In November 2012, the Climate Parliament and UNDP held the first in an ongoing series of parliamentary meetings, as part of the Parliamentary Action on Renewable Energy (PARE) project. The Hearing, held in the beautiful seaside town of Wadduwa, Sri Lanka, brought together some 44 delegates, including Ministers, Committee Chairs and Members of Parliament, international policy experts, respected climate scientists and representatives of NGOs.
Read our full Report on the Hearing here.
Over the course of the three-day Hearing, MPs heard presentations from climate scientists, policy experts, and technical specialists, questioned leading thinkers on potential solutions to the climate change problem, and worked together to discuss possible solutions and outline future legislation. The Hearing focused on regional electricity trading and the potential of sustainable investment for cutting carbon emissions, fighting poverty, and driving economic growth. A particular focus for the Hearing was different legislative strategies for encouraging the development of renewable energy in the developing world, and the benefits that could accrue from such investment.
Discussion groups were organised regionally to recognise the diversity of the attendees, and ensure that the dialogue remained focussed on the specific challenges and opportunities renewable energy faces in each region. ￼The legislators also had a unique opportunity to see renewable energy in action during a field trip to a nearby hydroelectric dam, which included a guided tour of the turbine room from some of the engineers working on the project. Inspired by the expert presentations and extensive discussions in small groups, the participating legislators made a number of concrete commitments to take action in their own parliaments and constituencies to promote renewable energy in ways that are appropriate to the specific needs of their countries.
As well as the personal action pledges, MPs from the three South Asian countries – Bangladesh, India and Sri Lanka – drafted and signed a joint declaration calling on their respective governments to work towards energy trading and regional cooperation on renewable energy policy.
The Hearing was covered widely in the national media of Sri Lanka and India. The opening press conference was very well attended by representatives of the press, and articles appeared in the Financial Express (India), Business Line India, Ceylon Today, the Sri Lankan Business Standard, the New Indian Express, Lanka Business Today, and the Sri Lankan Financial Times, as well as across dozens of local news and current affairs websites. Interviews with the Climate Parliament’s Chairman, Sir Graham Watson, and Secretary-General, Nicholas Dunlop, were broadcast on Sri Lankan television networks YATV and ITN-SL.