a right to liberty and security and to be free of compulsion. It wanted to wipe out the political pluralism that was enshrined in the Medina Charter, one of the foundational texts of Islam. Above all, it wanted to wipe out any right to justice, preferring to administer its justice by throwing people off the top of tower blocks.
The Daesh insurgency, like all insurgencies, was never going to be a battle in which anyone could kill their way to victory. Victory required good politics, which required good economics. That is why if we want to ensure that there is no Daesh resurgence, we have to act now to dismantle the economics of evil. The report is so welcome because it sets out so clearly the multiplicity of funding schemes on which Daesh was able to draw. Armies still march on their stomachs, so someone has to pay to make sure that stomachs are not empty, which is why finance is always a frontline in any major conflict. If we want to shut down Daesh’s freedom to fight, we have to shut down its freedom to finance its fight. There is no silver bullet – there never is – but the report does such a good job of bringing together the battery of different measures required. We must all ask ourselves why our countries are not implementing every single one of the measures set out in the report.
Daesh’s defeat is one more piece of evidence that no injustice can last forever. Let us now make sure that this tragic episode of history is never, never, never allowed to repeat itself.
Lord RUSSELL (United Kingdom, Spokesperson for the European Conservatives Group) – I, too, congratulate my colleague Phil Wilson on his work as rapporteur on what was probably not a terribly pleasant task to perform: looking at the Hydra that in many forms is known as ISIS, IS, ISIL and Daesh. History tells us that these types of organisations are slow to die, and they have an unfortunate habit of reincarnating from time to time, phoenix-like from the ashes, to create more disruption and yet more ashes. Fires feed off oxygen; without it, they are extinguished. Terrorist organisations are dependent on oxygen. It is, though, possible to extinguish them – some of us were very happy in recent days to see the news that the Basque terrorist organisation ETA has finally announced that it has voluntarily brought its campaign of terror to an end and apologised for the many crimes that it committed.
In essence, the report looks into the financial oxygen that has enabled Daesh to exist. It points out some important lessons that we can and must learn from what has taken place, and for which we must look out. Its 14 initial recommendations are distilled into eight summary recommendations, on pages 16 and 17. I have taken two particular lessons from the report. First, we have to be extremely careful, in well-meaning organisations, such as the Council of Europe and other bodies, not to be tempted into what can be seen as gesture politics. I believe strongly that, before we issue a convention, however well intended and well meant, we should ensure that there is sufficient commitment to its signing and ratification; otherwise, we will leave ourselves open to a degree of ridicule. A boat with holes tends to go rather slowly, and eventually sinks.
Secondly, as an Englishman – there are three French speakers to come – I am happy to say that France is an example to us all. What France has done, outlined in paragraphs 93, 94 and 95, is a model for a joined-up response to the sort of threat that Daesh has posed, and a blueprint for action. It is a positive challenge for each member State to try to emulate what France has done so successfully.
Ms LUNDGREN (Sweden, Spokesperson for the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe) – On behalf of the Alliance of Liberals and Democrats for Europe, I congratulate the rapporteur, Mr Phil Wilson, on this important report that deals with the lessons learned about the funding of Daesh – although I would say that they are the lessons learned so far, because I am not so sure it is over: we need only to look around.
The lessons learned can and should be compared with how other structures are acting and have acted throughout the years, because we have seen it before. It is obvious that Daesh used existing criminal routes for drugs, human trafficking and so on, and it also invented new ones. We also know that there a lot of illegal assets around – we will have an important debate on them later in the week – that could be and are used. There are different revenue sources, and more to come, which is another lesson that we must learn. Over the years, we have seen others go down this track, and we can see it in other countries as well, so they are interlinked in a way. However, we must also look into and learn who is providing financing at the beginning. Oil is not there from the beginning, so how do these groups start, and how can we move to stop the finance at source?
Let us be clear: terrorism such as that we have seen from Daesh must be condemned and stopped. The flow of funding must be stopped. We need global action. However, we must remember that there are ideas behind this fight. We see in the report about its use of new technology to recruit, but we must remember that it has also recruited through a vision that people felt strongly enough about to fight for. We must consider that as part of global action if we want it to stop. While I support the report, we must keep that in mind and learn lessons for the future. We must not only fight terrorism with words, laws and so on; we must also be careful with our words. Terrorism can sometimes be used for anything – people can be called terrorists for accusing their president of something. We must also be careful when rooting out intolerant religion, because we are fighting for religious freedom. It is a question not of religion but of interpretation.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. Mr Wilson, do you wish to reply at this stage? That is not the case. You have three and a half minutes left to reply at the end of the debate.
I call Mr Manninger.
Mr MANNINGER (Hungary) – In Europe, 355 people were killed in close to 35 terrorist attacks between 2015 and 2017. Daesh, al-Qaeda and other terrorist organisations are the common enemy for all member States of the Council of Europe as well as the entire world. Although Daesh has lost more than 98% of the territory it once occupied, it has remained a significant threat and will continue to direct and inspire terrorist attacks worldwide. In order ultimately to defeat Daesh worldwide, its sources of finance must be disrupted and cut off.
The international community must declare zero tolerance of terrorism. That must include close co-operation and co-ordination to cut off all possible sources of terrorism financing. We therefore welcome the rapporteur’s comprehensive and detailed report, including the draft resolution. We agree with its findings and conclusions regarding Daesh, as well as other terrorist organisations. We fully agree with establishing even stricter scrutiny at airports and land borders, as stated in paragraph 107 of the report in its conclusions, but we would suggest the inclusion of seaports as well. Furthermore, although it is obviously very difficult to do this, the terrorism financing schemes bypassing the existing financial networks should also be monitored very closely.
We particularly welcome the adoption of the Council of Europe’s convention on offences relating to cultural properties, as they constitute one of the main sources of revenue for terrorism financing. Finally, I must mention that stricter scrutiny at the European Union’s borders is essential and controlling borders – especially the European Union’s external border – is also inevitable.
