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Colombia's environment minister, Luis Murillo, called for congress to pass a bill that would turn the government's recently unveiled climate change policy into law, according to a press release from the ministry. He also requested the constitutional court finish reviewing the Paris climate accords.
The policy, proposed by the government in June, expands existing programs which address the risks of climate change. These include disaster management plans, financial protection plans in case of disasters, and strategies to reduce emissions. The bill must still pass through congress, and will provide the legal framework for future climate change initiatives.
The Colombian environmental and hydrological studies institute (IDEAM) and the United Nations Development Program (PNUD) presented a study which shows that 100% of the country's municipalities are exposed to some kind of risks related to climate change. The study said that the territory's average temperature rose 0.8° Celsius between 1971 and 2015, reaching 22.2°, while a 2.14° increase is expected for the end of the century.
In this regard, Pablo Ruiz, PNUD's Colombia director, said that the country has been affected by climate change, and because of that it is necessary to keep advancing in actions to face the phenomenon.
Colombia has been greatly affected by natural disasters this year, which have been attributed to climate change. Only in April, over 350 citizens died in two separate landslides that hit the cities of Mocoa and Manizales.