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Commonwealth at the forefront of new climate legislation toolkit

11 May 2017

The Commonwealth Secretariat is helping to create a toolkit that will assist countries to implement the historic Paris Agreement on climate change.

The Secretariat updated partners and country representatives at a meeting in Bonn this week organised by the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). 

Steven Malby, Head of Law Development at the Commonwealth said  the new toolkit will provide countries with a comprehensive source of methodologies, good practice, and knowledge sharing on climate legislation.

“It is a much-needed resource for countries to review their national laws and undertake reform in support of their climate policy commitments under the Paris Agreement,” Mr Malby said. The toolkit will be an online public website aimed at law and policy makers and is being developed in partnership with the Secretariat to the UNFCCC and UN Environment.

Patricia Espinosa, Executive Secretary, UNFCCC told delegates: “For effective implementation, climate law-making is essential – effective legislation, regulatory and institutional measures are needed. We need new laws, and we need to review existing laws. Reviewing and reforming existing laws to consider climate change proactively addresses climate risks. This work must involve all ministries, as all sectors of the economy and society are at risk from climate change.”

The Paris Agreement requires all of its 145 Parties to put forward their best efforts in climate action through nationally determined contributions (NDCs), and to strengthen these efforts in the years ahead. NDCs will be deciding factors as to whether the world achieves the goals agreed in Paris: to hold the increase in global average temperature to well below 2°C, to pursue efforts to limit the increase to 1.5°C, and to achieve net zero emissions in the second half of this century.

The UNFCCC discussion event was organised by the UNFCCC in partnership with the UN Environment, the Commonwealth Secretariat and the Grantham Research Institute at London School of Economics.

Over 180 delegates attended the meeting, held during the Bonn Climate Change Conference.