Energy policies surge ahead

By | News & Politics
Photo of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change © Issam Abdallah/Demotix/Corbis

A large selection of major global economies seem to be making significant strides in climate and/or energy legislation, according to a recent study publicly launched on 14th January at the UK Foreign Office.

The third Global Legislators’ Organisation (GLOBE) Climate Legislation Study looked at 33 major economies and found that 32 of them have made progress in the aforementioned areas, demonstrating that, despite challenges at the Union Nations on a national level, legislation is advancing decreased carbon economic growth, energy security, and resource efficiency.

In a recent GLOBE gathering in London, Christiana Figueres, United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) Secretary confirmed this. She elaborated on this, “Domestic legislation is important because it is the linchpin between action on the ground and the international agreement.”

Ms. Figueres explained that national policy favouring clean energy prompts investment. “At the international level, it is equally clear that domestic legislation opens the political space for international agreements and facilitates overall ambition.”

Foreign Secretary, William Hague MP, echoed her sentiments, “It is clear that domestic legislation has a key role to play in building consensus and cementing ambition.”

From the Americas to Africa and Asia, the study details the positive trend in clean energy legislation on the domestic level.China has begun drafting a national climate change law, with Shenzhen having passed legislation aiming at managing greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions (a first of its kind in China). Kenya is taking its Climate Change Authority Bill through parliament with expectations of its culmination in early 2013. Japan has passed the Low Carbon City Development Act, and introduced a carbon tax.And, Mexico has passed The General Law on Climate Change whose goal is to reduce GHG emission by 30 percent.

In addition to sharing these findings, at the London event, the related GLOBE Climate Legislation Initiative was launched. GLOBE’s Secretary General Adam Matthews called it “one of the most important initiatives outside the UN negotiations.”

Mr. Matthews also outlined its aim, “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.” The initiative is also poised to serve as a discussion platform on energy for international legislators.

How may countries that are working together improve the climate and/or energy legislation worldwide?

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