An innovative new toolkit has been piloted in Barbados to support lawmakers in assessing national laws and outlining reforms towards implementing the Paris Agreement on climate change.
The Law and Climate Change Toolkit was tested during a two-day workshop to acquire feedback from the country’s officials. Participants were drawn from a range of Barbadian government departments and agencies with a background in law, energy or climate change.
The pilot, developed by the Commonwealth in collaboration with the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP) and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), contains an online database of laws in two areas: overarching climate change laws and energy laws.
“The toolkit has enormous potential to provide practical help in complex policy areas,” said Mathew Moorhead, Legal Adviser at the Commonwealth. “The sessions were well-received by participants, who would be the prime users of this toolkit once it is launched. Many key insights were gained during this workshop.”
Using the toolkit, participants identified possible areas for reform in the energy sector and overarching climate law. Within these areas the toolkit suggested concrete legislative reforms for Barbados.
Participants gave inputs on various aspects of the toolkit, including the utility of legislative examples, lessons learned, practical use, future modules and priority areas for reform. The “most innovative” function, according to participants, was the feature providing concrete proposals for action.
The feedback received in the workshop will refine the ongoing development of the toolkit. Participants, particularly legislative drafters, praised the toolkit and welcomed the produced proposals during a roundtable discussion.
The Barbados government expressed a keen interest in continuing its role as a pilot for the toolkit over the next stages of its development.
The Commonwealth will now work with its partners to add more modules to the toolkit under a consultation process that involved four member countries: Antigua and Barbuda, Barbados, Jamaica, and Vanuatu.