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How parliamentarians can help ensure the success of the Paris Agreement

In December 2015, Parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) adopted the Paris Agreement,1 governing the next phase of international cooperation to tackle climate change. In order to promote flexibility and encourage participation, the Agreement allows Parties to determine their national contributions. The ambition of these contributions is expected to increase over time. The Agreement aims to promote transparency and accountability through clear international rules that will apply to all Parties.

The Agreement will need to be implemented at the national level through a range of domestic actions and its effectiveness will therefore depend to a large extent on whether each country meets its international commitments. Parliamentarians must make full use of their powers to legislate, allocate budgets, influence policy and exercise oversight if the Agreement is to be effective.

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Members of parliament can help break the international stalemate on climate change action by ‘domesticating’ global decisions, using national legislation. But to do that they often need long-term capacity-building programmes to catalyse the process: programmes that have support within the Government and across parliaments.

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Helping parliamentarians drive national climate change policy