The Global Climate Legislation Study - 2015

2015 study launch Bonn


On 1st June the 2015 Global Climate Legislation Study was presented to delegates attending the UNFCCC Climate Change Conference in Bonn, Germany, by the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment (London School of Economics) with GLOBE International as a partner.

At the launch event GLOBE Members Stella Bianchi MP, President of GLOBE Italy, and Ian Duncan MEP (UK), Member of GLOBE at the European Parliament, pictured left, provided a legislators' response to the technical presentation.

The 2015 Global Climate Legislation Study study, led by Michal Nachmany and Sam Fankhauser, is the latest in the annual series initiated by GLOBE International and the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment of LSE in 2010. This year’s report covers 98 countries plus the European Union, and it includes the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) as a co-sponsor of the study. The closer cooperation between GLOBE and the Inter-Parliamentary Union (IPU) marks an effort to consolidate the work of parliamentary networks in the lead-up to COP21 in Paris.

The Study reveals that climate laws have doubled in number every five years since Kyoto, with three-quarters of world’s annual emissions now covered by national targets. Graham Stuart’s foreword to the Study notes that 2015 is a ‘generational opportunity’ for the sustainable development and climate change agenda. For this reason, GLOBE International is promoting a ‘Coherence and Convergence’ approach to the UN’s four major summits on disaster risk, finance, sustainable development goals and climate change.

One pivotal area where legislators can make an immediate difference is in ratifying the Doha Amendment which establishes the 2nd commitment period of the Kyoto Protocol and was adopted in December 2012. Yet ratification lags far behind. Of the 144 ‘instruments of acceptance’ required for the amendment to enter into force, less than a quarter have been submitted so far.

GLOBE International has included a call to its members in the 2015 Climate Study to seek ratification of the Doha amendment in their countries. This will send a clear signal to negotiators that they are ‘Paris-ready’ and the legislative progress noted in this year’s study is set for further growth in 2016.

Graham Stuart, a Member of the UK Parliament and Chair of GLOBE International, said: 

GLOBE International exists to bring parliamentarians together to address environmental challenges. This study captures the work of legislators around the world in building the legal frameworks which trigger investments that can lower emissions and drive down costs. The study allows cross-country comparison so that governments can be held to account for their response to climate risks. It builds on earlier editions by GLOBE and the Grantham Research Institute, and shows both the progress made and how much more needs to be done.

Commenting on the report, Malini Mehra, chief executive of GLOBE International said:

"Since Copenhagen in 2009, climate laws and policies have doubled from 426 to 804 in 2014. This shows solid momentum in the emerging global legislative architecture on climate change. Coverage is widening and there is no turning back. That is an important message we can confidently communicate to business, investors, and those looking for certainty. It also provides a good basis for COP21 in Paris, but the ambition level needs to be raised to close the emissions gap as demanded by the science. The national parliamentary reviews of the INDCs championed by GLOBE International are one way of securing this.


The 2015 Global Climate Legislation Study can be downloaded from:

Summary for Policymakers is available in EnglishFrench and Spanish.

Country profiles are available at:

2015 cover studyKey Findings from the 2015 edition:

  • Collectively, the countries covered in this year’s study account for 93 per cent of global greenhouse gas emissions, and include 46 of the world’s top 50 emitting nations. The countries surveyed include 33 developed and 66 developing countries. A key finding of the study is that 75% of these emissions are now covered by national targets.
  • There were 804 climate laws and policies at the end of 2014, compared with 426 in 2009 at the time of the Copenhagen climate conference. In 1997, when the Kyoto Protocol was agreed, there were just 54 climate laws and policies - a doubling every five years.
  • Forty-seven countries, including the 28 Member States of the EU, have introduced carbon pricing through either a carbon tax or a cap-and-trade system.
  • Seventy-five countries plus the EU now have frameworks for limiting greenhouse gas emissions and 64 countries have frameworks for adapting to the impacts of climate change. However, only 37 countries have completed a fully comprehensive national climate change risk assessment.
  • 53 countries, including the 28 Member States of the European Union, have national targets that set either absolute or relative limits on annual emissions of greenhouse gases across their economies.
  • There have been legislative reversals in Australia and Spain in 2014, with the former's repeal of its carbon tax and Clean Energy Package, and the latter's downward revision of subsidies for renewable energy.
  • On the upside, Finland and Denmark joined the small but growing club of countries, such as the United Kingdom and Mexico, which have adopted ambitious legally binding emissions reductions with science-led, long-term targets to 2050.
  • In order for a successful outcome in Paris in 2015 there is now extreme urgency to strengthen commitments, and for countries that have not yet passed climate change laws and/or regulations to do so.

