Efforts to embed the environmental democracy principles of open government, citizen participation, and access to justice principles in environmental governance – have been ongoing since the 1992 Rio Summit. Yet the potential of these principles to enhance climate action has yet to be realised. Action on Climate Empowerment (ACE) and environmental democracy can strengthen the participation of citizens, local communities, women, and indigenous peoples in energy decision-making, creating powerful tools for convincing decision-makers to undertake ambitious, just clean energy objectives and orientate them to fulfil them with the widest societal ownership. Societal ownership can, in turn, facilitate the implementation of ambitious clean energy objectives and enhance legal certainty. The adoption of the Glasgow ACE Work Programme brings a unique opportunity to reinvigorate the clean energy transition.
WFD will convene a panel in collaboration with the World Resources Institute (WRI), International IDEA, Climate Action Network (CAN), E3G and the Business, Energy and Industrial Strategy Committee (BEIS) of the UK House of Commons to:
- Provide views on how to ensure that climate empowerment is placed at the heart of national action plans on climate as a delivery mechanism of the Paris Agreement and its ‘ratchet mechanism’.
- Highlight the role of Parliaments to serve as major hubs for innovative action for clean energy climate empowerment and demonstrate the example of the UK Climate Assembly in generating and integrating citizens’ views into policymaking as regards societal preferences for a zero-carbon energy mix.
- Showcase examples of environmental democracy worldwide driving climate action including the transition to clean energy. (MPs from Costa Rica, Georgia, Pakistan).