The Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) and former Governor of California and Founding Chair of Regions of Climate Action (R20) Arnold Schwarzenegger have teamed up to mobilize parliamentary action on climate change to help deliver results.
In an agreement between IPU, R20 and the University of Southern California Schwarzenegger Institute for State and Global Policy in Paris, the three partners have agreed to work on projects that will strengthen parliaments’ capacities and abilities to tackle the growing threat of climate change.
The agreement was signed after Mr. Schwarzenegger delivered a keynote address in the French National Assembly to 600 parliamentarians and parliamentary officials at a joint IPU-French Parliament meeting on climate change. It sets a new track in efforts to harness global political action on the issue.
Project initiatives will include raising awareness among parliamentarians to the challenge of climate change and building cross-party support for action, including on legislation and overseeing the implementation of international and national commitments on reducing greenhouse gas emissions.
IPU, R20 and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute will also work together to boost parliamentary input into global processes such as the Sustainable Development Goals, the Sendai Framework for Disaster Risk Reduction and an agreement on climate change expected to result from the global UN summit currently taking place in Paris (COP21/CMP11).
Emphasis will be put on strengthening interaction between parliamentarians and civil society organizations and as a first step, on developing a programme for parliamentarians that focuses on the practicalities of transitioning to a green economy.
Arnold Schwarzenegger has been proactive on climate change issues and committed to finding non-partisan political solutions to global challenges. Both R20 and the USC Schwarzenegger Institute operate on the principle of partnerships and coalitions to better help the people politicians serve.
"By investing in clean energy today, we manage the future risks that fossil fuel brings. Our mission is to move forward as a united world, by inspiring people to join our diverse and inclusive movement," said Mr. Schwarzenegger.
For IPU, with a current membership of 167 national parliaments that comprise 43,500 of the world’s 45,000 parliamentarians, the agreement opens an important channel to help parliamentarians tackle climate change.
“Parliamentarians as political leaders have a responsibility to help find solutions to climate change. It is a responsibility that comes with legislative, budgetary and oversight powers that they must use with maximum efficiency. To do that, they have to be armed with the right skills and tools,” says IPU President Saber Chowdhury. “This agreement is a concrete vehicle to help parliamentarians turn global promises into solution-focused national action through the powers they have.”