10-12-2015

PAM at COP21: The Mediterranean a key region in the future of climate-related issues

PAM at COP21: The Mediterranean a key region in the future of climate-related issues
On 8 December 2015, Hon. Michel Vauzelle (France), President ad interim of the Parliamentary Assembly of the Mediterranean (PAM),  addressed the Joint High-level segment of  the Conference of the Parties (COP), 9th meeting of the Parties to the Kyoto Protocol (CMP), held on the occasion of the COP21 Conference in Paris. 
In his statement, President Vauzelle, on behalf of the National Parliaments of the Mediterranean, highlighted the importance of parliamentary diplomacy in this process. He stressed the fact that the elected representatives of the people of the Mediterranean, people who, with their families, live the everyday problems resulting from climate change in the region, were being represented at the COP21, and offering their contribution to the debate and commitment to the oversight of the implementation of the decisions. 
“The Mediterranean is a key region in the future of climate-related issues. However, we must be also aware of other, often interrelated aspects such as the political, economic, social and cultural climate, which underlie the current dramatic situation in the Mediterranean, which is further threatened by terrorist acts of extreme violence”, Hon Vauzelle argued.
 
PAM also participated at the Parliamentary Climate Change Meeting, organized by the Inter-Parliamentary Union and the French Parliament, on 5 December 2015, on the occasion of the COP21. PAM was represented by Hon. Florin Urcan, member of the Romanian Parliament.
PAM concretely contributes to the efforts of the international community on climate-change-related issues. “Since the sectors that contribute the most to global warming are those related to energy, transports and housing, one of the proposals included in the Report on Environment, adopted at the PAM 9th Plenary Session, held in Monaco last February, is the establishment of a Carbon Added Tax (CAT)”, Hon. Urcan said. 
 
This would be a very simple tax, based on the mechanism of the Value Added Tax (VAT). Its main purpose is to be a deterrent and discourage the use of fossil fuels, the main sources of greenhouse gas emissions. In addition, it aims to set a price on carbon: all economic agents that with their work emit, or whose products have consumed “carbon content”, have to bear the economic cost of these emissions. CAT is not aimed at "punishing" consumers of fossil fuels, nor consumers of energy, nor to blame them. A high price has, in fact, the effect of discouraging the use of that good, and at the same time, it sends the signal that consumers should prefer, whenever possible, those technologies that allow saving expensive resources. 
 
Climate Change represents a priority for PAM, which has approached the topic from several angles, due to the large variety of implications and importance that climate change has reached throughout the last decades. The fact that the stabilization of emissions, which continue to grow annually at the global scale, is only expected in 2030, is a serious concern for the Assembly, as political borders and national decisions have little or no effect on climate change, if not tackled in a coherent and complementary way at the planetary level.  
 
PAM has constantly addressed the issue of Climate Change since its establishment, underlining the strong commitment of its parliamentarians to play their role of legislators at the national level, but also to give their contribution at the international level, for example within the framework of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the ‘Malta Declaration’. Since COP 15 in Copenhagen, PAM has regularly contributed and followed up on the activities of the UNFCCC, particularly the meetings of the Conference of Parties, in order to foster awareness building amongst Mediterranean parliamentarians about this critical issue. 
 
PAM is already planning a major regional parliamentary event, in spring 2016, in Rome, to discuss the implications of the decisions that will be taken in Paris for the Mediterranean region.//
 
 
 
 
LINK TO AV CLIP
 
MEDIA INFORMATION : 55/2015
Issued on 10.12.2015
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