Additional briefing notes to simplified post-COP26 Version of Climate -Nature / Ecological Emergency ‘Blueprint’ for Legislation 10th Dec 2021

Simplified Version of Climate -Nature / Ecological Emergency ‘Blueprint’ for Legislation

  1. Dual climate-nature emergency targets based on –

i). UN IPCC science for a 1.5C-limited global-warming world  –

SSP1 Sustainability – Taking the Green Road (Low challenges to mitigation and adaptation)

The world shifts gradually, but pervasively, toward a more sustainable path, emphasizing more inclusive development that respects perceived environmental boundaries. Management of the global commons slowly improves, educational and health investments accelerate the demographic transition, and the emphasis on economic growth shifts toward a broader emphasis on human well-being. Driven by an increasing commitment to achieving development goals, inequality is reduced both across and within countries. Consumption is oriented toward low material growth and lower resource and energy intensity.

        ii).  A Global Goal for Nature: Nature Positive by 2030 –the nature target has been inspired by this international initiative to match the ambitions of the Paris Agreement 1.5C target !

 “Key natural ecosystems are heading towards irreversible tipping points with dangerous consequences for the stability of our planet. This is why we need to set our global compass to halt and reverse nature loss to safeguard human and planetary health.

 A global goal for nature aiming at achieving a net positive outcome by 2030 is crucial to secure a   nature-positive future for humanity within our planetary boundaries.”( Professor Johan Rockstrom, Director of the Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research)

  1. Climate- Nature Targets –emphasise that this proposed law interconnects climate WITH nature

               The XXX Government commits to the legally-binding targets that

(a) reduces the country’s  overall contribution to global greenhouse gas emissions (‘emissions’) to net zero at a rate that-

(i) is consistent with limiting the global mean temperature increase to 1.5 degrees Celsius compared to pre-industrial levels; and 

(ii) fulfilling its obligations under the UNFCCC, taking into account XXX and other countries’— 

(a) common but differentiated responsibilities, including  their respective historical    emissions; and 

(b) respective capabilities, considering national circumstances (‘the climate   target); 

(b) halts and reverses the country’s overall contribution to the degradation and loss of nature in XXX and overseas as a consequence of XXX’s generated activities, thereby –

(i) increasing the health, abundance, diversity and resilience of species, populations, habitats and ecosystems, measured from a baseline of 2020, so that by 2030, nature is visibly and measurably on the path of recovery, and—

(ii) fulfilling its obligations under the UNCBD and its protocols, following the commitments set out in the Leaders’ Pledge for Nature, taking into account XXX’s and other countries’— 

(a) historical contributions to the degradation of nature due to a country’s respective  ecological footprint of consumption; and 

(b) common but differentiated responsibilities; and

(c) respective capabilities, considering national circumstances; (‘the nature target’)

  1. Legislative timeframe required for the Government to present the climate-nature emergency ‘strategy’ (i.e.  integrated solutions to measurable achieve the climate-nature targets )

(1) The Government must, within twelve months of the passing of this ‘blueprint’ legislation, publish and lay before Parliament a strategy (‘the strategy’), which my majority, Parliament must approve, to achieve the climate-nature targets specified in section 2.

(2) The ‘strategy’ must include legally binding annual interim targets towards achieving the objectives. 

  1. Stipulations / principles to which the climate-nature emergency ‘strategy’ must adhere –

(3) The ‘strategy’ must adhere to the stipulations, (3)(a)- (g) and (4)(a)-(b) and must specify the measures that, in the opinion of the Government and subject to sections 3 and 4 of this ‘blueprint’ legislation, will achieve the objectives specified in section 2 by— 

(a) reducing greenhouse gas  emissions sources caused by human activity at a rate stipulated in Section 2(a) and on a trajectory consistent with limiting peak C02 emissions well within 4 years from a 2021 baseline; 

(b) ensuring an end to the exploration, extraction, export and import of fossil fuels by the XXX  at a rate stipulated in  2(a); and within 4 years from a 2021 baseline;

