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Press Office

Athens, 21 October 2021

"EnvironmentRightNow: national parliaments and the right to a healthy and sustainable environment" - Theme 2 of the Conference of Presidents of Parliament of CoE member states

Facing the grim reality of the climate crisis, national parliaments are playing a leading role in shaping a collective response that will ensure a sustainable future for present and future generations. This message was sent from Athens by the Presidents of Parliament that take part in the work of the European Conference organized by the Greek Parliament.

The President of the Parliament of Georgia Mr. Kakhaber Kuchava stressed the importance of environmental diplomacy and inter-parliamentary cooperation and proposed the creation of a permanent "platform" of information and cooperation between the Environment Committees of the national parliaments.

The impact of climate change on human rights was addressed by the President of the Finnish Parliament, Anu Vehvilainen, underlining the importance of citizen participation in the drafting of environmental legislation.

Representing the Youth Advisory Council of the Council of Europe, Mr. Spyros Papadatos stressed the importance of the forthcoming World Environment Conference in Glasgow and proposed the creation of a structure to strengthen the participation of young people in decision-making processes.

The Speaker of the House of Representatives of Cyprus, Mrs. Annita Demetriou, referred to the special burden of the Eastern Mediterranean region from climate change and the initiative of the President of the Republic of Cyprus Mr. Nikos Anastasiadis for bilateral and multilateral cooperation with the states of the region in order to deal with the extreme phenomena of fires and floods that occur with unprecedented frequency.

The need to combine the energy transition from lignite to "green" energy with policies of cohesion and strengthening of the economically weakest countries of Europe, stressed the Speaker of the Parliament of Bosnia and Herzegovina, Mr. Denis Zvizdic.

The Vice-President of the French National Assembly, Laetitia Saint-Paul, focused on the need to introduce "border adjustment" mechanisms in trade relations, with an emphasis on the primary sector and stressed the importance of strengthening agricultural designations of origin.

In the same vein, the Speaker of the Swiss Parliament, Andreas Aebi, emphasized the need to adapt agriculture and livestock to modern forms of "green" cultivation, with the aim of reducing methane emissions.

The President of the Federation Council of the Federal Assembly of the Russian Federation, Mrs. Valentina Matvienko, made extensive reference to the use of "green" technologies in production, citing as an example St. Petersburg, which from a polluting Baltic city became one of the cleanest cities on the planet, having managed to treat 99% of its wastewater.

The Speaker of the Estonian Parliament Yuri Ratas described the climate crisis as an opportunity to create a sustainable Europe by modernizing our economies through the "green" transition.

Finally, the Vice-President of the Italian Parliament, Maria EderaSpadoni, emphasized the importance of the involvement of parliaments and civil society in the creation of an integrated environmental legislation that simultaneously ensures social cohesion and the protection of the rights of the weakest layers of European societies.






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