Friday, 22 August 2014

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Climate change cannot be fought without legislation

UN Photo/Logan Abassi

27 February 2014 - Heads of key UN-institutions, senior national legislators from 50 different countries and the World Bank Group have received the results of an analysis on the depth and reach of national climate change laws in 66 different countries around the world.

The study covers the countries which are responsible for 88 % of the global climate emissions, and found a series of politically important things which might have a direct effect on the success of the international negotiations, which will take place in Paris in 2015, at the 21st session of the Conference of Parties to the UNFCCC. The legislators will consider how national laws can be recognized within the climate agreement, which is expected to be agreed upon at this session.

The climate study shows that 64 of the 66 countries have progressed or are progressing significant climate and/or energy-related legislation. Even though the legislation in the countries is very different, the countries are mostly experiencing improved energy security, greater resource-efficiency and cleaner, lower carbon economic growth.

It is still not enough to avoid the climate change we are facing, but it is, however, putting in place the mechanisms to measure, report and verify emissions, a pre-requisite for a credible global climate treaty.

Responding to the Study, the Global Legislators Organisation is launching a major new international initiative, The Partnership for Climate Legislation, supported by the United Nations and the World Bank Group.  The Partnership will help national legislators to develop and implement climate change laws. It will work across the 66 nations covered by the Study by sharing best legislative practice, provide detailed policy, analytical and legal capacity to cross party groups of legislators as they develop their own laws.

Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC), Christiana Figueres said: "It is no exaggeration to say that the clean revolution we need is being carried forward by legislation. Domestic legislation is critical because it is the linchpin between action on the ground and the international agreement. At the national level, it is clear that when countries enact clean energy policies, investment follows. At the international level, it is equally clear that domestic legislation opens the political space for international agreements and facilitates overall ambition".

UNRIC's related links:

UNRIC's library backgrounder on Climate Change: https://unric.org/html/english/library/backgrounders/climatechange_eng.pdf
Special envoys on Climate Change: https://unric.org/en/latest-un-buzz/28942-two-special-envoys-take-up-climate-change-challenge
Development can not ignore Climate Change: https://unric.org/en/latest-un-buzz/28872-no-rethink-of-development-can-ignore-climate-change
The invisible Climate refugees: https://unric.org/en/latest-un-buzz/28883-the-invisible-climate-refugees
"No green growth without gender equality": https://unric.org/en/latest-un-buzz/28945-no-green-growth-without-gernder-equality

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