In the three decades since GLOBE's establishment in 1991 the context in which legislators work has changed dramatically. Climate change laws around the world have seen a 20-fold increase from a mere 50+ at the time of the Kyoto Climate Summit in 1997, to more than 1200 at last count. But this same 30 years has seen the rise of more than half of all CO2 emissions since 1751. As a series of recent scientific assessments has shown, the state of the planet has now reached a critical stage in every parameter of ecosystem health and atmospheric conditions. The climate and biodiversity emergencies have been accompanied by sharp rises in inequality between and within nations.
During this time, many nations have also seen a collapse of trust in politicians and the political class. The political ramifications of the Global Financial Crisis of 2008 are being felt in the rise of nationalism and authoritarianism. No country has been immune to this. Many have seen intensified attacks on democratic institutions, the rule of law and fundamental freedoms. During this period, independent legislatures have seen weakening rather than strengthening.
At the same time, the climate emergency has aroused unprecedented interest amongst young people with the climate strikes. Climate impacts are now changing conditions on the ground in every continent and emerging as a key driver in voting intentions. A new breed of tech savvy younger politicians are emerging using new means of digital engagement and challenging established norms. The political landscape and institutions are both changing rapidly.
GLOBE's programmatic focus has reshaped to address this new context and its imperative for urgent multilateral action and a democratic renewal agenda.
Towards this, GLOBE is stepping up areas of established expertise such as in the nature and climate space, and opening up new areas of work with leading cross-party legislators on improved governance for sustainable development. The changing roles of national parliaments in relation to sub-national, city and regional bodies, as well as the implications of devolution for powers and responsibilities of the three tiers of government (executive, legislature, judiciary) is a live issue informing GLOBE's developing work programme.
At the same time, GLOBE works closely with UN partners in the furtherance of Agenda 2030 and the Sustainable Development Goals and promotes coherence and convergence amongst the 2015 summit agreements.
The COVID-19 pandemic has highlighted the need for trust in institutions, improved risk governance and collaborative approaches to addressing complex emergencies. The role of independent and responsive parliaments in ensuring oversight and scrutiny in the public interest has never been more important.
Please contact us if there are alignments with your parliamentary or organisational efforts. We welcome collaboration.