(c) ensuring that XXX’s emissions  are calculated on the basis of XXX consumption-based accounting  and that this constitutes: all XXX’s territorial emissions except those generated in the production of goods and services exported from the XXX; all consumption emissions generated abroad in the production and distribution of goods and services imported to the XXX; all emissions generated from XXX passenger transportation demands related to both personal and commercial passenger travel outside of XXX territory, including international aviation, passenger shipping;

(d) ensuring that steps taken to mitigate emissions minimise, as far as possible, damage to ecosystems, food and water availability, human health; and, do not infringe on human rights;

(e) restoring and expanding natural ecosystems, and enhancing the management of cultivated ecosystems to protect and enhance biodiversity, ecological processes and ecosystem service provision, including the active safeguarding of resilient carbon sinks;

(f) including measures to protect, restore and enhance ecosystems in XXX and elsewhere, where activity is generated from within XXX that is harmful to such ecosystems; 

(g) taking every practicable step to avoid, limit—and where limiting is not possible under only exceptional circumstances—compensate for the adverse impacts of XXX-generated cycles of consumption, trade, financing and production, on ecosystems and human health; including, but not limited to, the extraction of raw materials, deforestation, land degradation, pollution and waste production. 

  • Where all above steps taken to increase the health, abundance, diversity and resilience of species, populations and ecosystems, that these follow the mitigation and conservation hierarchy, i.e. where action to protect against the loss of nature is  prioritised; 

(4) The measures in the strategy must— 

  1. safeguard against any negative impact in local communities, including those with a high deprivation rating according to Government deprivation indices; and people with protected characteristics-i.e. age-related, disability, ethnicity, gender, race, religion, sex;
  2. include sufficient financial support and retraining for people whose livelihoods and jobs will be affected by the proposed measures, including those measures that require the transitioning out of high emissions, high ecosystems impact industries. 

5. Legislation ensures that public involvement, in the form of a Citizen Assembly, is incorporated-alongside experts and Parliament-in the deliberation and decision-making to create the ‘strategy’ –

(1) The Government must, within two months of the passing of this ‘blueprint’ legislation, commission, by fair competitive process, an expert independent body to establish a ‘Climate and Nature Assembly’ (‘the Assembly’) comprising a representative sample of XXX population. 

(2) This Citizens’ Assembly expert body appointed must secure the establishment of the Assembly within three months. 

(3) The Assembly must consider expert advice and then recommend measures to be included in the strategy. 

(4) Where a recommendation has been approved by— 

(a) at least 66% of the Assembly with the independent, expert bodies in climate and nature must try to reach agreement with the Assembly on the inclusion of that recommendation; 

(b) at least 80% of the Assembly, with the independent, expert bodies in climate and nature, must agree to the inclusion of that recommendation unless the aforementioned expert bodies recommend variations/modification on the theme that account for legitimate concerns, where such modifications must not stray from the core principles of the Assembly’s recommendations. 

(5) If a recommendation is supported by at least 80% of the Assembly, and by the independent expert bodies, the Government must seek agreement with all on the inclusion of that recommendation. 

(6) If at any time, based on up-to-date scientific evidence, in the opinion of the Government, or the independent expert climate or ecology bodies, or Parliament (by majority vote), the measures in the strategy or the interim targets are unlikely to achieve the objectives, the Government must amend the strategy. In such cases, a climate and nature citizens’ assembly may be re-convened.

  6. Duties of the independent, expert climate and nature/ecology bodies  

(1) It shall be the duty of these bodies to set benchmark standards aligned to the best available scientific evidence, evaluate, monitor and report annually on the implementation of the strategy and on the achievement of the interim targets; and give the opinions referred to in sections 3 and 5 of this ‘blueprint’.. 

(2) The expert body in climate science, ecology and policy must recommend annual carbon -equivalent greenhouse gas budgets for XXX with a view to meeting the requirements of sections 2(a) and 2(b) of this ‘blueprint’.