Resolution on Climate Change

APPF19/RES/13

19th Annual Meeting of the Asia Pacific Parliamentary Forum
23-27 January 2011

Resolution on Climate Change

  

APPF19/RES/13

(Submitted by Chile, Japan, Mexico, Mongolia and Vietnam)

NINETEENTH ANNUAL MEETING OF THE ASIA-PACIFIC PARLIAMENTARY FORUM:

Recognizing that climate change and environmental problems are global and potentially the most severe challenge for all humankind;

Recalling resolutions related to these problems which were adopted in the past annual meetings of the APPF;

Referring to United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 1992; United Nations Millennium Declaration, and the Montevideo Programme III 2000 – 2001, which have clearly stated that economic development on the basis of environmental protection and preservation of natural resources is the mainstream of the 21st century; IPU Resolution on Parliamentary Support for the  Kyoto Protocol adopted by consensus by the 107th Conference encouraging “States to create conditions enabling countries to maximize the use of renewable energy sources,…and to increase energy efficiency”;

Welcoming the endeavors of the international community through such conferences as the G8 Muskoka Summit, the Tenth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, (CBD-COP10), the  Fifth Meeting of the Conference of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity Serving as the Meeting of the Parties to the Cartagena Protocol on Biosafety (COP-MOP5), Ninth Meeting of the Asian Cooperation Dialogue, Asia-Pacific Partnership on Clean Development and Climate Change and Leaders Meeting of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate;

Welcoming the progress achieved in the United Nations Conference on Climate Change (COP16/CMP6) held in Cancun, Mexico in December 2010 to implement the basic framework and objectives of the Bali Roadmap adopted at the COP13/CMP3 held in Bali, Indonesia in 2007;

Noting our Asia-Pacific countries’ determination to make efforts for the resolution of these serious and urgent problems which the international community should tackle;

Recognizing that climate change will result in increased extreme weather conditions such as heat waves, floods, droughts and severe storms, heavy snows /dzud[1]/, melting glaciers and rising sea-levels and that these will lead to adverse impacts on socio-economic life and on human health and irreversible damage worldwide and in particular on and within developing countries, least developed countries, and small island developing states;

Recognizing that the adverse impacts of climate change will set back development achieved by developing countries, making it more difficult for them to meet the United Nations Millennium Development Goals (MDGs) by 2015;

Bearing in mind that the phenomena related to climate change are fundamentally harmful to the environment and result from unsustainable development policies;

Referring to the objective, principles and provisions of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) and its Kyoto Protocol;

Expressing the appreciation for the efforts and initiatives of the nations to mitigate climate change and strengthen capacity for climate change adaptation;

Expressing intention to elaborate and implement national and sectoral policy, strategy and programs aimed at adaptation to climate change and mitigation of greenhouse gas emissions;

Taking into account the evidence of recent researches and studies revealing  the intensifying changes in global climate system and its increasing impacts on ecosystems, societies and economies;

Aware that if actions to mitigate climate change lag behind, mankind will have to pay an enormous price because of the catastrophic impacts of rising GHG levels;

Recalling that Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions are the main cause of climate change;

Emphasizing the need for comprehensive, efficient and effective measures to address the adverse effects of climate change and reduce GHG emissions and that a comprehensive, global legally binding agreement to address climate change can facilitate the progress towards global economic recovery, energy security and sustainable development;

Acknowledging that there exists a severe imbalance in the level of emissions, mitigation potential and the relative alternative energy potential  among different countries , even comparing countries with similar HDI; and for that reason acknowledge that all countries should protect the climate system on the basis of equity and in accordance with their common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities depending on specific circumstances of the countries;

Realizing the urgency for all countries to reach a global legally binding agreement on GHG emission reductions before the expiration of the first Commitment Period of the Kyoto Protocol in 2012;

Stressing the immense global potential of renewable energy sources like biomass, wind, solar, hydro, tidal, wave and geothermal power to considerably reduce GHG emissions as well as contribute to energy security and conscious that for many countries renewable energy will be more economically efficient compared to traditional fossil fuels, taking into account the rapid exhaustion and environmental impact of such traditional fossil fuels, while recognising the difficulties some countries face in switching to renewable energy source ;