Mr FRIDEZ (Switzerland)* – I congratulate the rapporteur on a very relevant report, and I share the analysis and conclusions that he put forward. What I have to say does not have a direct bearing on the report and how Daesh managed to contain sources of funding – our colleague has drawn up an exhaustive, accurate list. I would like to pinpoint another issue that flows from that of funding: what has Daesh done with its money? Apart from paying its troops and logistics, Islamic State has used these huge sums to buy all kinds of arms and extending its military power to perpetuate these abominable crimes.
The arms black market is of course lucrative, and one thing we must recognise is that the arms that come from production facilities in our democratic countries can end up in anyone’s hands. It is therefore imperative that we suspend exports of arms to certain countries – unstable countries, failed countries and those situated along an arc from northern Africa towards the confines of Asia. If we export fewer arms to sensitive areas, we can drain the sources of illicit arms purchases on the part of terrorist groups.
This is a complex subject, and we must not forget that the sale and trafficking of arms is a lucrative activity not just for arms traffickers but for arms producers. I will conclude with a comment on my own country, which is listed in paragraph 12.8 of the draft resolution as one of those who have not signed up to the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds from Crime and on the Financing of Terrorism. I bring it to your attention that in December 2014 the Swiss Parliament adopted a law on the prohibition of al-Qaeda and Islamic State groups and similar organisations, which in article 2 prohibits anyone from joining those organisations or providing any kind of human or material support – in other words, financing their activities – whether such an offence is committed in Switzerland or abroad.
Mr SOLEIM (Norway) – This is a highly important issue, which I am glad that the Assembly has put on the agenda. To fight the funding of terror effectively is one of the core tasks in fighting terror in general. A strong police force and intelligence agencies are key to striking down terrorist activities. We need to know what is going on early enough to stop the terrorists before they get the chance to harm innocent people in our countries.
Europe has suffered several terrorist attacks, and we must stand together and co-operate as much as possible to prevent them from happening again. Although police and intelligence are important, we must never forget that the main goal should be that none of our young people gets recruited to terrorist activities at all. To make that happen, our youths need a local community where they feel they have a role and a responsibility. We need to have jobs and good schools and to invite everybody who does not feel quite at home in our communities to participate in the decision-making process as well. We need to put anti-radicalisation work higher up the agenda in each country and local community.
This report points to some very important issues when it comes to funding terror. International standards and co-operation are key to taking down the illegal flow of money between countries, and Norway strongly supports such co-operation. I will therefore remark on the fact that Norway has yet to sign the convention on laundering, as pointed out in the draft resolution at paragraph 12.8. To be clear, Norway is going to sign and ratify the convention as soon as possible. The government is now working on how to implement the convention in national law. We have signed and ratified the 1990 version and will now finish the work on the 2005 version. I encourage all member States to do the same.
Meanwhile, Norway is a strong and active participant in the Financial Action Task Force, of which we have been a member since 1991. We follow its work closely and are implementing it in national law. Right now, our parliament is debating a proposal to strengthen the law on money laundering and terror funding. We have made extensive efforts on this matter in the framework of the European Union and the task force. Today, we again express the firm actions we are taking against this highly important challenge. I hope they will strengthen our collective effort, especially when it comes to virtual currencies.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. Ms Zohrabyan is not here, so I call Lord Touhig.
Lord TOUHIG (United Kingdom) – I welcome this most excellent report, because when we complete a task, we all too often fail to carry out an exercise to learn the lessons about what went right and what went wrong. In debates in the British Parliament on Daesh, all sides have agreed that the coalition fighting it needed a full and comprehensive response, including cutting off its finances. It was only by having such financial resources at its disposal that this evil terrorist organisation could pay its men, encourage the flow of foreign fighters to join it, acquire weapons and sponsor mass murder in the streets of Paris, on the beaches of Tunisia and in the skies above Sinai.
Daesh has looted and sold precious historical artefacts, but who bought them? We should seek out those who did, seize their ill-gotten gains and return the artefacts to the people who lost them. The real owners are the people of the countries that suffered under Daesh.
A key resource for Daesh has been the sale of oil, but who bought it and, in doing so, helped to fund mass murder? Those who bought the oil helped to make Daesh the most commercially successful terrorist organisation in history. Daesh succeeded in hijacking capitalism to serve the aims of terrorism. Airstrikes have helped to degrade the terrorists’ ability to sell oil, but they have not stopped its sale outright. Even now, if we can discover who bought the oil, we should use whatever power we have to punish them. Our intelligence and cyber capabilities should be used to discover who bought the oil. Information sharing by our security services and our financial regulators is key to identifying and pursuing these people, who were working in their own interests and out of greed. If we do not do so now, this will be done against us again. The sale of this oil provided a lucrative source of income for Daesh. It also helped to line the pockets of those who bought it, and they should not be allowed to enjoy their wealth.
Tracking money moving around the globe is more challenging, but in London we have the world’s leading financial centre. We should ask our intelligence services to glean whatever information they can about what Daesh has done with its investments so that we can prevent the further movement of such funds. These are all lessons that can be learned from this whole episode.
Finally, we should look at the role that cyber has played in this conflict. Moreover, we must recognise that cyber needs to be used not just in a defensive capacity but in an aggressive capacity. Cyber has to be used to deter the threat of terrorism. We must use every weapon at our disposal – military, financial and cyber – to defeat terrorism.
Mr BILDARRATZ (Spain)* - It is obvious that those of us from the Basque Nationalist Party – Lord Russell mentioned Spain – know what terrorism is all about. Mr Wilson talked about a globalised society in which we face global risks, and that means that we must work together. We of course support that because the Council of Europe needs to work against terrorism. In particular, we support the focus on the funding of terrorist movements. Mr Wilson also emphasised that the present situation of terrorism and fundamentalism cannot be compared with what prevailed two years ago.
I entirely agree with Lord Russell. In 2001 the Twin Towers fell, and in 2004 192 people were murdered, in a different way, in Spain. In the past few years, Daesh has perpetrated other crimes, but it is quite clear that fundamentalism always finds an echo in terrorism. This makes it necessary for us to work together in the fight against terrorism, particularly with a greater focus on the funding of terrorism. Lord Russell also mentioned that the ETA terrorism movement has ended, but ETA has apologised only to those who were collateral victims, not in relation to those it actually murdered. It has done the most important thing in laying down its weapons and disappearing from the scene, but it must now apologise and recognise that it has caused great damage to our society.
