At IPU144, WFD calls for parliamentarians to take stock of the climate emergency

WFD side event at the 144th IPU Assembly in Bali
30 March 2022

At IPU144, WFD calls for parliamentarians to take stock of the climate emergency

WFD hosted a side event on the margins of the 144th IPU Assembly and related meetings aimed at calling for enhanced participation from parliamentarians in overseeing the fulfillment of global commitments to tackle the climate emergency.

On 20–24 March 2022, the Indonesian House of Representatives (DPR RI) hosted the 144th Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) Assembly and related meetings in Bali. Highlighting the theme of “Getting to Zero: Mobilising Parliaments to Act on Climate Change”, Speaker of the Indonesian House of Representatives Hon. Puan Maharani underlined how technological advancement and economic development “may have come at the cost of our environment, climate, and sustainability of our natural resources”.

As a close partner in bringing climate action to the forefront of the Indonesian Parliament’s agenda, WFD was on site to observe the proceedings of the Assembly and co-host a side event alongside the Inter-Parliamentary Cooperation Committee (BKSAP) of DPR RI. The side event focused on exploring ways for parliaments to accelerate the delivery of climate change commitments set by national leaders both in international and national frameworks.

Hon. Graham Stuart of the UK House of Commons—also an adviser to WFD’s Environmental Democracy Initiative—chaired the panel discussion. Graham commenced the panel discussion by underlining the outcome of last year’s COP26 dubbed the Glasgow Climate Pact. The Pact urges countries to commit to global action in reducing emission (mitigation), helping those impacted by climate change (adaptation), enabling countries to deliver on their climate goals (financing), and working together to deliver greater action (collaboration).

On the panel, Graham was joined by three Indonesian MPs: Hons. Fadli Zon, Putu Supadma Rudana, and Achmad Hafisz Tohir. Their intervention emphasized the need for an equitable and just solutions in responding to the threats of climate change. They also highlighted WFD’s continued support in helping the Indonesian Parliament to adopt climate responsive frameworks and approaches such as regulatory impact assessment, green budgeting, green economy agenda, and a series of multistakeholder forums aimed at creating spaces for meaningful public participation in safeguarding climate action delivery.

Hon. Petra Bayr of the Austrian Parliament shared five concrete steps for parliaments to do better on climate action: make evidence-based decisions, explain climate emergencies in ways that people understand, hold governments accountable through stronger parliamentary oversight, listen to experts and civil society reformers, and build forward–not build back–better. Meanwhile, as a country that is often viewed to be especially vulnerable to extreme climate variations and rising sea level, Hon. Shanakiyan R. Rasamanickam of the Sri Lankan Parliament echoed the need for equitable and just climate action while calling for stronger international partnerships and collaboration.

Closing the panel, Hon. Waven William of the National Assembly of Seychelles—also Vice-President of the IPU Sustainable Development Committee—commended WFD’s commitment to support parliaments and noted the importance of global forums to act concretely and demand more ambitious commitments. Rounding up the panel, Chair of the British Group of the Inter-Parliamentary Union (BGIPU) Hon. Harriett Baldwin underlined that economic development does not have to come at the expense of the environment; noting the UK's green economy sector which reported growth to the tune of four times the size of the its manufacturing sector in 2021. Harriett also reiterated the UK Government’s firm commitments to help other countries in tackling the climate emergency, as evidenced by its significant contribution to the Green Climate Fund (GCF) and the UK Partnering for Accelerated Climate Transition (UK PACT).

In Indonesia, WFD's UK PACT environmental democracy project aims at making Indonesian climate action deliver on its promises. Within six months of the project implementation, WFD has provided a series of trainings for parliamentary analysts, legal drafters and expert staff to conduct evidence-based assessments of draft legislations, scrutinise government budgets using a climate responsive lens, and build the parliament's capacity to oversee the delivery of climate commitments by relevant government counterparts.