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NEWS: World Summit of Legislators urges national action on climate change in the lead up to 2015

Also posted in Spanish

Jorge Villanueva of CDKN reports on an important international gathering of legislators in Mexico City last week, which shone the spotlight on climate and sustainability ambitions.

Law-makers from 80 countries gathered at the Second World Summit of Legislators convened by Globe International in Mexico in early June – and put climate change squarely on the agenda. The country representatives called on the member states of the United Nations to make domestic commitments on climate change and sustainable development in the run-up to the negotiations around post-2015 Sustainable Development Goals.

According to John Gummer, Honorary President of Globe and former Secretary of State for the Environment in the UK, the key objectives of the post-2015 agreements should be to tackle climate change and try to limit average global temperature rise to below 2°C. Gummer appeared enthusiastic about the prospect of legislators taking home this call, and stressed the urgency to act now.

Mexican senator Alejandro Encinas stated that the defence of the environment is “a philosophy of life and not a political flag.”

During the three-day meeting, 19 American countries signed the Globe Chapter of the Americas, which aims to strengthen and diversify the sources of financing available for projects on development and climate change mitigation; it also emphasises the role of national legislators in promoting proactive laws on climate change and the environment.

“2014 is the year in which we have to intensify climate action. Legislators have a key role to play in raising political ambition and designing effective laws and norms for low emission and resilient development”, said Rachel Kyte, Vice President for Climate Change of the World Bank.

Globe International seeks to influence both the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Conference of the Parties (COP20) on climate change to be held in Lima in December 2014 and the COP21 in Paris planned for 2015. With these milestones ahead, Globe is supporting countries in strengthening their national legislation on climate change and the environment as a stepping stone for more ambitious international agreements.

As result of the Mexico City Summit, the 300+ participating legislators developed a Resolution mapping out the key priorities for the implementation of forceful sustainable development and climate goals at country level. These priorities include the need for countries to:

–  Recognise the imperative for a new generation of international agreements on sustainable development which strengthen national legislation.

–  Put the legislators at the heart of the sustainable development agenda, particularly in the policy processes around climate change and new Sustainable Development Goals, and to urgently involve parliaments in writing an appropriate text for the new international agreement on climate change to be discussed in Paris in 2015.

–   Use their leverage with international financial institutions such as the World Bank and the Global Environment Facility to obtain greater support for the development and adoption of appropriate national laws and regulatory structures; in particular, that the various existing  programmes on climate change, forests/REDD+ and natural capital accounting of these international institutions engage with national parliaments to develop national capacity and understanding and share best legislative practices.

Read the Full Resolution here.

Additional information

  • The Summit brought together more than 300 legislators from 80 countries around the world.
  • The signatory countries of the Globe Chapter of the Americas are: Belize, Bolivia, Brazil, Canada, Chile, Colombia, Costa Rica, El Salvador, Guatemala, Guyana, Haiti, Honduras, Nicaragua, Panama, Peru, Dominican Republic, Suriname, Mexico and Venezuela.
  • The Americas Chapter also includes a commitment to strengthen the role of national legislators in the region with regards to the issues at hand and take a collaborative agreement with the Latin American Parliament, the Central American Parliament and the Forum of Presidents of the Conferences of Latin America.

For further insights on the links between national ambition and the international agenda on climate change, watch the new film released by the Television Trust for the Environment for the Global Legislators Organisation: Green Law Makers.

Image: Second World Summit of Legislators, courtesy of PAN Senado, Mexico.

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