We must also talk about the need to end drug trafficking and human trafficking, particularly in relation to the new technologies used by the traffickers. With 1 kg of heroin, you can buy 300 Kalashnikovs in Afghanistan, so with very little, people can create immense damage. We in the Council of Europe must work together so that the old and the new terrorists see their funding disappear.
Mr GROSDIDIER (France)* – Efforts to combat terrorism have to be undertaken by all of us, but particularly those of us in Europe. We need to dry up the sources of funding for terrorism, because without money, Daesh could never have carried out the internet recruitment campaigns that have led to so many people leaving Europe to go and fight for Daesh. I congratulate our rapporteur, Mr Wilson, on tackling such a key issue. We know that there is no point in arguing about the past; we need to analyse the present and to draw operational conclusions, and that is what he has done.
Drying up terrorist funding requires international solidarity, and we need more solidarity than we have had in the past. Some European countries stand accused of buying oil from Daesh. If that is true, it is very serious and international sanctions should be envisaged. Solidarity in fighting terrorism must also extend to big business. In France, executives from the Lafarge corporation have been placed under formal investigation for the possible funding of a terrorist enterprise. The investigation is under way, and justice should be extremely severe if the allegations are proven. States should set up specialist units to investigate such matters.
The banks involved in money laundering with the intention of funding terrorism must be penalised – we need to consider preventing the commercial operation of such banks – and transactions with Syrian, Iraqi or Libyan banks should be checked very carefully. This means extending this solidarity to the international and multinational arena. The Financial Action Task Force has made some recommendations, including that we should exchange more information among States and that intelligence sharing is enhanced through Interpol or Europol. It is regrettable that so few States make use of Interpol or Europol. Indeed, according to Europol, 85% of the information it gets comes from only five member States, despite the fact that intelligence sharing is crucial in the fight against terrorism. We can, and must, do more.
I welcome what has been done by France in that respect. Hit hard by terrorism, France has taken many steps to cut off funding for Daesh and to make financial establishments aware of the situation. I also welcome what has been done by the Council of Europe. Alongside what we already have, MONEYVAL is a tool that allows us to do more to fight against money laundering in Europe. The additional protocol to the Council of Europe Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism deals with terrorist funding, and I encourage member States to sign and ratify that convention. All States should sign and ratify it; no one can be left out of this chain of solidarity.
Colleagues, we need to talk about this in our national parliaments and ensure that our national legislation does more and more to penalise all those who fund terrorism.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you. Mr Özsoy is not here, so I call Mr Howell.
Mr HOWELL (United Kingdom) – I congratulate the rapporteur on this excellent report. The only change that I would make is to the title. Some extra words should be added, because it is about not just “lessons learned” but actions to be taken. That is important because the report sets out some very useful steps for the future, even though the ground war against Daesh appears to be being won.
I was drawn to paragraph 13 of the report, which points out that Daesh has been named one of the richest terrorist groups in the world. I know that the rapporteur mentioned that. I do not think that it matters that Daesh may have spent most of its money on payments to the fighters that it uses. The point made in the report is that Daesh was able to amass earnings from the territory it controlled, which has made intercepting the flow more difficult and means that the actions on the ground should continue. The use of Iraqi and Syrian independent traders and the potential involvement of the Syrian State in exploiting the extracted oil is to be deplored.
I am an archaeologist by background and so, personally, a great distress has been created by the robbing and looting of cultural artefacts—that is, when they are not being destroyed. They have almost certainly gone into private hands and we need to do all we can to get them back. More importantly, their total context has been lost. I am not sure what we can do to stop that, except to work hard and to drive Daesh out of its homeland.
Reading the report brings home to me how porous the system is for controlling the global spread of funds for Daesh and others. The report has a long list of things that the United Nations, the Council of Europe and individual countries must do. Daesh’s task is actually the simpler one: transferring money. The task of intercepting and stopping those funds is much more difficult. The rapporteur also pointed out Daesh’s use of social media to facilitate payments. We need to think about how we can stop social media being used in that way.
I wish the report the best of luck and emphasise that countries and organisations should take its recommendations and implement them as quickly as possible.
Mr AKTAY (Turkey) – I congratulate the rapporteur on this very detailed and good report; however, I am shocked at the slanderous and militant language of propaganda that I have had to hear in this meeting. Blaming Turkey for supporting Daesh has no shade of reason given the reality of what takes place in the region. It is just the language of propaganda on behalf of other terrorist groups working in the region for the same reasons.
Alongside the United States, some European countries unfortunately support other terrorist groups such as the PKK, YPG or the PYD. They are distinguishing between terrorist organisations, and favouring some terrorist organisations over others. That is the problem. From our point of view, there is no difference between terrorist groups. If you support any terrorist group, you can never succeed in your fight against terrorism. To remind you, we saw that Daesh terrorists who were apparently defeated by the United States and the YPG just shaved their beards, changed their clothes and joined the PKK or the PYD the next day.
Most of Daesh’s terrorist acts are carried out in and against Muslim countries and Muslim populations. Most of Daesh’s victims are Muslims. Kindly remember that when using the words “Islamic terrorism”. These fundamentalist, delusional terrorists are primarily targeting Muslims. There are hundreds more Muslim victims of fundamentalist terrorist acts than perpetrators.
The situation in Syria has been one of Turkey’s primary concerns. Apart from Syria itself, Turkey is the country most heavily affected by the crisis. Like all aspects of the crisis, Daesh has affected Turkey. We have lost people to Daesh’s terrorist attacks. Daesh not only terrorised the region, but undermined Syria’s democratic transition. How was Daesh able to cause such harm? It had the resources. Therefore, the funding of the terrorist group Daesh is an important problem.