For further information, please contact the GLOBE International secretariat at: or +44 (0)7417 466 636 ; or Sue Windebank at the Grantham Institute on +44 (0) 207 849 4624 or, or Ben Parfitt on +44 (0) 207 955 6425 or


The GLOBE Climate Legislation Study


On 27 February 2014, the Global Legislators Organisation (GLOBE International) released the 4th edition of the GLOBE Climate Legislation Study – produced in partnership with the Grantham Research Institute at the London School of Economics. The Study is the most comprehensive audit of climate legislation across 66 countries, together responsible for around 88% of global manmade greenhouse gas emissions. The new study (4th edition) was formally launched at the 2nd GLOBE Climate Legislation Summit held at the Senate of the United States of America and at the World Bank in Washington DC on 27th-28th February 2014.

The Summit received the findings of the 4th edition of the GLOBE Climate Legislation Study and announced the Partnership for Climate Legislation, a GLOBE initiative supported by the United Nations and the World Bank.

The high-level opening session was hosted by US Senator Edward Markey and included speeches by House Democrat Leader, Nancy Pelosi, US Senator Barbara Boxer, House Chairperson of the National Assembly of South Africa, Cedric Frolick, UN Assistant Secretary General, Dr Robert Orr, Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, Christiana FigueresExecutive Director of the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), Mr Achim Steiner, CEO and Chairperson of the Global Environment Facility, Dr Naoko Ishii, Vice President of the World Bank, Rachel Kyte and Obama Administration Climate Envoy, Todd Stern.

Key Messages from the 4th edition:

  • Almost 500 climate laws have been passed in the 66 countries covered by the study; the direction of travel is clear; and Encouragingly, it is developing countries and emerging markets, which are advancing climate change laws and regulation at the fastest pace.
  • Even though the legislative progress is impressive, the cumulative ambition of these laws is not yet sufficient to limit global average temperature rise to 2 degrees Celsius above pre-industrial levels, the agreed goal of the international community.
  • In order for a successful outcome in Paris in 2015 there is now extreme urgency to strengthen commitments, and for countries that have not yet passed climate change laws and/or regulations to do so.

Countries included in the 4th edition:

Click on the pins on the world map above to access country-specific extracts from the study.

Key Findings:

In 2013 there was substantive legislative progress in 8 countries (passage of "flagship legislation") and positive advances in a further 19 countries.
Key progress in 2013 includes:

  • Americas:
    • Bolivia passed its Framework Law on Mother Earth and Integral Development to Live Well;
    • El Salvador adopted its National Climate Change Strategy;
    • In Ecuador, Decree 1815 established the Intersectoral National Strategy for Climate Change;
    • and in Costa Rica a draft General Law on Climate Change has been introduced and is expected to pass in 2014.
  • Asia-Pacific:
    • China published its National Adaptation Plan;
    • Indonesia extended its forest moratorium; Kazakhstan introduced a pilot emissions trading scheme;
    • Micronesia passed its Climate Change Act in late 2013.
  • Europe:
    • Poland adopted its National Strategy for Adaptation and Switzerland overhauled its CO2 Act to increase ambition.
  • Middle East and North Africa:
    • Jordan passed its National Climate Change Policy;
    • and the United Arab Emirates launched a mandatory Energy Efficiency Standardization and Labelling Scheme.
  • Sub-Saharan Africa:
    • Kenya adopted 2013-2017 Climate Change Action Plan;
    • Mozambique adopted 2013-2025 National Strategy for Climate Change;
    • Tanzania passed its National Strategy on REDD+;
    • Nigeria's Legislative Council approved the adoption of a National Climate Change Policy and Response Strategy.

