Legislators fear a repeat of the failure to drive the original outcomes of Rio into national legislation
Senior legislators from Brazil, the European Parliament, Germany, Japan, Mexico, South Africa and the UK have today issued a challenge to the UN and to the organisers of Rio+20 to recognise the importance of converting the outcomes into practical legislation.
The legislators ranging from the former Prime Minister of Japan, the 1st Secretary of the Senate of Brazil, the Chairperson of the South African National Assembly and a former UK Cabinet Minister jointly penned an article in which they call for proper engagement with legislators in Rio and within the related UN processes. In an opinion article on the new GLOBE Legislators Blog – The GLOBE Debate, the legislators say:
'The lack of proper engagement with legislators in the international processes - such as Rio, the resulting Conventions on Climate Change, Biological Diversity and Desertification, Johannesburg and the forthcoming Rio+20 Summit - has contributed to the failure to transpose the agreements and objectives of these important summits into national legislation. In most countries governments come and go every few years, providing little consistency in policy making for long term challenges.
'“Developing and passing national legislation, particularly through the engagement of all major political parties, maximises the chances that the commitments taken on by governments in international processes are taken seriously and enjoy longevity beyond the short-term political cycles of the government du jour.'
The legislators, all strong supporters of the Rio process, recognise the significance of the achievements to date, but are keen that a generational opportunity is not missed and that commitments lead to legislation, implementation and scrutiny. All core competencies of legislators.
‘When one looks at progress since the first Rio Earth Summit in 1992, much has been achieved. The UN Conventions on Biological Diversity, Climate Change and Desertification have all helped to focus governments' attention on these important issues and, in many cases, we have seen real progress. However, despite bending the curve, we are still on a trajectory that will lead to dangerous climate change, mass species extinction and excessive loss of tropical rainforests. A focus on developing national legislation in support of the Rio objectives is desperately needed to underpin the political commitments made in 1992 and subsequently. National legislation is a much needed tool that has yet to be utilised fully.’
The authors of the blog were:
- Rt Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben. President of GLOBE International
- Senator Cicero Lucena, 1st Secretary of the Senate of Brazil & president of GLOBE Brazil
- Senator Rodrigo Rollemberg, Chairman of the Senate Environment Committee, Vice President of GLOBE Brazil
- Mr Yukio Hatoyama MP, Former Prime Minister of Japan and President of GLOBE Japan
- Hon. Cedric Frolick MP, Chairperson of the National Assembly of the Republic of South Africa
- Michael Kauch MdB, Member of the German Bundestag and President of GLOBE Germany
- Congressman Nicolas Bellizia Aboaf, President of GLOBE Mexico
- Jo Leinen MEP, Former Chairman of the European Parliament Environment Committee