We need to be a few steps ahead of terrorist organisations in the fight against terrorism. Terrorist organisations usually share and copy methods from each other. After the pressure on Daesh’s resources, it will probably follow the model of other regional terrorist organisations. In particular, Daesh could utilise PKK’s funding methods. The PKK has an extensive network of illegal revenues including, but not limited to, drug smuggling, human trafficking, illegal border trade, racketeering and extortion. We need to cut all of Daesh’s resources, including its future prospects. That is what I mean when I call for us “to be a few steps ahead of terrorist organisations”. We need to study further the financial sources of other terrorist organisations in the region. All those methods that have been extensively applied by the PKK are possible models for Daesh. Could Daesh survive on other terrorist organisations’ funding models? The PKK was able to survive in the region for 35 years.
Lord BALFE (United Kingdom) – I add my congratulations to the rapporteur.
We have brought many of the problems that we face upon ourselves. Daesh and the instability in the Middle East have largely arisen because of the meddling of Western countries that believe they know how to run Muslim States. One thing that has come out of the last few years is that we do not have the faintest idea how to do that. We have overthrown a number of rather nasty authoritarian regimes, and have put complete instability in their place. Many more people have died, and we are now coming to terms with the problems that we have created. The report goes some way towards doing that; however, many of the problems that Daesh have are because they control territory. Some 60% of their income came because they controlled natural resources and around 40% came from criminal activities, which arose only because they had control of the land. I hope that we can learn some lessons from that.
If the rapporteur has time in his reply, I would be interested to hear why David Lewis, the executive secretary of the Financial Action Task Force, did not find time to meet him or to co-operate with the Council of Europe. That seems to me like something of a dereliction of duty, if I might say so, and it appears clearly in the report.
We see the various ways in which Daesh has moved money, but we also have to look at how confiscation laws work. It has become incredibly easy to move money around Europe illegally. London is awash with money that has come out of the former Soviet Union, out of Ukraine and out of other countries, and there are virtually no controls to deal with it. We do need to look at the whole range of money laundering and at the urgency with which the Council of Europe is taken. I notice that seven countries have not signed the additional protocol on the Convention on the Prevention of Terrorism, and only 11 have ratified. Only nine have signed the Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property and only one has ratified, and it has not even come into force yet. Member States of the Council of Europe are proud of saying how they work with each other and how superior they are to the European Union, but they need to get their act together and make their own conventions work.
Ms TRISSE (France)* – The Islamic State or Daesh has made terrorism a global scourge, given its stated aim of mass murder. In its modes of financing it has shown that the darkest designs are not the sole preserve of tyrannical States, but the modus vivendi of fanatical groups prepared to anything to impose their vision of society and religion.
Money is an essential element of this question: Daesh has been able to commit so many atrocities because it retains the ability to wreak so much harm. It is built on the exploitation of natural resources – oil, but also agriculture – as well as extortion of local populations, trade in hostages and the pillaging of archaeological works. Countries with respect for the rule of law and human rights were slow to wake up to this new reality; in 2014 and 2015, very little was done to stem the movement, which was leaving its bloody trail through a violence-stricken Middle East. Only in 2015, with the increase in attacks outside Iraq and Syria, were well established democracies brought up sharp. The hardest hit countries took measures to drain the funding resources of the Islamic State. In spite of the successes, there is still much to do in respect of international co-operation. I congratulate Mr Wilson on his well-documented report, which outlines some interesting avenues.
I support the implementation of the Financial Action Task Force standards. It is important that all member States sign up to the Warsaw Convention, which deals with the financing of terrorism, and the Convention on Offences relating to Cultural Property. European Union countries need to implement the action plan presented by the European Commission in 2016 dealing with the challenges of tomorrow, in particular crypto-currencies. The fight against the financing of terrorism is not over. We have to step up our efforts and win it, and we must urgently eradicate Daesh.
Mr KÜRKÇÜ (Turkey) – I thank the rapporteur for preparing the ground for bringing about a comprehensive approach to effectively combat Daesh and similar organisations, who, in the past two decades, have been challenging the established world order with an exceptional and unconventional proposition. Contrary to the line of reasoning of almost all modern forms of dissent, Daesh and others are not promising or fighting for the establishment of a new world order. Their promise is death. Deconstructing and modifying the Islamic creed to provide an obscure ideology of transition from this world to the next, they provide a rapid passage following martyrdom – a concept that embraces the individual fighting for Islam as the climax of all values. Death during jihad is the ultimate form of human liberation, from their perspective.
I speak on behalf of a political party and movement, hundreds of whose members have fallen victim to Daesh suicide attacks. In 2015, 31 HDP affiliates fell victim to Daesh suicide attacks in the Suruç district of Şanlıurfa, and 109 pro-peace demonstrators on 10 October 2015, ahead of November’s snap elections, were killed during a twin suicide attack in the midst of a march of tens of thousands in support of a peaceful solution to the Kurdish question. What we have found while investigating these attacks is that all the perpetrators belonged to Daesh. They were permanently under the surveillance of the Turkish police; their movements were followed from their point of departure to the scene of the massacre.
We face two major causes from which Daesh and similar organisations stem, but the report looks from behind a translucent filter, unfortunately. The first is the direct or indirect United States-supported jihadist opposition movements with an eye to regime change in Afghanistan, Iraq and Syria. That provided the Islamist movement initial fuel for an autonomous existence within nation states – with money and arms, logistics and military doctrines. The story begins with the Green Belt strategy put into operation in the 1980s in the Middle East. Daesh is the offshoot of al-Qaeda.
The second major cause is the plight of millions and millions of young men and women in the Middle East and the Arab world without any hope for the future, who in the 21st century comprise the mass of “The Wretched of the Earth”, in Frantz Fanon’s words. Daesh would never have appeared as it has if the United States and big Western powers had not supported Islamic opposition movements and armed them to strengthen their resistance as proxies in the fight for regional and global influence during the Cold War, and if they had refrained from regime change in Iraq and Syria at any price. Daesh would not be able to penetrate into the social fabric of Turkey if the Turkish Government had not cleared the way for them to massacre the Kurds and Yazidis of Syria and Iraq, to block the progress of the Kurdish liberation movement. Military victories may crush the military machine of Daesh, but what we need –
The PRESIDENT – I am sorry, sir, but your time is up. Mr Tilson from Canada is not here, so I call Mr Gouttefarde.