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Foreword by Lord Deben


Lord Deben moderating a debate with Ed Davey, UK Climate Change Minister at the Study Launch

When the 1st GLOBE Climate Legislation Study was launched in December 2010, it had an immediate impact. It fulfilled our two major objectives. First, it delivered a positive message about the scale and scope of national legislation on climate change in the major economies. At the time, this was a welcome contrast to the lack of progress in the international negotiations and it injected a real sense of momentum. Second, by demonstrating the extent and breadth of that national legislation, the study helped to tackle the argument, faced by many governments and legislators, that in advancing legislation they were acting alone and potentially putting their country at a competitive disadvantage. Used by ministers and legislators in Australia, Mexico, the UK and elsewhere, there is no doubt the study, in combination with the work of GLOBE’s members, played a key role in supporting the advances we have since seen in 2011 and 2012.

I am delighted, and proud, that the most significant improvement in 2012 – the passage of Mexico’s General Law on Climate Change – was driven by GLOBE Mexico, an outstanding example of what legislators, working across party lines, can achieve. For me as President of GLOBE International – this network of cross-party legislators – there was an important third outcome of the first study: international recognition of the role of parliamentarians in tackling climate change.

While governments and the media almost exclusively focus on the international negotia-tions, it was important to recognise the enabling nature of national legislation. By advancing legislation, countries can experience the positive co-benefits of tackling climate change such as greater resource efficiency, increased energy security, reduced exposure to volatile fossil fuel prices and a more climate-resilient economy. This, in turn, gives governments the confidence to go further and faster in the international negotiations. It has always been clear to me that national legislation is a fundamental prerequisite to any sufficiently ambitious international deal.

As Christiana Figueres, the Executive Secretary of the UNFCCC, said at GLOBE’s World Summit of Legislators in June 2012:

"It is no exaggeration to say that the clean revolution we need is being carried forward by legislation. Domestic legislation is critical because it is the linchpin between action on the ground and the international agreement. At the national level, it is clear that when countries enact clean energy policies, investment follows. At the international level, it is equally clear that domestic legislation opens the political space for international agreements and facilitates overall ambition".

That is why, with the support of Christiana Figueres, I am delighted that the launch of this 3rd study coincides with the launch of an important new policy process – the GLOBE Climate Legislation Initiative (GCLI).

The GCLI will run alongside the international negotiations under the “Durban Platform” and will focus on supporting legislators in 33 countries to advance national legislation on climate change to help create the political conditions for success in 2015. The 3rd GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, expanded to include the 33 countries in the GCLI, provides an extensive overview of national legislation and, given the newly included countries are almost all developing countries, a welcome greater focus on legislation related to adaptation.

The 3rd GLOBE Climate Legislation Study will provide a baseline from which to measure progress between now and 2015 and, importantly, will provide those legislators seeking to advance legislation in their own countries with a wealth of information about the international legislative response to climate change to inform their deliberations.

As President of GLOBE International I will be working continuously with GLOBE’s network of legislators across the world to advance the legislative response to climate change. Domestic legislation puts in place the legal frameworks to measure, report, verify and manage carbon. It helps to advance national positions and serves as a platform for greater international collaboration. No international treaty would be feasible, or credible, without commensurate legally binding action at the national level.

The Rt Hon. John Gummer, Lord Deben
GLOBE International



In 2009 the Global Legislators’ Organisation secured agreement on a set of “Legislative Principles on Climate Change” that were co-authored by Chinese Congressman Wang Guangtao and US Congressman Ed Markey and endorsed by 120 legislators from 16 countries. These principles were designed to guide legislators as they advanced climate change legislation on the basis that moving together, and in a consistent fashion, would help to maximise the benefits of moving towards a low carbon economy and minimise the competitive distortions.

