When it comes to the urgency and actions needed to combat climate change and environmental crises, the science is clear. However, political systems lag behind.
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.
Join WFD for this side event as part of the NGO CSW66 Forum.
This panel will share learnings from various countries’ efforts to include women, particularly from indigenous communities and other minorities, into environmental decision-making processes and leadership.
Huge changes to all levels of society, politics and businesses are required to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change and environmental degradation. This means we need durable, effective and responsive democratic institutions, accountable systems of governance, and strong political will.
The event will consider how the three pillars of environmental democracy, transparency, participation and justice, are vital to empower those which are made most vulnerable by climate change.
Through their work, civil society is directly connected to community members and is aware of changes and impact laws have on the people they are meant to serve.
To support civil society playing a key role in democratic governance, WFD and Kaleidoscope Trust developed a guide on post-legislative scrutiny for civil society organizations, that details the steps civil society can take to meaningfully contribute to legislative impact assessments.
At this seminar, the authors of the guide, Grazia Careccia and Alicia Wallace, will present the research approach informing the guide, present the findings emerging from piloting the guide in several countries, and share practical strategies for civil society to engage in post-legislative scrutiny.
The event is open to civil society organisations, students, academics, parliamentary staff and other interested individuals in the UK. The seminar takes place as an IN-PERSON event at the premises of the Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) in London. Following the one-hour seminar, participants will be invited to networking drinks at the IALS.
Online participation won’t be foreseen. Prior registration is required for all attendees. Any registered participant who feels unwell or has covid-symptoms on the day of the event is expected to cancel participation.
- Dr Constantin Stefanou, IALS Director of Taught Programmes and Director of Sir William Dale Centre for Legislative Studies, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies (IALS) of the University of London.
- Franklin De Vrieze, Senior Governance Adviser at Westminster Foundation for Democracy (WFD)
Presentation of the publication and findings from piloting
- Grazia Careccia, human rights expert, co-author of the publication
- Alicia Wallace, gender and democracy researcher, co-author of the publication
- Parliamentary official
- Dr Maria Mousmouti, Associate Research Fellow, Institute of Advanced Legal Studies, University of London
Q&A with the audience, facilitated by Sophia Fernandes, Senior Adviser Political Inclusion at WFD.
Closing: Sophia Fernandes, Senior Adviser Political Inclusion at WFD.
Parliaments globally have the important responsibility of engaging in effective oversight of government actions through inclusive representation and informed policymaking. In crisis contexts, these responsibilities are even more critical.
The COVID-19 pandemic continues to require governments to deliver resources to impacted and underserved citizens. Additionally, with growing threats from climate change and global conflicts, governments everywhere will inevitably be confronted by crises, and must be prepared to support citizen security and recovery in those times of need.
As the representative branch of the government, parliaments remain on the front lines in ensuring resources reach citizens during a crisis in a timely manner.
In this session, organised with the National Democratic Institute as part of the AGORA Parliamentary Development Community of Practice, members of parliament, citizen groups, and experts, will convene to discuss the issue of “parliamentary accountability” as it relates to crisis contexts.
Specifically, the issue will be explored through three key themes:
- foundations and globally-upheld norms in parliamentary accountability good practices;
- parliament’s role in maintaining accountability of government service delivery in a crisis;
- mechanisms that ensure parliament remains accountable to its core mandates to ensure effective action in crisis contexts.
The session will be conducted primarily in English. Some presentations may be offered in a speaker’s host language with interpretation available for participants. Participants may also request the translation of program materials following the session.
The event will take place from 8 am to 11 am ET which is 2pm to 5pm CET