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July 5, 2022
ParlAmericas held the 6th Gathering of its Parliamentary Network on Climate Change titled “Realizing Our Green Future: The Road to Low Emissions”

With the support of the House of Assembly of Dominica and the Congress of Guatemala as host parliaments, ParlAmericas held the 6th Gathering of the Parliamentary Network on Climate Change (PNCC), titled “Realizing Our Green Future: The Road to Low Emissions,” on June 23 and July 5, 2022.

The gathering brought together parliamentarians, parliamentary staff, and representatives of academia and youth and civil society organizations from the Americas and the Caribbean to explore legislative initiatives in order to reduce greenhouse gas emissions, particularly in high-emitting sectors: energy, transportation, agriculture, forestry and other land uses.

The event began with an inter-parliamentary dialogue held on June 23, with the participation of specialists and representatives of youth and civil society organizations. The session, which focused on addressing the transition to clean energy within the transportation and energy sectors, featured presentations by Andrea Palma, the GIZ’s technical adviser for the EUROCLIMA+ Urban Mobility Component, and Dr. Devon Gardner, head of Technical Programs at the Caribbean Centre for Renewable Energy and Energy Efficiency.

The gathering also included the round table dialogue “Intersecting Sectors, perspectives and the role of parliament,” held among representatives of various stakeholders. The round table was moderated by Senator Verónica Noemí Camino Farjat (Mexico), President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network for Gender Equality, and featured the participation of the Honourable Kerrie D. Symmonds (Barbados), Minister of Energy and Business Development; Member of the Legislative Assembly Óscar Izquierdo Sandí (Costa Rica); Denell Florius, youth entrepreneur and co-founder and COO of EcoCarib and Caribbean Regional Coordinator for Youth Climate Lab; Laura Serna, champion of Escazú for Colombia and lawyer at the Legal Clinic of Public Actions of the University of Rosario; and Dr. Lake Sagaris, researcher and adjunct associate professor at the Institute for Sustainable Development of the Pontifical Catholic University of Chile.

During the plenary session of the Gathering, held on July 5, the participants analyzed strategies to improve land use practices in order to reduce emissions associated with the agricultural sector. The plenary session included the panel “Supporting sustainable and inclusive agriculture and land use practices to reduce emissions,” moderated by the Honourable Senator Rosa Galvez (Canada), President of the ParlAmericas PNCC and featuring presentations by Dr. Mercedes Bustamente, Professor at the Department of Ecology at the University of Brasilia and lead author of the IPCC’s 6th Assessment Report; Dr. Osana Bonilla-Findji, Science Officer for Climate Change, Agriculture and Food Security, and Climate Smart Agricultural Practices; and the Honourable Matthew Samuda (Jamaica), Minister without Portfolio of the Ministry of Economic Growth and Job Creation and Co-Chair of the NDC Partnership.

With the objective of strengthening institutional synergies between ParlAmericas and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) for the promotion of climate action in the region, the plenary session also provided a space for the presentation of the main conclusions of the IPU’s regional seminar on climate change for parliaments of Latin America and the Caribbean, held in Montevideo from June 28 to 30. Senator Raúl Lozano Bonet (Uruguay), a Bureau member of the IPU Standing Committee on Sustainable Development, shared the key messages and lessons learned from the seminar held in the Parliament of Uruguay and emphasized the value of these useful spaces for exchanges between parliamentarians of the region, and the need for coordinated efforts to combat the effects of climate change.

During a subsequent discussion moderated by Member of Congress Fátima Mena Baide (Honduras), the parliamentarians shared experiences and good practices related to the electrification of transportation and the improvement of public transit, the increased use of renewable energy, and the reduction of deforestation and improved land use.

Finally, Member of the National Assembly Bruno Segovia Mejía (Ecuador), First Vice-President for South America of the ParlAmericas PNCC, read the Gathering declaration. The meeting concluded with the announcement of the election by acclamation of Member of the Legislative Assembly Óscar Izquierdo Sandí (Costa Rica) to occupy the vacant position for Central America on the Executive Committee of the PNCC.

Referring to the importance of the issues addressed during the Gathering, the Honourable Senator Rosa Galvez (Canada), stated that “The decision to dedicate this meeting to addressing the pressing need to accelerate the energy transition is no coincidence: as highlighted by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, despite the significant progress made on climate action, current levels of climate ambition will be insufficient to limit the global average temperature to well below 2 °C, which is one of the key targets of the Paris Agreement.”