How can parliaments protect the environment? This free online event will explore how environmental issues are becoming increasingly hard to ignore. More extreme weather patterns, rising sea levels and wide-spread pollution complicate everyday lives of millions of people around the world, but governments’ action on these issues is often slow. This raises concerns that the longer we wait to act on environment, the more likely we are to find ourselves in crisis conditions that require swift action at the expense of democratic governance.
Parliaments play an important role in democratic policymaking, but they are already getting bypassed when it comes to environmental action. To examine the extent to which parliaments protect the environment, this event launches a report which examines single-use plastic (SUP) bans in 32 countries and three in-depth case studies of Barbados, Kenya and Thailand. The report suggests that legislatures can play an important role in environmental policymaking and that promoting swift environmental action at the expense of democratic governance does not always pay dividends.
Join the report's lead author, Dr Petra Alderman (University of Birmingham) as she outlines the main findings, in conversation with WFD's Environmental Democracy Advisor, Rafael Jimenez Aybar. The event will also feature remarks from experts involved in the research, including HE Professor Judi Wakhungu (former Minister of Environment and Natural Resources, Kenya) and Nikola Simpson (Head of the Blue Economy Accelerator Lab, UNDP).
You can now read the report in full.
On International Democracy Day 2022, the Global Democracy Coalition will hold an event to celebrate democracy activism and democracy defenders of different kinds across varying contexts, and to discuss the most effective ways to support them, to advance and protect democracy worldwide, showcasing stories and examples from partner organizations in the Global Democracy Coalition and their democracy defenders grantees/partners.
WFD's CEO, Anthony Smith will be speaking at the event discussing WFD's work and how strategies and programming are shifting to address new challenges.
The event aims to show how the defense of democracy takes different shapes and forms across varying contexts but will also seek to tease out commonalities and prevalent challenges and strategies to learn from each other. The discussion will also provide inputs to democracy assistance organizations from the Global Democracy Coalition from the United States, Europe, and Latin America so that they can more effectively support the efforts of different types of democracy defenders and also learn from each other.
Post-legislative scrutiny (PLS) is the practice of monitoring the implementation and evaluating the impact of laws. The aim is to ensure that laws benefit citizens in the way originally intended by lawmakers. PLS is often carried out by parliamentary committees. WFD has helped parliaments around the world pioneer post-legislative scrutiny.
The Advanced Course on Post-Legislative Scrutiny (PLS), delivered in partnership with the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, explores in-depth the theory and practice of PLS as an oversight tool. The course adopts a holistic outlook that places PLS in the legislative cycle.
Governance and political failures, whether they are a lack of political will, short-terminism or weak accountability, undermine the effectiveness of climate action support or environmental programmes. Despite this, traditionally most development programmes treat strengthening democracy or governance separately to environmental protection.
This event will launch research commissioned by WFD from the Grantham Institute at the London School of Economics, around the Conference on Environmental Democracy which took place from 29-31 March 2022. The study explores how a greater focus on environmental democracy and governance may help address climate change and environmental degradation.
Speakers will include the lead author, Dr Alina Averchenkova (LSE), and Alicia Forsyth, Head of the Climate Strategy and Co-ordination Department at the FCDO.
Legislative bodies are the national institution most closely linked to constituent demands and a vital part of national fiscal accountability ecosystems. In most countries, however, especially during the COVID-19 pandemic, parliaments have found themselves sidelined during loan approval processes and with limited opportunity for oversight of loan-financed projects.
Hosted in partnership with The National Democratic Institute (NDI), this event will convene members of parliament and debt experts to explore and highlight the essential responsibilities of parliaments throughout the budget cycle. The session will explore global perspectives surrounding public debt and parliamentary oversight as well as the importance of parliaments to play an active role in debt oversight. The webinar will also feature an introduction to the global resource on the role of parliaments in public debt management and transparency, developed by NDI and WFD.
This free 3-day conference brought together the democracy support and environmental communities. Together, we can unlock the potential of the environmental democracy approach.
The global environmental crisis and rising authoritarianism are two of the most pressing challenges we face.
Despite overwhelming evidence about the impact of humans on the environment, and unprecedented international consensus on the need for urgent action, the world has so far failed to take adequate steps to avert this crisis.
At the same time, democracy itself is under threat. The recent US-led Summit for Democracy aimed to galvanise action across the democratic world in response to creeping authoritarianism.
In this context, democratic governments must lead societies towards accelerated technological and behavioural transformation that leaves no one behind. Failure to respond effectively to the climate and environmental crisis risks worsening the already falling public confidence in the ability of democratic governments to deliver for citizens.
Democratic governments need to ensure that democracy delivers worldwide, both for citizens today and for future generations.
This conference explored how we can get to work.
To find out more about the conference proceedings and outcomes read the Chair's summary.