Climate change, the G7, and the UN Security Council
In 2017, Italy chairs the G7 and enters the UN Security Council.
Last week, Italy deposited its instrument of ratification of the so-called Paris Agreement on climate change, signed by Italian President Sergio Mattarella, with the United Nations in New York, thus formally joining the agreement.
The Paris Agreement’s central aim is to strengthen the global response to the threat of climate change by keeping a global temperature rise this century well below 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels and to pursue efforts to limit the temperature increase even further to 1.5 degrees Celsius. Additionally, the agreement aims to strengthen the ability of countries to deal with the impacts of climate change. To reach these ambitious goals, appropriate financial flows, a new technology framework and an enhanced capacity building framework will be put in place, thus supporting action by developing countries and the most vulnerable countries, in line with their own national objectives. The Agreement also provides for enhanced transparency of action and support through a more robust transparency framework.
Italy signed the Agreement on April 22, 2016, the day it opened for signatures. In October, both Italy’s cabinet and parliament ratified it.
“Italy’s thinking about its children,” said Italian Prime Minister Matteo Renzi on Twitter.
Renzi also highlighted the importance of the Agreement on Facebook and thanked US President Barack Obama for his role in the fight against climate change.
Barack Obama’s legacy is also his extraordinary leadership, which contributed to the success of the Paris Agreement entered into force in the past few days. Italy will continue to prioritize the climate change agenda.
Following the ratification, Italian Environment Minister Gian Luca Galletti said:
The Cabinet has approved the ratification text of the deal on climate change reached at COP21. Italy is a protagonist of global sustainable development.
At the September ministerial segment of the Major Economies Forum on Energy and Climate (MEF) on the sidelines of the United Nations Genral Assembly, Italian Foreign Minister Paolo Gentiloni confirmed Italy’s commitment “to keep a priority focus on climate issues in view of the G7 Italian presidency.” The MEF meeting, an informal dialogue established in 2009 upon an initiative by the United States to advance efforts against climate changes, was chaired by U.S. Secretary of State John Kerry.
The 2017 Italian presidency of the G7 will coincide with Italy’s seat on the United Nations Security Council, to start in January.
The fight against climate change will also be one of Italy’s priorities at the UN, as mentioned by President Mattarella following his recent meeting with UN Secretary-General Ban Ki-moon.
Before concluding, I would like to recall that Italy will sit on the Security Council in 2017 and intends to focus its attention on the challenge posed by the issue of security in Africa and in the Middle East, supporting the commitment of the United Nations in the compelling areas of crisis prevention, promoting human rights, empowering women, youth and moderate religious leaders in the fight against violent fundamentalism and radicalism. Another two important pillars of our participation in the Security Council will be tackling climate change and regulating the migration phenomenon. We are ready to work in complete synergy with all the Agencies of the United Nations System.
Mattarella also thanked Secretary-General Ban for his leadership and history-making results achieved during these last 10 years, “in crucial areas such as international coexistence, development and the regulation of climate change.”
I am particularly referring to the adoption of the 2030 Agenda and to the agreement on climate change which, following the Paris Conference, was reached in New York and came into force yesterday with the ratification by the European Parliament. As a European citizen, I am proud that it was the European Parliament to put the agreement into force.