During the meeting of last February 10 at the Italian Ministry for the Environment, Land and Sea, the National Council of the Green Economy of which Ecopneus is a member presented, discussed, amended and approved a resolution on the Paris COP 21 agreement and decision.  The text of the resolution follows.

RESOLUTION of the National Council of the Green Economy of 10 February 2016 on the Paris COP 21 Agreement and Decision

The National Council of the Green Economy,

Having determined that the Paris Agreement and Decision mark a global change of pace in addressing the climate crisis, not only in terms of the literal content of the approved documents, but also due to the strategic significance assumed by the real process underway, which has found a turning point and stimulation worldwide with this Agreement.

Given that the Paris Agreement marks two points of great importance:

  • 195 governments of as many countries, including all the major emitters of greenhouse gases, with the USA and China in the lead, have recognized that significant reduction commitments – and demanding adaptation policies – are necessary, and have declared national reduction commitments, entering into an agreement to periodically verify these commitments;
  • 195 governments have approved a more ambitious objective than that announced previously, introducing the need to stay far below 2°C and to make every effort not to increase the average global temperature with respect to the pre-industrial era by more than 1.5°C, as well as to reach, in the second half of this century, a balance between anthropogenic emissions and the absorption of greenhouse gases.

Given that the adoption of the Paris Agreement occurred with the approval of a “decision document” which, although it will not be subjected to the ratification (acceptance, approval or accession) of the States, contains important points, in particular:

  • In Section IV entitled “Enhanced action prior to 2020”, countries are urged to ensure the “highest possible mitigation efforts in the pre-2020 period”;
  • In Section V dedicated to the stakeholders, in line with the appeal launched by the National Council of the Green Economy on the eve of the Paris meeting and signed by a group of Italian green economy companies and organizations, a direct commitment by the private sector for climate mitigation is solicited;
  • the important role of providing incentives for emission reduction activities, including economic instruments such as carbon pricing, is also recognized.

Underlines that the economic instruments – and in particular carbon pricing – as advocated by the OECD and IEA, should now be used more extensively and to make the green economy, its development and penetration strength grow, and that the global process set in motion by the Paris Agreement will have significant impacts on global investments in renewables, energy saving, and sustainable mobility and an overall increased effort in environmental innovation and will constitute a major reduction factor of those in fossil fuels (in particular coal and oil).

Noting that the governance system of the Paris Agreement, recognizing the impracticability of an international treaty to face the climate crisis – with binding targets, measures to achieve them and sanctions for the countries that do not respect them – is based on commitments defined, managed and implemented nationally and communicated and verified globally, with the support of various instruments for analysis and technical, managerial and cooperation support.  After years of inconclusive negotiations, the governance model of the Paris Agreement was the only viable one.  However, it remains to be seen whether this governance system will effectively be able to ensure suitable actions, and in the necessary times, to produce the consistent and global reductions in greenhouse gases necessary to mitigate the climate crisis within sustainable levels.

Commits to limiting the risks of the Paris Agreement’s governance model, to promoting the management of the positive contents of the Agreement and Decision, and to supporting an improvement of the European and national commitments as occasions, stimulations and opportunities for new investments, innovation, new employment and the development of a green economy.

Noting that it is officially recognized that the current national commitments declared by the countries for 2025 and 2030 are an important step, but are not sufficient for stabilizing the temperature increase at 1.5°C – and would instead lead, in all probability, to an average temperature increase well beyond 2°C – and that more effective policies and measures are therefore necessary.

Noting that Europe and Italy should change tack to do their part on the road toward the improvement of the respective commitments for the new target of 1.5°C, improving the 2030 targets for greenhouse gas emissions, renewables and energy efficiency and improving the instrumentation and policies for climate mitigation as an opportunity to consolidate economic recovery and the regeneration of development.

Commits to supporting initiatives and measures:

  • to increase efficiency, energy savings and the development of renewable national energy sources;
  • to develop the savings, recycling and renewability of materials as part of a circular economy;
  • to promote a more sustainable mobility, less polluted and more liveable cities, and more sustainable construction;
  • to increase the absorption of carbon through the appropriate and sustainable management of forests, pastures and agricultural lands;
  • for the introduction of carbon pricing as a replacement for other forms of taxation and to eliminate and/or reallocate negative environmental incentives;
  • to strengthen flagship areas such as the agriculture/food industry and tourism, improving the quality of the country, protecting and better valorising that great national resource that is constituted by our natural and cultural capital.

Urging the Italian government and parliament to ratify and apply the Paris Agreement with suitable regulatory measures and with an effective national action plan for energy and the climate.