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Recommendation 1883 (2009)

Challenges posed by climate change

Author(s): Parliamentary Assembly

Origin - Assembly debate on 29 September 2009 (30th Sitting) (see Doc. 12002, report of the Committee on the Environment, Agriculture and Local and Regional Affairs, rapporteur: Mr Prescott; Doc. 12037, opinion of the Committee on Economic Affairs and Development, rapporteur: Mr Blom; and Doc. 12040, opinion of the Committee on Migration, Refugees and Population, rapporteur: Mr Chope). Text adopted by the Assembly on 29 September 2009 (30th Sitting).

1. The Parliamentary Assembly refers to its Resolution 1682 (2009) on the challenges posed by climate change and asks the Committee of Ministers to ensure that it is applied by member states and observer countries.
2. The Assembly recalls its other relevant texts which should be taken into consideration when applying Resolution 1682 (2009), namely Recommendation 1823 (2008) on global warming and ecological disasters; Resolution 1655 and Recommendation 1862 (2009) on environmentally induced migration and displacement: a 21st-century challenge; Recommendation 1879 (2009) on renewable energies and the environment; Resolution 1679 (2009) on nuclear energy and sustainable development; Resolution 1588 (2007) on radioactive waste and protection of the environment; Resolution 1552 (2007) on the capture of carbon dioxide as a means of fighting climate change; Recommendation 1653 (2004) on environmental accounting as a sustainable development tool; Resolution 1449 (2005) on the environment and the Millennium Development Goals, and Resolution 1596 (2008) on protection of the environment in the Arctic region.
3. The Assembly also recalls Recommendation 135 (2008) on addressing the impacts of climate change on biodiversity, adopted by the Standing Committee of the Convention on the Conservation of European Wildlife and Natural Habitats (Bern Convention) and relevant texts of the Congress of Local and Regional Authorities of the Council of Europe (the Congress), in particular, Recommendation 243 and Resolution 262 (2008) on public, local and regional action: for a new energy culture; Resolution 247 and Recommendation 230 (2008) on local and regional authorities committed to sustainable consumption; Resolution 248 and Recommendation 231 (2008) on climate change: building adaptive capacity of local and regional authorities.
4. The Assembly invites the Committee of Ministers to adopt the issue of climate change as one of its core priorities and to instruct the relevant bodies of the Council of Europe to consider addressing this vital issue in their respective activities and therefore:
4.1. strengthen co-ordination of existing activities related to climate change across different bodies and through the different managing structures of Council of Europe intergovernmental programmes, including the Bern Convention and the Pan-European Biological and Landscape Diversity Strategy (PEBLDS), the European Conference of Ministers responsible for Regional/Spatial Planning (CEMAT), the European and Mediterranean Major Hazards Agreement (EUR-OPA), the European Committee on Migration (CDMG) and other services in the Directorate of Culture, Cultural and Natural Heritage, and invite other relevant sectors to join;
4.2. explore the linkages between climate change and human rights in Europe, including the implications of climate-change-related impact on the effective enjoyment of human rights, and the role that human rights obligations can play in strengthening international policy making in regard to climate change;
4.3. communicate widely current Council of Europe activities related to climate change.
5. In view of the preceding, the Assembly draws attention to its Recommendation 1885 (2009) on a draft additional protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights concerning the right to a healthy environment and Recommendation 1862 (2009) and reiterates its request to the Committee of Ministers to instruct the relevant expert committee to draft a new protocol to the European Convention on Human Rights enshrining the right to a healthy and viable environment as a human right.
6. The Assembly also invites the Congress to urge local and regional authorities to take the necessary action to reduce greenhouse gas emissions and to deal with the effects of climate change.