Climate change is a fact. As a largely man-made phenomenon
it increasingly threatens human settlements and natural habitats,
as well as economic stability, resources for development and, last
but not least, human lives. Scientific experts warn that this process
risks becoming unstoppable and irreversible if the international community
fails to reduce greenhouse gas emissions effectively soon.
The Kyoto Protocol, which set the first targets on emissions
reduction for industrialised countries, was extended to a second
commitment period from 2013 to 2020. However, most major economies
– and the biggest polluters – have not made any commitments yet.
Whilst the clock is ticking and the cost of inaction is growing, the
report urges countries to conclude an ambitious global agreement
by 2015 at the latest.
The report proposes adopting a mixed “top down and bottom
up” approach to reducing global emissions that would include – for
the first time – formal recognition of national climate legislation
in the legally binding part of the agreement. It advocates for intensified
bilateral co-operation with key countries and stronger involvement of
parliaments so as to advance national climate legislation, disseminate
best practice, build capacity and promote common approaches.