Mr GOUTTEFARDE (France)* – Over the past 30 years, as the report highlights, national authorities and the international community have had to adapt to cope with an increase in terrorist group activities. There are now more and more terrorist groups, which are long-lasting in the Middle East, although we now have more means of combating them. In at least 39 countries, we are supposed to have a counter-terrorism arsenal.
Between January 2015 and October 2017, terrorist attacks in France, claimed by Daesh, left 241 people dead. Daesh’s ongoing development is undoubtedly linked to its financial capacity. It is considered to be one of the richest terrorist groups in the world, and despite all the efforts to dry up its funding, it remains able to carry out mass terrorist attacks. There have been many initiatives: the FATF recommendations, the work done by CODEXTER and MONEYVAL, the G20 action plan against terrorism, the United States/European Union terrorist finance tracking programme and many others such as the “No money for terror” conference. Each such initiative is laudable and each has made a contribution to stemming terrorism. But the terrorist groups are still there, although weakened, and they are adapting their ways of funding to make use of new technologies.
Recently in Norway a study was undertaken of terrorist units that had carried out attacks in Europe between 1994 and 2013. In three quarters of those attacks, no more than $10,000 was involved. It is therefore possible for terrorist organisations to collect money in quite ordinary ways and then spend it in that way.
That brings me to two questions for the rapporteur. First, why are there hindrances to the signing and ratification by some member States of the Council of Europe Convention on Laundering, Search, Seizure and Confiscation of the Proceeds of Crime? Secondly, why do we have so many piecemeal initiatives to counter terrorism? Does that make our efforts less effective?
Mr KLEINWAECHTER (Germany) – I thank Mr Wilson for his report, which contains a lot of pertinent information.
Some action has been taken, especially by the European Union with the new money laundering directive, for example, addressing the issue of prepayment cards. However, that raises issues of privacy, so we have a conflict between our freedoms and privacy versus the security we want. Unfortunately, although Daesh might have failed militarily, it has already succeeded in seeding jihadists, radical Salafists and terrorists all over Europe in our countries.
That is why this draft resolution is so important, especially paragraphs 12.12 and 12.14. Paragraph 12.12 wishes to vet the names of clans and tribes at airports or land borders, so we finally know who is coming here. Paragraph 12.14 draws attention to the use of welfare payments to undertake acts of terrorism, which is also important.
We know that lone wolf operators spread extreme ideological belief in the name of Islam and use welfare money to fund Daesh or similar organisations. What we do not really know is who has come to Europe and into our countries as so-called refugees. The German Government says about 1 000 dangerous persons live in Germany, but in Germany we have accepted 1.6 million people who are seeking help, and there are reports that only half of the so-called refugees have proved their identity, with many thousands refusing to unveil it. Some 728 000 receive welfare while their status is pending and many more are already part of the regular welfare system. As figures from 2017 indicate, €67 million in welfare payments was transferred from Germany alone to Syria. That is a problem, too. We fund in the name of humanity people and beliefs we do not really know a lot about, and Daesh is definitely victorious here. We should prefer the security of our people over funding people with no identity or Salafist groups with cash. We should always be aware that money can be transferred. We must stop funding the wrong organisations, and we must also, of course, uphold high standards in human rights.
I hope there will be a follow-up report so that we can debate these valid questions, but I thank the rapporteur for this very good beginning.
Mr PRESIDENT – As Mr Albakkar, Mr Sabella, Mr Zayadin and Mr Alqaisi are not here, that concludes the list of speakers.
I call Mr Wilson, the rapporteur, to reply. You have three and a half minutes.
Mr WILSON (United Kingdom) – This has been a very interesting debate. The main thing that has come out of it is that this is just the start of the process, as terrorism, and especially Islamic terrorism, is a generational issue; it will not be solved overnight. The final speaker said that he hoped this will be the first of several reports, and I think that is exactly where we will find ourselves. We have recommendations that I hope will lead us in the right direction, and I am sure that over time they will be improved upon, but for now I want to make some remarks about the fundamental struggle we are in.
This is a struggle to preserve our way of life. In Daesh and other organisations like it, we are up against a threat to our way of life. It is a threat to our democracy, human rights and the rule of law, the founding principles of this Organisation, and we must do everything we can to defend them.
On the financing and revenue of Daesh, it made a lot of money when it controlled massive areas of land in Syria and Iraq, but before that its main revenue sources included kidnapping and people trafficking. We must also look at where it got its weaponry. We know about the black market in the Soviet-age military equipment that got “lost” after the Soviet Union collapsed. When Daesh started to occupy land in Iraq, it overran ground that had Iraqi military equipment, which it was then able to use against the Iraqi forces.
This is a fight about ideas. We must defend in every way we can our way of life, because if we do not, nobody else will. What we face in Daesh is a death cult; it puts more favour in death than in life. That is not the way we are, and we need to continue fighting the fight and making sure we take Daesh on in every way we can, including militarily, by restricting its avenues of finance, and also in terms of global governance, by making the global conventions and institutions work properly, which requires working together. We must also use the security services properly and address how to deradicalise those who have been radicalised. This is also about education and giving people around the world hope so that they do not fall into the clutches of Daesh, which perpetrates these crimes.
The PRESIDENT – Thank you.
Does the vice-chairperson of the committee, Dame Cheryl Gillan, wish to speak? You have two minutes.
Dame Cheryl GILLAN (United Kingdom) – This report is the first report by Mr Wilson for the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy. When in 2014 a unified body of 74 international partners became members of the global coalition dedicated to degrading and defeating Daesh, they knew that disruption of Daesh finances was essential to its defeat. Therefore I cannot overemphasise the importance of this report from Mr Wilson and my committee.
Daesh’s perverted ideology has been a stain on the Islamic faith, and that shines clearly through Mr Wilson’s report. It has taken two years to come before the Assembly today, and we know that since the start of the report Daesh has been depleted. Due to its mercurial nature, however, as many speakers today have acknowledged, this might be the first report of this nature, but it might not be the last.
