voice for democracy

To deal with the climate crisis, the world needs more democracy – The Guardian

Huge changes to all levels of society, politics and businesses are required to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change, writes Rafael Jiménez Aybar
Last modified on Fri 29 Oct 2021 18.30 BST
Your article (World is failing to make changes needed to avoid climate breakdown, report finds, 28 October) highlights the importance of strong democratic governance in supporting sustainable development. Huge changes to all levels of society, politics and businesses are required to avoid the most devastating effects of climate change and environmental degradation.
Almost every country in the world has legislation dedicated to the protection and preservation of the environment. However, the implementation and enforcement of these laws does not go far enough to address environmental challenges. Besides, the scale and pace of the required transformation of our societies to keep global warming under the safer threshold of 1.5 to 2C are such that innovative approaches to democratic governance are in order, if we want to ensure that the transition is as just and inclusive as possible – for example, through deliberative democracy initiatives.

A failure to rally the whole of society around not just the notion of acting on climate change, but also the concrete and often disruptive policies that this will require, will result in insufficient action and runaway climate change.
Realising international environmental treaties, such as the Paris climate agreement, requires the translation of these commitments into domestic laws and regulations by democratic means. Citizens, political parties, journalists and parliaments need the capacity, resolve and resources to use the extensive evidence available on climate change and environmental degradation to inform and influence policy development. In short, our planet needs more and better democracy.
Rafael Jiménez Aybar
Environmental democracy adviser, Westminster Foundation for Democracy
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