Commonwealth Parliamentary Association partners with United Nations Environment Programme to provide cutting edge training on climate change for Commonwealth Parliamentarians   

Commonwealth Parliamentarians will benefit from a new partnership that will provide training and development programmes on climate change with leading global experts. The new partnership agreement between the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), with its network of over 180 parliaments and legislatures across the Commonwealth, and the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), the leading UN agency on climate change, will benefit legislators in large and small jurisdictions across the Commonwealth.   

Professional training programmes offered will assist legislators to: 
formulate and review appropriate legislation to pursue sustainable development relating to the Sustainable Development Goals;
provide effective oversight on the negotiation and implementation of internationally agreed environmental and sustainable development goals, including the United Nations Framework Convention and its associated treaties;
provide effective oversight on the enforcement of national legislation relating to sustainable development, including conservation, protection, enhancement, valuation and support of nature and natural resources, including biological diversity and forest governance/REDD+;

The CPA and UNEP will engage with legislators to strengthen national legislation, deepen public debate and enhance accountability in the management of natural resources. Both organisations have identified that there is an urgent need to scale up this engagement with legislators to create the national foundations for delivery of international environmental agreements and the Sustainable Development Goals.

The impact of climate change is particularly relevant to the Small Branches within the membership of the CPA, to which the CPA has a particular commitment. They represent the smallest populations in the Commonwealth, many of which are particularly susceptible to the effects of environmental challenges, most notably climate change.

A joint Memorandum of Understanding (MoU) was signed by the CPA Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan and Mr Erik Solheim, UNEP Executive Director. The cutting edge training for Parliamentarians that will be provided will help to further both organisation’s key objectives in areas like sustainable development, particularly the 2030 Agenda for Sustainable Development and its components, namely climate change and the Paris Agreement.

The CPA Secretary-General, Mr Akbar Khan
said: “The signing of this Memorandum of Understanding is a vital step towards strengthening the role of Commonwealth Parliaments and Parliamentarians in tackling the global challenges of climate change. The engagement of Parliaments in environmental protection is of particular importance, not only to translate international agreements into workable legislation on a national scale, but also to monitor implementation on the ground and lobby on a constituent level and nationally for adhering to international standards. By working/partnering with UNEP, the CPA will be able to provide cutting edge training on environmental protection for our Members. This will strengthen Parliamentarians’ ability to pass legislation and put the necessary enforcement mechanisms in place on constituency, national and international levels to protect our planet.

Mr Erik Solheim, Executive Director, UNEP, said: "We may sometimes think of the law as something divorced from our day to day lives, but for many of us it is the reason we can still breathe fresh air, drink clean water and access wholesome food. At the United Nations Environment Programme, we are working with Parliamentarians to strengthen environmental law and governance to enable people to lead dignified lives, throughout the Commonwealth and beyond and the new partnership with the CPA will help to deliver this."
To find out more about the parliamentary training the CPA offers legislators in the area of climate change, please email

Published Monday 4 December 2017.


The Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA), now in its 106th year with HM The Queen, Head of the Commonwealth as its Patron, exists to develop, promote and support Commonwealth Parliamentarians and parliamentary staff to identify benchmarks of good governance and to implement the enduring values of the Commonwealth. The CPA is an international community of Commonwealth Parliaments and Legislatures working together to deepen the Commonwealth’s commitment to the highest standards of democratic governance. 

The CPA represents more than 180 Parliaments and Legislatures in 52 Commonwealth countries and its network extends to over 17,000 Parliamentarians and Parliamentary staff. The CPA is the only Commonwealth organisation to represent national, state, provincial and territorial Parliaments and Legislatures. There are nine Regions of the CPA: Africa; Asia; Australia; British Islands and Mediterranean; Canada; Caribbean, Americas and Atlantic; India; Pacific; South-East Asia. Commonwealth Women Parliamentarians (CWP) in Branches and Regions promote gender participation in Parliaments and CPA Small Branches represent more than 30 jurisdictions with populations of up to 500,000 people. 

Parliaments, their Members and officials learn from each other through CPA activities including: Annual Commonwealth Parliamentary Conferences and CPA Regional Conferences; a wide range of Parliamentary strengthening and Public Outreach Programmes; Interparliamentary visits; Parliamentary Seminars and Workshops; and Communications and Publications including The Parliamentarian, the Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments. 

For further information about the CPA, please contact: 

Commonwealth Parliamentary Association
CPA Secretariat, Westminster House, 
Suite 700, 7 Millbank, London SW1P 3JA, 
United Kingdom 
T: 44-20-7799-1460 
F: 44-20-7222-6073 
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