Reaffirming the central role that the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol play in fostering international cooperation and action on climate change; 

Recognizing that the global nature of climate change requires the widest possible cooperation and action by all countries, including all Members of APPF, in an effective and synchronized international response, based on the principle of common but differentiated responsibilities and respective capabilities;

Recognizing the importance of national legislation by respective APPF Member Countries in supporting any global agreement on climate change;

Recognizing, that the financing component of the Cancun Agreements, once operationalized, will benefit developing countries in mitigating  and adapting to the effects of climate change;

Convinced that the global fight against climate change involves developing policies and actions for mitigation and adaptation, which are essential to reduce the risks to life and development;

Noting the importance of considering the Precautionary Principle when designing, adopting and implementing policies that have effects on global, regional and local environmental, as well as climate, balances;

Recognizing that the convergence of objectives towards a common goal of mitigation and the identification of best options for adaptation to climate change, will allow us to collectively face this challenge;

Recognizing that while climate change represents a cost and an obstacle to development, a successful global policy to tackle it can open new economic opportunities for the countries concerned;

Convinced that climate change has a long-term global impact that can only be addressed with vision and leadership, essential to the planning of human activities in a sustainable manner;

Welcoming the measures taken by countries to reduce their GHG emissions, including investments into climate-friendly and environmental technologies;

Appreciating that the leaders of the various countries have stated their own legitimate positions and have assumed common but differentiated responsibilities in accordance with their respective capabilities and national circumstances, and the principles and provisions of the UNFCCC and its Kyoto Protocol;

Recognizing that deforestation aggravates climate change, and that concrete efforts must be carried out to combat this practice and promote reforestation and afforestation, to reduce the impact of anthropogenic GHG emissions and to protect the biodiversity of the ecosystems in peril; 

Recognizing the need for Asia-Pacific governments to be always prepared for climate change-driven natural disasters;

Underscoring the crucial role of local governments in providing immediate emergency and relief efforts after natural disasters;

Noting that preventive measures, such as emergency drills, and investment in emergency equipment will lower the loss of life brought about by calamities;

Acknowledging that emergency and relief assistance from developing countries in the Asia-Pacific Region is not sufficient to address large-scale humanitarian crises;

Recognizing the role of international aid agencies, such as the International Red Cross and Red Crescent and the World Food Program, in meeting the short term humanitarian needs of victims of natural disasters; 

Recalling the role of APPF Member Countries in promoting climate change awareness and mitigation in their respective countries;

Acknowledging the concerns of multilateral and regional institutions like ASEAN, APEC, the ASEAN Inter-Parliamentary Assembly and the Asia-Pacific Parliamentary Forum (APPF) on environmental protection and efforts to counter climate change which threatens the survival of countries in the region;

RESOLVES TO:

  1. Welcome the Cancun Agreements which took note of the economy-wide emission reduction targets to be implemented by developed countries, and nationally appropriate mitigation actions to be implemented by developing countries , respectively, as communicated by them;
  2. Encourage countries to constantly and effectively implement their commitments made in international documents regarding environmental protection of which they are a party to, such as the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) 1992, Kyoto Protocol 1997, The Vienna Convention for the Protection of the Ozone Layer 1985, and declarations adopted at the Rio and Johannesburg summits, the outcomes of CBD-COP10 and COP-MOP5 including the Strategic Plan for Biodiversity 2011-2020(“the Aichi Targets”), the Nagoya Protocol on Access to Genetic Resources and the Fair and Equitable Sharing of Benefits Arising from their Utilization, and the Nagoya-Kuala Lumpur Supplementary Protocol on Liability and Redress, the Stockholm Declaration on the Human Environment 1972;
  3. Recognize the importance of financial and technological support for adaptation in accordance with the Convention for developing countries, in particular least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states, which are most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, and to work together towards strengthening the ability of those developing countries to adapt to climate change, including disaster risk reduction;
  4. Recognize the crucial role of reducing emissions from deforestation and forest degradation in developing countries and to enhance cooperation and coordination in international society to promote soil, pasture and forest conservation, sustainable management of forests and the enhancement of carbon stocks in developing countries;
  5. Call upon the world community, especially developed countries, to adopt a decision to reach a global legally binding outcome at the COP17/CMP7 to be held in Durban, South Africa in December 2011 which takes account into the specific circumstances of developing countries that are less developed and most vulnerable to climate change because of its geographical location, climate condition and affected by rapid desertification;
  6. Request the developed countries to establish a flexible mechanism, amongst other intitatives that enables developing countries, in particular small island developing countries and those with landlocked location and fragile ecosystem, to strengthen their capacity for countering climate change, introduce climate-friendly technologies and provide financial resources in order to take appropriate response measures for climate change adaptation and greenhouse gas emissions reduction;
  7. Call upon APPF Member Countries to recognize the critical role of environmentally and climate sound technologies to address climate change challenges and the need for technological innovations and to cooperate among the Member Countries in the development, deployment and transfer of innovative technologies;
  8. Call upon APPF Member Countries to establish a regulatory and legislative framework to address long-term challenges of climate change to form political will towards low-carbon and green growth development;
  9. Take note the Fourth Assessment Report of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, with a view to reducing global greenhouse gas emissions so as to hold the increase in global average temperature below 2oC above pre-industrial levels and recognises the need to consider strengthening this goal in relation to a global average temperature rise of 1.5oC;
  10. Welcome pledges made by developed countries including Japan’s pledge of 15 billion dollars for development assistance under the Hatoyama Initiative;
  11. Urge all governments to build upon the Cancun Agreements, to reach a legally binding, comprehensive, ambitious and equitable climate change instrument that includes all countries in a meaningful way;
  12. Call upon APPF Member Countries to work together towards strengthening the ability for adaptation to climate change, including disaster risk reduction, of developing countries, in particular least developed countries (LDCs) and small island developing states most vulnerable to the adverse impacts of climate change, including through the further development of the “Asia Pacific Climate Change Adaptation Network”;
  13. Call upon APPF Member Countries to undertake domestic actions identified through country-driven approaches, to engage in bilateral and multilateral cooperative activities on technology development and transfer and to increase private and public research, development and demonstration in relation to technology for mitigation and adaptation;
  14. Urge APPF Member Countries to review their governments’ actions in future United Nations Climate Change Conferences;
  15. Urge APPF Member Countries to share a common advocacy for greater emission cuts in various international parliamentary conferences and other international fora;
  16. Call for the formation of a joint mechanism in Asia Pacific, which consists of regional inter-parliamentary and inter-governmental organizations like APPF, AIPA, APEC, and ASEAN to effectively deal with the threats of climate change;
  17. Urge APPF Member Countries to cooperate in the preservation and protection of marine biodiversity and in the sustainable utilization of water resources;
  18. Welcome the progress achieved in the 10th Meeting of the Parties to the Convention on Biological Diversity, held in Nagoya, Japan, in October 2010, in the area of conservation of biodiversity, as well as in the area of fair and equitable sharing of benefits arising from genetic resources, but, nonetheless, call upon APPF Member Countries to increase efforts for a significant reduction of the current rate of biodiversity loss;
  19. Stress that Education for Sustainable Development (ESD), in addition to encouraging sustainable development, plays a fundamental role in promoting the care of the environment; this requires the efforts of all nations in terms of educating the public and making efficient recycling, reuse and garbage reduction methods available to the people and the participation of civil society;
  20. Call upon APPF Member Countries to promote the building of sound material cycle societies through the 3R (Reduce, Reuse, Recycle) Initiative;
  21. Call on APPF Member Countries to strengthen emergency and relief services, in cooperation with International Relief Organizations, to improve their disaster preparedness based on new climate models;
  22. Urge governments to increase funding to improve weather forecasting technology and to spread disaster education programmes in schools and universities;
  23. Urge governments to streamline disaster coordination and improve communication systems and information dissemination among government agencies, the private sector including the media and civil society, and the communities;
  24. Call on developed countries to reduce their greenhouse gas emissions as pledged in the Copenhagen Accord, and for developing countries to plan to reduce their emissions;
  25. Call upon member of parliaments to promote regional cooperation and linkage through parliamentary channels so as to assist one another in legislative affairs that encourage the exploit and use of renewable energies at national and local levels.                                           

[1] Winter harsh weather condition (Mongolian specific phenomena)



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Resolution on Climate Change

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