The Global Legislators Organisation, known as GLOBE International, has been running a climate change dialogue for cross‐party legislators from the major economies since 2005. This has provided a forum for legislators to be briefed by some of the world’s leading experts on the latest science and economics, share experiences and best practice, help to break down partisan divides and identify common ground.
Legislators from 16 countries are involved in the process, which together account for about three‐ quarters of global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. They are Brazil, Canada, China, the European Union (EU), France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the United Kingdom (UK) and the United States of America (USA).
The process has resulted in some significant outcomes, providing political insights to help inform the official UN process. Specific outcomes include agreement on a post‐ 2012 framework paper 1, a set of ‘legislative principles on climate change’ 2 and, most recently, agreement on a politically acceptable legal form for a post‐2012 agreement.
It is clear that national legislation is a critical element of the response to climate change. Advancing ambitious laws not only helps to reduce harmful emissions and prepare for the impacts of climate change now, even in the absence of an international agreement, but also helps to advance national positions, giving leaders the confidence to go further in the formal United Nations (UN) negotiations. And by moving together, and in a consistent fashion, legislators can ensure that the benefits of moving to a low carbon economy are magnified.
Following the agreement on the ‘legislative principles on climate change,’ GLOBE members felt that it would be helpful to map the existing climate change and energy legislation in the major economies to identify gaps and best practice, helping to establish what has worked well and could be replicated elsewhere.
As a result, GLOBE International partnered with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change at the London School of Economics to produce this study, which will form the basis of the next phase of GLOBE’s work in working with national GLOBE chapters to advance domestic climate change legislation and supporting the role of legislators in holding their governments to account.