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UNFCCC Executive Secretary Calls on Legislators to Achieve a 2015 Climate Change Agreement

UNFCCC14 January 2013: Addressing the First Global Legislators Organization (GLOBE) Climate Legislation Summit, held in London from 14-15 January 2013, UNFCCC Executive Secretary Christiana Figueres said that legislators have to act in national parliaments to make an international agreement in 2015 possible. She also urged them to accelerate action to address climate change.

Legislators in attendance at the meeting saw the presentation of GLOBE's third edition of the Climate Legislation Study and the launch of the GLOBE Climate Legislation Initiative. UNFCCC Executive Secretariat highlighted that domestic legislation on climate is the absolutely critical linchpin between action at the national level and international agreements. Pointing to inter-linkages between the two, she said “nothing is going to be agreed internationally, until enough is legislated domestically.”

Acknowledging the challenge of adopting an international agreement by 2015, as agreed in the 2011 Durban Climate Change Conference, she said a number of facts, including countries' written commitment that they will agree to a universal framework, allow for optimism on its timely adoption in three years. She said "impossible is not a fact. It is only an attitude."

Moreover, Figueres stressed the need to foster the adoption of enough domestic legislation and action to meet the two degree maximum temperature rise as internationally agreed. In that regard, Figueres acknowledged GLOBE's support to national parliamentarians to develop and agree on common legislative responses to sustainable development challenges and called for focus on implementation. [UNFCCC Executive Secretary Opening Statement][GLOBE International website]