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Climate Change

The Climate Parliament: Legislators working worldwide to combat climate change

This blog is part of the CPA’s blog series, ‘Climate change challenges for the Commonwealth'. The series was published as the COP26 conference takes place in Glasgow in November 2021. You can find all the articles in the series here.

Sergio Missana writes about how the Climate Parliament is working worldwide to bring Parliamentarians together to introduce policies to combat climate change.

We are running out of time. At current emission levels, we will exhaust a safe 1.5°C ‘carbon budget’ by the end of this decade. The climate crisis poses a threat to civilisation and to the very survival of the human species. Most countries are moving in the right direction, making climate commitments and investing in renewable energy. But the world is not moving forward at the speed and scale needed to avoid going beyond a point of no return.

Elected politicians have a key role to play in the race to prevent a climate catastrophe, as they are a main source of political will. They are in a unique position to push for climate ambition. If they are to take action, legislators must be informed about the latest scientific evidence on climate, advances in renewable energy technology and best practices regarding energy policy.

The Climate Parliament is an international, multi-partisan network of legislators working across the world to help solve the climate crisis and accelerate the transition to renewable energy. We are working on several fronts to mobilise climate action.

Parliamentary Action on Renewable Energy
The Climate Parliament is partnering with the European Union and with the United Nations Industrial Development Organisation (UNIDO) to create awareness among key legislators from the Africa Region and from small island developing states, to mobilise them to encourage their governments to raise their climate and renewable energy ambition.

The Parliamentary Action on Renewable Energy (PARE) programme, co-sponsored by the Pan-African Parliament, is organising a series of virtual roundtable meetings featuring renowned experts in three areas:
a) rural access to renewable energy through mini-grids and other off-grid solutions
b) large-scale renewable energy and green grids
c) sustainable transport.

The online sessions provide a platform to exchange information on cutting-edge research, success stories and best practices, and to discuss the role of policy in promoting investment in sustainable energy. A growing network of legislators have participated. The series includes: international roundtables focused on specific topics or research programmes; national roundtables including MPs from a single country; and one-on-one engagement with key legislators.

The project supports legislators by providing toolkits and policy briefs on concrete action with recommendations in six main areas: climate ambition, large-scale renewables, green grids, sustainable transport, rural access to electricity, and energy efficiency. We are developing a Map of Green Ambition, a tool specifically designed for legislators that includes factsheets summarising the deployment of renewable energy in different countries.

The main objective of the PARE project is to raise awareness and build capacity among legislators about climate and energy issues, thus creating the conditions for parliamentary action. Informing the legislators has a multiplier effect, as they reach out to colleagues and their constituents, and encourage their governments to act faster. One outcome that has resulted from the national virtual roundtables has been the establishment of informal cross-party groups in several national Parliaments on climate and clean energy issues.

As a result of the national roundtables and the one-on-one engagement with key legislators, we have established Climate Parliament groups in the following Commonwealth countries: The Gambia, Ghana, Kenya, Nigeria, Rwanda, Sierra Leone, South Africa, Tanzania, Uganda and Zambia. We have also set up groups in Algeria, Benin, Burkina Faso, Côte d’Ivoire, Democratic Republic of Congo, Djibouti, Gabon, Mauritania, Senegal, Togo and Zimbabwe.

The Climate Parliament groups are gender-diverse and multi-partisan (including MPs close to the government and from the opposition) and bring together legislators who are motivated to take action on climate issues and promote the transition to renewable energy. In addition to these groups, we have actively engaged legislators from other Commonwealth countries, including Antigua and Barbuda, The Bahamas, Cameroon, Jamaica, Lesotho, Malawi, Mauritius, Mozambique, Namibia, Seychelles and Tonga.

 

This blog post is an extract from a longer article in The Parliamentarian (2021 Issue Three) - to read the full article please click here.
This blog is part of the CPA’s blog series, ‘Climate change challenges for the Commonwealth'. The series was published as the COP26 conference takes place in Glasgow in November 2021. You can find all the articles in the series here.

The Parliamentarian - Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments

Latest Issue:

The Parliamentarian 2021: Issue Three - Looking ahead to COP26: the key challenges facing the Commonwealth in combatting climate change:

The Parliamentarian is the quarterly Journal of Commonwealth Parliaments published by the Commonwealth Parliamentary Association (CPA) and features articles, news and legislative reports written by Members of Parliament, parliamentary staff and international experts across the Commonwealth about a wide range of global issues. Click here to download the latest issue.

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