Declaration on action to combat climate change
Meeting of the SI Council at the United Nations in New York, 11-12 July 2017
The Socialist International has a longstanding commitment to the global fight against climate change, an issue which has been at the heart of the agenda of the SI Council and Congress, and was the major focus of the work of the Commission a Sustainable World Society between 2007 and 2011. The SI and its member parties have at the same time been among those working tirelessly for the success of the negotiations under the auspices of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). The finalisation and approval of the Paris Agreement in December 2015 was welcomed enthusiastically by the SI as a signal of consensus among all countries of the world about the serious and immediate threat posed by climate change, and a recognition that concerted action is required by all countries to address its causes.
In light of the recent notification by the present government of the United States of its intention to withdraw from the Paris Agreement, the SI Council unequivocally reiterates its commitment not only to the fulfilment of the commitments made at COP21, but also to go beyond that which was agreed in order to ensure that the global temperature rise can be limited to 1.5ºC. The Council regrets that the current ruling administration in the US has seen fit to withdraw from its obligations, commensurate with its status as the leading historical contributor to the changing climate.
The Council further expresses its full support to those who continue to work to fulfil the commitments of the US under the Paris agreement, at the level of individual states, cities and businesses that have made clear their disagreement with the path taken by the federal government on this most crucial of issues.
In line with its fundamental commitments on the issue, the Council establishes a commission on the issue of climate change and energy, to begin activities during the current inter-Congress period. This group will work to promote the enduring vision of the SI to tackle climate change while ensuring that the right to development is protected. On energy, the Council reiterates its commitment to a zero-carbon future and mandates the commission to examine how this can be best achieved in both developed and developing economies.