To facilitate the implementation of the “Legislative Principles on Climate Change”, it is important to develop a better understanding of existing climate change-related laws to learn lessons and benefit from the experience of others. With this in mind, in 2010 GLOBE partnered with the Grantham Research Institute on Climate Change and the Environment at the London School of Economics to survey international climate change legislation. The 1st GLOBE Climate Legislation Study (Townshend et al. 2010) examined climate-related legislation in 16 of the major economies. The 2nd GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, published in December 2011, was expanded to include Australia, and covered progress in 2011.

The aims of the studies are twofold. First, to support legislators advancing climate-related legislation by providing a detailed summary of existing legislation across the major economies that would enable them to identify gaps best practice, and help peer-to-peer learning. And second, to document and highlight the broad progress on climate change legislation at the domestic level in both industrialised and developing countries to provide positive momentum to the international negotiations.

Parliaments considering climate-related legislation benefit from the experience of others. For example, Australia’s Clean Energy Act and South Korea’s emissions trading legislation draw on the experience, and lessons learned, from the EU’s emissions trading system. Mexico’s General Law on Climate Change, the most significant advance of 2012, draws on the experience of the UK, EU and others. Brazilian, Indonesian, Mexican and Congolese legislators have been sharing knowledge of forest-related legislation – via the GLOBE Legislators’ Forest Initiative – to ensure maximum consistency and to learn lessons from each other’s experience. And in January 2012 the team drafting China’s climate change law made a study visit to London and Brussels, hosted by GLOBE International, to learn from the experience of the UK and the EU to inform the development of their national law.

This report, the 3rd GLOBE Climate Legislation Study, has been expanded further to cover 33 countries, including many developing countries. It includes 17 of the top 20 emitters of greenhouse gases (GHGs) and 24 of the top 50, representing over 85% of global emissions.

Importantly, this third study coincides with the launch of the new GLOBE Climate Legislation Initiative (GCLI), a new policy process to support the advance of climate change legislation in 33 countries. The GCLI will run alongside the international negotiations under the Durban Platform with the aim of helping to build the foundations and political conditions that enable an international agreement to be reached.

This study will provide a baseline from which progress can be measured. GLOBE International and its members strongly believe that legislative action at the national level is a fundamental prerequisite to achieving the ultimate goal of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change – the stabilisation of GHG concen-trations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system.


Progress in 2012

This section, progress in 2012, summarises the major changes to the legislative picture in 2012, up to and including those in November. 

It includes laws, regulations, policies or decrees as per the definition of legislation used in this study. In addition we review major legislative or regulatory proposals that have a reasonable chance of entering into law or being approved by governments.

2012 has been another tough year for the global economy. The continuing debt crisis in the Eurozone, together with economic stagnation in many other developed countries, has created a difficult environment in which to advance legislation on climate change. Kick-starting economic growth has been a priority.

The transformation of energy infrastructure is one of the key requirements to reduce GHG emissions in developed countries. However, it is capital intensive and in many cases will result in a short-term rise in energy costs. Some governments have therefore postponed or scaled back planned investment in long-term infrastructure in favour of short-term measures to keep energy costs low and stimulate growth, irrespective of the carbon impact. This somewhat negative picture contrasts with the progress in developing countries. Many of these are enjoying healthy growth rates while simultaneously developing the legislative and regulatory frameworks to measure and manage GHG emissions.

Moreover, many developing countries are working to improve their resilience to climate impacts as an integral part of ensuring long-term sustainable growth. Overall, we report substantial legislative progress in 18 of the 33 study countries and limited developments in 14. For the first time we report negative progress in one country. Detailed chapters on each country’s climate change-related legislation can be found in the Country by Country sections.

Progress in 2012:

Go to the summary of progress in 2012 in developed countries

Go to the summary of progress in 2012 in developing countries

Read Flagship Legislation and Assessment of Progress in 2012