I thank the 19 speakers from 12 countries who have contributed to the debate. I also thank those who co-operated with our rapporteur, Mr Wilson, and the secretariat, which has provided the usual high-calibre support and advice to our rapporteur on this important report. Finally, I think I speak for the entire Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy when I say that we are grateful to Mr Wilson for his diligence in producing a valuable report and a road map for our member States to continue to degrade and defeat Daesh.
The PRESIDENT – The Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy has presented a draft resolution to which four amendments have been tabled.
I understand that the committee wishes to propose to the Assembly that Amendments 4, 1, and 2 to the draft resolution, which were unanimously approved by the committee, should be declared as agreed by the Assembly. Is that so?
Dame Cheryl GILLAN (United Kingdom) – Yes.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone object?
As there is no objection, I declare the amendments agreed to.
Amendments 4, 1 and 2 are adopted.
We come now to Amendment 3.
I call Ms Rodríguez Hernández to support the amendment.
Ms RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ (Spain)* – People are fleeing from war. The report adopted by the European Parliament on the funding of terrorist groups has the same focus, which is why we have submitted this amendment. We need to check the identity of all people involved in suspicious transactions, which is something that has been approved by the European Parliament.
The PRESIDENT – Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?
Mr OMTZIGT (Netherlands) – I should like to propose an oral sub-amendment. I understand the amendment, which is quite useful, but it would remove paragraph 12.12, which is unrelated. Why not leave the original paragraph, and add this as an additional paragraph, 12.13, and re-number all the others?
The PRESIDENT – We cannot see that the oral sub-amendment presented by Mr Omtzigt is in order. It does not help to clarify or to seek conciliation, as far as we understand it, so we will proceed with Amendment 3.
Does anyone wish to speak against the amendment?
Mr WILSON (United Kingdom) – I think I can understand where the mover of the amendment is coming from, but I do not think it is accurately worded as I have no idea what an “opaque regime” is. I know that this is part of the recommendations and I know what is happening in other organisations – France, in particular, is doing its best to ensure that suspicious transactions are looked at – but the wording of the amendment is a problem.
The PRESIDENT – What is the opinion of the committee?
Dame Cheryl GILLAN (United Kingdom) – The committee is against the amendment.
The PRESIDENT – The vote is open.
Amendment 3 is rejected.
We will now proceed to vote on the draft resolution contained in Document 14510, as amended. A simple majority is required.
The vote is open.
The draft resolution in Document 14510, as amended, is adopted, with 50 votes for, 0 against and 3 abstentions.
7. Next public business
The PRESIDENT – The Assembly will hold its next public sitting tomorrow morning at 10 a.m. with the agenda which was approved yesterday morning.
The sitting is closed.
(The sitting was closed at 7.55 p.m.)
1. Announcement of the 2018 Europe Prize
2. Election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights (continued)
3. Questions to Mr Thorbjørn Jagland, Secretary General of the Council of Europe
Questions: Mr Kandelaki, Lord Foulkes, Mr Leśniak, Mr Terik, Mr Nicolini, Ms Filipovski, Mr Gouttefarde,
Mr R Huseynov, Mr Kiral, Ms Hopkins, Mr Omtzigt and Ms Şupac
4. Climate change and implementation of the Paris Agreement
Presentation by Mr Prescott of report of the Committee on Social Affairs, Health and Sustainable Development in Document 14521
Speakers: Ms Rodrígues Hernández, Ms Brynjólfsdóttir, Ms De Pietro, Mr Korodi, Ms De Sutter, Mr Howell, Mr Hopkins, Mr Schwabe, Ms Bartos, Dame Cheryl Gillan, Mr Tornare, Ms Eberle-Strub, Mr O’Reilly, Mr Blaha, Ms McCarthy, Mr Loucaides, Mr Reiss, Mr Grosdidier, Mr Honkonen, Ms Rauch, Mr Coaker, Ms Smith, Mr Gavan, Ms Christoffersen, Mr Kern, Ms Tuşa, Mr Don Davies, Mr Lacroix, Mr Sheppard, Mr Thiéry, Ms De Temmerman, Ms D’Ambrosio, Mr Espen Barth Eide and Ms Puppato
Reply: Mr Prescott
Amendments 1, 3, 4, 5, 6, 7 and 9, and 2 as amended, adopted
Draft resolution in Document 14521, as amended, adopted
5. Election of a judge to the European Court of Human Rights - results
6. Funding of the terrorist group Daesh: lessons learned
Presentation by Mr Wilson of report of the Committee on Political Affairs and Democracy in Document 14510
Speakers: Mr Gavan, Mr Divina, Mr Omtzigt, My Byrne, Lord Russell, Ms Lundgren, Mr Manninger, Mr Fridez, Mr Soleim, Lord Touhig, Mr Bildarratz, Mr Grosdidier, Mr Howell, Mr Aktay, Lord Balfe, Ms Trisse, Mr Kürkçü, Mr Gouttefarde and Mr Kleinwaechter
Replies: Mr Wilson and Dame Cheryl Gillan
Amendments 4, 1 and 2 adopted
Draft resolution in Document 14510, as amended, adopted
7. Next public business
Appendix I / Annexe I
Representatives or Substitutes who signed the register of attendance in accordance with Rule 12.2 of the Rules of Procedure. The names of members substituted follow (in brackets) the names of participating members.
Liste des représentants ou suppléants ayant signé le registre de présence, conformément à l’article 12.2 du Règlement. Le nom des personnes remplacées suit celui des Membres remplaçant, entre parenthèses.
AKTAY, Yasin [Mr]
AMON, Werner [Mr]
ARNAUT, Damir [Mr]
BAKUN, Wojciech [Mr] (JAKUBIAK, Marek [Mr])
BALÁŽ, Radovan [Mr] (PAŠKA, Jaroslav [M.])
BALFE, Richard [Lord] (ECCLES, Diana [Lady])
BARDELL, Hannah [Ms]
BARTOS, Mónika [Ms] (VEJKEY, Imre [Mr])
BECHT, Olivier [M.]
BENEŠIK, Ondřej [Mr]
BERNACKI, Włodzimierz [Mr]
BĒRZINŠ, Andris [M.]
