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Climate legislation advancing in 16 leading countries

28 April 2011
Climate legislation advancing in 16 leading countries

LONDON: A study by Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE) published last week, shows that in the last 18 months, the world’s leading economies have rapidly developed their climate change legislation, collectively helping to advance a global Clean Revolution.

The GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, which was produced with Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics, shows that 16 of the world’s largest economies are now advancing laws to tackle climate change. The 16 countries - which together make up around three quarters of global greenhouse gases (GHG) emissions - are: Brazil, Canada, China, the EU, France, Germany, India, Indonesia, Italy, Japan, Mexico, Russia, South Africa, South Korea, the UK and the US.

Rt Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben, GLOBE President, said: “The study illustrates that the shape of the debate on climate change is shifting from being about sharing a global burden – with governments naturally trying to minimize their share – to a realization that acting on climate change is in the national interest.”

Global climate change ministers including those of Australia and China attended the official launch of the GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, and the results have been welcomed by Chris Huhne, UK Energy and Climate Change Secretary: “Low carbon investment needs clear domestic law as well as a comprehensive global agreement.” He said. “Under the UK’s Climate Change Act, we are transforming the way we live and work to cut carbon, save energy and support jobs and green growth. The report by GLOBE and LSE demonstrates that many other countries are also putting in place the legal frameworks and low carbon development plans to tackle climate change. The race is on, and the pioneers are the most likely winners.  The international priority must now be to push ahead, building on the progress at Cancun, and work towards a global climate deal.”

The study particularly focuses on the encouraging progress of the developing countries’ growing commitment to transforming legal and policy framework, including Brazil, China, India, Mexico and South Africa, which have long been predicted as tomorrow’s major GHG producers.

Xie Zhenhua, Vice Minister, Chinese NDRC commented: “Countries have realized that the traditional high carbon growth model is unsustainable and that it is in the national interest to grow in a more sustainable and resource-efficient manner. The carbon and energy intensity targets set out in China’s 12th Five Year Plan, together with the forthcoming development of a climate change law, both demonstrate that China is committed to this path.”

Also highlighted in the study is the swift 18 month timeframe for these changes, which clearly contrasts with the stalled international climate negotiations

Evan Juska, Head of US Policy, The Climate Group says: “This report highlights the fact that countries are moving forward to address climate change, despite delays at the international level.  Now that the UN process is moving towards a more bottom-up approach, this progress at the national level can provide momentum to the international effort led by the UN process, opening up a whole range of opportunities for countries to cooperate to achieve their shared low carbon goals, and setting the foundation for even further levels of ambition.

The GLOBE study results will form the basis of the next phase of GLOBE's work, to advance domestic climate change legislation and support the role of legislators in holding their governments to account.

Download the GLOBE Climate Legislation Study

Read our essential report Delivering Low Carbon Growth: A Guide to China's 12th Five Year Plan

See our latest report India's Clean Revolution

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