World Legislators Commit to Pursue the Goals of Rio+20
June 20, 2012
- They signed a protocol aimed at addressing gaps in the original Rio process.
- The legislators also agreed to push for the incorporation of natural capital into government accounting procedures.
- "We can take action and move forward now", said World Bank's VP for Latin America and the Caribbean, Hasan Tuluy.
Gathered in the city of Rio de Janeiro, 300 parliamentarians from 85 countries made a commitment to help their governments pursue the objectives of Rio+20 and Rio-92 conferences, and use legislation to promote a greener growth for all.
After three days of meetings at the World Summit of Legislators, promoted by GLOBE International – a worldwide parliamentarian network for the environment –, they signed a protocol aimed at addressing gaps in the original Rio process.
“The goals set during the Rio-92 Conference could not be reached due to the lack of participation of the Legislative Branches of the participating countries”, stated Rodrigo Rollemberg, Brazil’s negotiator at the summit.
President of the Environment Commission at the Brazilian Senate, Rollemberg added: “The World Summit of Legislators engaged parliamentarians from all over the world. Back home, they will introduce bills, argue for better environmental budgets, and monitor their governments’ implementation of Rio agenda.”
By signing the protocol, the legislators also agreed to push for the incorporation of natural capital into government accounting procedures.
We do not need to wait; we can take action and move forward now, because the choices we take today on infrastructure, energy and technology will determine the future.
Natural capital accounting takes into consideration the important contributions of forests, wetlands, and agricultural land, for example, in the national wealth. Therefore, it represents a much more comprehensive wealth indicator than GDP (gross domestic product) alone.
Another summit is scheduled for 2014, when legislators will come back to Rio de Janeiro to monitor delivery and share their best practices.
No need to wait
The need to preserve natural resources while fighting poverty and promoting sustainable development was emphasized by World Bank’s vice-president for Latin America and the Caribbean, Hasan Tuluy.
“Separating the move towards a low carbon and greener, cleaner, more efficient, more resilient and more socially inclusive development path from economic growth misses the opportunity of giving an extra push to a sustainable growth paradigm which can fully integrate much needed economic growth with medium terms signals to tackle climate and energy security”, he said.
In a speech delivered at the closing session, he also highlighted the importance of continuity in legislative work for the environment. “Parliaments endure beyond the terms of governments and we are committed to engage and support this process.”
“This Summit of Legislators has clearly showed that while global agreements are helpful, we do not need to wait; we can take action and move forward now, because the choices we take today on infrastructure, energy and technology will determine the future”, Tuluy added.
Both World Bank’s vice-president and the legislators commended Mexico for enacting a Climate Change General Law, the second of its kind in the world.
The legislation commits Mexico to reduce GHG emissions, avoid deforestation and adapt to the impacts of climate change. If successfully implemented, it will show how important law is as a framework for concrete action on the environment.