BEUS RICHEMBERGH, Goran [Mr]
BILDARRATZ, Jokin [Mr]
BILOVOL, Oleksandr [Mr]
BLAHA, Ľuboš [Mr]
BLAZINA, Tamara [Ms] (QUARTAPELLE PROCOPIO, Lia [Ms])
BLONDIN, Maryvonne [Mme]
BRASSEUR, Anne [Mme]
BRYNJÓLFSDÓTTIR, Rósa Björk [Ms]
BUSHATI, Ervin [Mr]
BUTKEVIČIUS, Algirdas [Mr]
BYRNE, Liam [Mr]
CHITI, Vannino [Mr]
CHRISTODOULOPOULOU, Anastasia [Ms]
CHRISTOFFERSEN, Lise [Ms]
COAKER, Vernon [Mr] (MASSEY, Doreen [Baroness])
CORLĂŢEAN, Titus [Mr]
CORREIA, Telmo [M.] (MARQUES, Duarte [Mr])
CORSINI, Paolo [Mr]
COURSON, Yolaine de [Mme] (MAIRE, Jacques [M.])
DALLOZ, Marie-Christine [Mme]
D’AMBROSIO, Vanessa [Ms]
DE PIETRO, Cristina [Ms] (CATALFO, Nunzia [Ms])
DE TEMMERMAN, Jennifer [Mme]
DI STEFANO, Manlio [Mr]
DIVINA, Sergio [Mr]
DUMERY, Daphné [Ms]
EBERLE-STRUB, Susanne [Ms]
EIDE, Espen Barth [Mr]
EIDE, Petter [Mr] (WOLD, Morten [Mr])
ESTRELA, Edite [Mme]
FIALA, Doris [Mme]
FILIPOVSKI, Dubravka [Ms] (PANTIĆ PILJA, Biljana [Ms])
FOULKES, George [Lord] (SHARMA, Virendra [Mr])
FRESKO-ROLFO, Béatrice [Mme]
FRIDEZ, Pierre-Alain [M.]
GAMBARO, Adele [Ms]
GATTI, Marco [M.]
GAVAN, Paul [Mr]
GERMANN, Hannes [Mr] (MÜLLER, Thomas [Mr])
GHILETCHI, Valeriu [Mr]
GILLAN, Cheryl [Dame]
GIRO, Francesco Maria [Mr]
GLASOVAC, Sabina [Ms] (BALIĆ, Marijana [Ms])
GOLUB, Vladyslav [Mr] (SOBOLEV, Serhiy [Mr])
GONÇALVES, Carlos Alberto [M.]
GONCHARENKO, Oleksii [Mr]
GOUTTEFARDE, Fabien [M.]
GROSDIDIER, François [M.]
GUNNARSSON, Jonas [Mr]
HAJIYEV, Sabir [Mr]
HAMOUSOVÁ, Zdeňka [Ms] (NĚMCOVÁ, Miroslava [Ms])
HARANGOZÓ, Gábor [Mr] (MESTERHÁZY, Attila [Mr])
HONKONEN, Petri [Mr] (KALMARI, Anne [Ms])
HOPKINS, Maura [Ms]
HOWELL, John [Mr]
HUNKO, Andrej [Mr]
HUOVINEN, Susanna [Ms] (GUZENINA, Maria [Ms])
JANSSON, Eva-Lena [Ms] (KARLSSON, Niklas [Mr])
JENIŠTA, Luděk [Mr]
JOHNSSON FORNARVE, Lotta [Ms] (OHLSSON, Carina [Ms])
KANDELAKI, Giorgi [Mr] (BAKRADZE, David [Mr])
KASIMATI, Nina [Ms]
KAVVADIA, Ioanneta [Ms]
KERN, Claude [M.] (GOY-CHAVENT, Sylvie [Mme])
KIRAL, Serhii [Mr] (BEREZA, Boryslav [Mr])
KITEV, Betian [Mr]
KLEINBERGA, Nellija [Ms] (LAIZĀNE, Inese [Ms])
KLEINWAECHTER, Norbert [Mr]
KOPŘIVA, František [Mr]
KORODI, Attila [Mr]
KOX, Tiny [Mr]
KÜRKÇÜ, Ertuğrul [Mr]
LACROIX, Christophe [M.]
LEIGH, Edward [Sir]
LEITE RAMOS, Luís [M.]
LEŚNIAK, Józef [M.] (POMASKA, Agnieszka [Ms])
LĪBIŅA-EGNERE, Inese [Ms]
LOPUSHANSKYI, Andrii [Mr] (DZHEMILIEV, Mustafa [Mr])
LOUCAIDES, George [Mr]
LUPU, Marian [Mr]
MADISON, Jaak [Mr] (KROSS, Eerik-Niiles [Mr])
MANNINGER, Jenő [Mr] (GULYÁS, Gergely [Mr])
MASIULIS, Kęstutis [Mr] (ZINGERIS, Emanuelis [Mr])
MAURY PASQUIER, Liliane [Mme]
McCARTHY, Kerry [Ms]
MIKKO, Marianne [Ms]
MULARCZYK, Arkadiusz [Mr]
MULLEN, Rónán [Mr] (COWEN, Barry [Mr])
MUNYAMA, Killion [Mr] (HALICKI, Andrzej [Mr])
NENUTIL, Miroslav [Mr]
NICK, Andreas [Mr]
OBRADOVIĆ, Marija [Ms]
OBREMSKI, Jarosław [Mr] (BUDNER, Margareta [Ms])
OEHME, Ulrich [Mr] (BERNHARD, Marc [Mr])
ÓLASON, Bergþór [Mr]
OMTZIGT, Pieter [Mr] (MAEIJER, Vicky [Ms])
O’REILLY, Joseph [Mr]
OSUCH, Jacek [Mr] (MILEWSKI, Daniel [Mr])
PACKALÉN, Tom [Mr]
POCIEJ, Aleksander [M.] (KLICH, Bogdan [Mr])
POLETTI, Bérengère [Mme] (DURANTON, Nicole [Mme])
PREDA, Cezar Florin [M.]
