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National climate change legislation: the key to more ambitious international agreements

The information contained in this paper is drawn from the 3rd GLOBE Climate Legislation Study and direct conversations and correspondence with legislators. Although the factors that determine a country’s negotiating position are many and complex, the authors find that advancing domestic climate change legislation has a positive influence on the high international ambition at the UNFCCC. National legislation could form the basis of an “outcome with legal force” in 2015 under the Durban Platform of the UNFCCC. Therefore, the advance of national legislation in key countries, combined with strengthened engagement of legislators, should be actively supported between now and 2015.

Recommendations to governments include: support international processes for engaging legislators, to help inform the development of climate change legislation, promote good practice and develop peer groups; and encourage the creation of cross-party parliamentary groups on climate change, supported with policy and analytical capacity.