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July 19, 2021
Parliamentarians across the world call for prioritization of public empowerment in the COP26 Agenda

In collaboration with the Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD), ParlAmericas and parliamentarians from Canada, Indonesia, Georgia, Kenya and Pakistan have published a statement highlighting the urgent need for public empowerment to be a top priority at COP26 and underscoring its role in ensuring the overall success of the Paris Agreement.

The statement recognizes the six components of Action for Climate Empowerment (ACE), a term adopted by the United Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) to refer to work under Article 6 of the Convention (1992) and Article 12 of the Paris Agreement, to empower all members of society to engage in climate action through education, training, public awareness, public participation, public access to information, and international cooperation on these issues. It suggests that a recommitment to the role all of society can play in climate action is perfectly suited for this moment following the threats to democracy presented by responses to COVID-19. It also outlines the need to strengthen climate governance and ensure greater participation of and engagement in action to address climate change, and recognizes the important role that parliaments play in these efforts, as recently explored in the 5th Gathering of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change.

The signatories to the statement are Senator the Honourable Rosa Galvez (Canada), President of the ParlAmericas Parliamentary Network on Climate Change; the Honourable Munaza Hassan (Pakistan), Chair of the Climate Change Committee of the National Assembly; the Honourable Fadli Zon (Indonesia), Chair of the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee of the House of Representatives; the Honourable Japhet Miriti Kareke Mbiuki (Kenya), Chair of the Environment & Natural Resources Committee of the National Assembly; the Honourable Maia Bitadze (Georgia), Chair of the Environmental Protection And Natural Resources Committee of the Parliament; Alisha Todd, Director General of ParlAmericas, and Rafael Jimenez Aybar, Environmental Democracy Adviser of WFD.

In support of the statement, Senator Rosa Galvez commented that “the pandemic has curtailed the full exercise of democratic activities which have yet to return to full capacity, thus reducing adequate measures to hold governments accountable for their climate promises. This is why it is so important to prioritize public empowerment, and as parliamentarians, we have a critical role in ensuring adequate frameworks and programs are in place to guarantee access to information, education and public participation in the development and implementation of climate legislation and policies.”

Read the full statement here.