PUPPATO, Laura [Ms] (BERTUZZI, Maria Teresa [Ms])
RAUCH, Isabelle [Mme] (SORRE, Bertrand [M.])
REISS, Frédéric [M.] (ABAD, Damien [M.])
RIBERAYGUA, Patrícia [Mme]
RODRÍGUEZ HERNÁNDEZ, Melisa [Ms]
RUSSELL, Simon [Lord] (EVANS, Nigel [Mr])
SANTA ANA, María Concepción de [Ms]
SANTERINI, Milena [Mme]
SCHENNACH, Stefan [Mr]
SCHIEDER, Andreas [Mr] (ESSL, Franz Leonhard [Mr])
SCHNEIDER-SCHNEITER, Elisabeth [Mme] (LOMBARDI, Filippo [M.])
SCHOU, Ingjerd [Ms]
SCHWABE, Frank [Mr]
ŠEPIĆ, Senad [Mr]
SEYIDOV, Samad [Mr]
SHEPPARD, Tommy [Mr] (GALE, Roger [Sir])
SILVA, Adão [M.]
SMITH, Angela [Ms]
SOLEIM, Vetle Wang [Mr] (MEHL, Emilie Enger [Ms])
SOTNYK, Olena [Ms]
STANĚK, Pavel [Mr]
ȘTEFAN, Corneliu [Mr]
STROE, Ionuț-Marian [Mr]
ŞUPAC, Inna [Ms]
TARCZYŃSKI, Dominik [Mr]
TERIK, Tiit [Mr]
THIÉRY, Damien [M.]
TOMIĆ, Aleksandra [Ms]
TORNARE, Manuel [M.] (HEER, Alfred [Mr])
TOUHIG, Don [Lord] (DONALDSON, Jeffrey [Sir])
TRISSE, Nicole [Mme]
TRUSKOLASKI, Krzysztof [Mr]
TUȘA, Adriana Diana [Ms]
USOV, Kostiantyn [Mr] (ARIEV, Volodymyr [Mr])
VALLINI, André [M.] (CAZEAU, Bernard [M.])
VAREIKIS, Egidijus [Mr]
VEN, Mart van de [Mr]
VOGT, Ute [Ms] (BARNETT, Doris [Ms])
VOVK, Viktor [Mr] (LIASHKO, Oleh [Mr])
WENAWESER, Christoph [Mr]
WIECHEL, Markus [Mr] (NISSINEN, Johan [Mr])
WILSON, Phil [Mr]
YEMETS, Leonid [Mr]
Also signed the register / Ont également signé le registre
Representatives or Substitutes not authorised to vote / Représentants ou suppléants non autorisés à voter
ANTL, Miroslav [M.]
AST, Marek [Mr]
BAYR, Petra [Ms]
DONALDSON, Jeffrey [Sir]
EVANS, Nigel [Mr]
GALE, Roger [Sir]
GATTOLIN, André [M.]
LOMBARDI, Filippo [M.]
LUNDGREN, Kerstin [Ms]
MASSEY, Doreen [Baroness]
NICOLINI, Marco [Mr]
SOBOLEV, Serhiy [Mr]
SUTTER, Petra De [Ms]
WHITFIELD, Martin [Mr]
ZAVOLI, Roger [Mr]
ZINGERIS, Emanuelis [Mr]
Observers / Observateurs
DAVIES, Don [Mr]
O’CONNELL, Jennifer [Ms]
RAMÍREZ NÚÑEZ, Ulises [Mr]
TILSON, David [Mr]
Partners for democracy / Partenaires pour la démocratie
ALQAISI, Nassar [Mr]
AMRAOUI, Allal [M.]
MUFLIH, Haya [Ms]
Representatives of the Turkish Cypriot Community (In accordance to Resolution 1376 (2004) of
the Parliamentary Assembly)/ Représentants de la communauté chypriote turque
(Conformément à la Résolution 1376 (2004) de l’Assemblée parlementaire)
SANER Hamza Ersan
Appendix II /Annexe II
Representatives or Substitutes who took part in the ballot for the election of the Council of Europe Commissioner for Human Rights and in the ballot for the election of a Judge to the European Court of Human Rights in respect of Montenegro / Représentants ou suppléants qui ont participé au vote pour l’élection du/de la Commissaire aux droits de l’homme du Conseil de l’Europe et au vote pour l’élection d’un juge à la Cour européenne des droits de l’homme au titre du Monténégro
ABAD, Damien [M.]/REISS, Frédéric [M.]
ARNAUT, Damir [Mr]
BERTUZZI, Maria Teresa [Ms] /PUPPATO, Laura [Ms]
BILDARRATZ, Jokin [Mr]
BILOVOL, Oleksandr [Mr]
BUTKEVIČIUS, Algirdas [Mr]
BYRNE, Liam [Mr]
DONALDSON, Jeffrey [Sir] /TOUHIG, Don [Lord]
FRESKO-ROLFO, Béatrice [Mme]
GAVAN, Paul [Mr]
GHILETCHI, Valeriu [Mr]
GOY-CHAVENT, Sylvie [Mme] /KERN, Claude [M.]
GROSDIDIER, François [M.]
HOWELL, John [Mr]
KAVVADIA, Ioanneta [Ms]
KOX, Tiny [Mr]
KÜRKÇÜ, Ertuğrul [Mr]
LEIGH, Edward [Sir]
McCARTHY, Kerry [Ms]
MULARCZYK, Arkadiusz [Mr]
NISSINEN, Johan [Mr] /WIECHEL, Markus [Mr]
OBRADOVIĆ, Žarko [Mr]
O’REILLY, Joseph [Mr]
PAŠKA, Jaroslav [M.]/BALÁŽ, Radovan [Mr]
PISCO, Paulo [M.]
SCHENNACH, Stefan [Mr]
SCHOU, Ingjerd [Ms]
ŠEPIĆ, Senad [Mr]
SORRE, Bertrand [M.] / RAUCH, Isabelle [Mme]
STIER, Davor Ivo [Mr]
SVENSSON, Michael [Mr]
THIÉRY, Damien [M.]
VEN, Mart van de [Mr]