GLOBE Study reveals legistators hold the key to tackling climate change

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GLOBE Study reveals legistators hold the key to tackling climate change

On 14 January 2013 GLOBE International presented the 3rd edition of the Climate Legislation Study  and formally launched the GLOBE Climate Legislation Initiative. The study, produced in partnership with LSE Grantham Research Institute, is a comprehensive audit of climate legislation.

“The tide is beginning to turn decisively on tackling climate change, the defining material challenge of this century. In the past year alone, as described in this latest study by GLOBE International and the Grantham Research Institute, 32 out of 33 surveyed countries have introduced or are progressing significant climate-related legislation. In 2012 alone, 18 of the 33 countries made significant progress. This is a game-changing development, driven by emerging economies, but taking place across each and every continent. Most importantly it challenges how governments look at the international negotiations up to 2015 requiring much greater focus by governments to support national legislation.”

Rt. Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben, President of the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE International), Chairman of the UK Statutory Independent Committee on Climate Change, and former UK Secretary of State for the Environment

This new edition of the study was formally launched at the 1st GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit held at the UK Foreign and Commonwealth Office (FCO) on Monday, 14th January and Tuesday, 15th January 2013.

Speakers, Presidents of Congresses and Senates and senior legislators from 33 countries attended this high level initiative, alongside UNFCCC Secretary Christiana Figueres, to launch a new process, the GLOBE Climate Legislation Initiative, which will support legislators to advance climate legislation between 2013 and 2015. This will be conducted in a parallel process to the international negotiations under the Durban Platform. Speakers at the conference included Foreign Office Minister Rt. Hon. Alistair Burt MP, UK Secretary of State for Energy and Climate Change, Rt Hon. Ed Davey MP, former UK Deputy Prime Minister Lord Prescott, Christiana Figueres, Rt Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben, and senior legislators from the 33 countries represented.

The study and GLOBE project work in various countries, including Mexico, China and South Korea, has been supported by the FCO through the Prosperity Fund. Top-line results of the new edition of the GLOBE Climate Legislation Study show:

  • 32 of 33 major economies have progressed or are progressing significant climate and/or energy-related legislation.
  • Whilst the approach often differs (whether directly inspired by climate change, energy efficiency, energy security or competitiveness), national legislation is achieving remarkably similar results -- improved energy security, greater resource-efficiency and cleaner, lower carbon economic growth.
  • Much of the substantive progress on legislative activity on climate change in 2012 took place in emerging economies, including China.
  • While current national legislation does not yet, cumulatively, add up to what needs to be done to avoid dangerous climate change, it is putting in place the necessary mechanisms to measure, report and verify emissions, a pre-requisite for a credible global climate treaty.
  • This progress will deliver real benefits to national economies and, ultimately, give world leaders the political space to go further and faster in the UN negotiations, helping provide a foundation for a comprehensive, global deal by 2015.

Key country highlights from 2012 include:

  • Mexico passed The General Law on Climate Change, with a target to reduce GHG emissions by 30% versus Business As Usual by 2020 and creating institutional structures to support delivery; Mexico also passed the world’s first legislation relating to REDD+ readiness.
  • South Korea passed legislation that will see the introduction of an emissions trading scheme by 2015.
  • Bangladesh passed the Sustainable and Renewable Energy Development Authority Act.
  • China has begun to draft its national climate change law and local legislation was passed in Shenzhen to manage GHG emissions – the first such legislation in China.
  • India published its 12th Five Year Plan, incorporating a range of recommendations from the Low Carbon Expert Group.
  • Indonesia passed a ministerial regulation to expand thermal energy.
  • Japan introduced a carbon tax and passed the Low Carbon City Development Act.
  • Kenya developed its Climate Change National Action Plan and is taking through parliament a Climate Change Authority Bill, both of which are expected to be finalised in early 2013.
  • Vietnam passed its National REDD+ Action Programme.

The Executive Secretary of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change, Ms Christiana Figueres, said that:

"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".

In his welcome message to delegates the Foreign Secretary, William Hague MP, said:

"As we look towards the imperative of getting agreement on a global, legally binding, deal on emissions reductions in the UNFCCC in 2015, it is clear that domestic legislation has a key role to play in building consensus and cementing ambition. We are very pleased to have been able to support the launch of this initiative".

GLOBE’s Secretary General Adam Matthews, said:

“We must be realistic. It will not be possible to reach an agreement in 2015 in the UN brokered climate negotiations unless the national regulatory frameworks are in place.  It is by implementing national legislation that the political conditions for an international agreement will be created.”

“At the GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit this week we will be launching one of the most important initiatives outside the UN negotiations. The GLOBE Climate Legislation Initiative (GCLI) is a high level international process for senior legislators from 33 countries that will run alongside the formal UN negotiations between now and 2015, the scheduled conclusion of post-2020 climate change negotiations under the Durban platform”.

“The aim of the GCLI is to support legislators in advancing climate change-related legislation by providing a combination of political, analytical and administrative support, where it is requested by the legislators. It will also serve as a platform where legislators from across the world can meet, discuss common barriers, issues and successes and share information about best practice”.        

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