It’s the perfect time for Westminster to demonstrate their commitment to sustainablity by being the first UN country to enshrine a duty to protect future generations into lawLord John Bird
Wales introduced the Well-being of Future Generations Act (Wales) in 2016 and appointed the UK’s first Future Generations Commissioner Sophie Howe to scrutinise decisions made by government and public bodies to ensure they meet future needs.
Scotland is set to follow Wales’ lead – with Howe meeting Scottish minister Patrick Harvie to share expertise during COP26 – while Lord Bird is currently bringing legislation through Westminster to ensure the UK government follows suit. His Future Generations Bill passed through the committee stage in the House of Lords on Noveember 10.
“With COP26 happening and as my bill enters committee stage, it’s the perfect time for Westminster to demonstrate their commitment to sustainability by being the first UN country to enshrine a duty to protect future generations into law – following the lead of our progressive counterparts,” added Bird.
Howe has been advising the UN on the need to establish future generations governance throughout the UN institution in recent months.
The future generations commissioner for Wales has engaged with UN senior officials and departments including the UN Climate Change Envoy, UN Environment Programme, UN Women and the Office of the UN Secretary General’s Envoy for Youth.
Howe also met with Scottish minister for Zero Carbon Buildings, Active Travel and Tenants’ Rights Patrick Harvie while attending COP26 to discuss how Scotland can bring in future generations legislation.
Scotland announced plans to follow Wales’ lead in establishing a future generations act and appointing a future generations commissioner in August. Following his meeting with Howe at COP26, Harvie tweeted: “Scotland has a lot to learn as we follow in your footsteps.”
We need your urgent support
Support The Big Issue Winter Appeal
Big Issue vendors can’t work from home and with severe weather warnings on the cards, they face a very tough and uncertain Winter period ahead.
“Action across the world is slow to protect the needs and interests of future generations,” said Howe.
“I am calling on governments to adopt future generations legislation to ensure decisions taken today meet the needs of the present without compromising the ability of future generations to meet their own needs.
“The climate and nature crisis is here, it’s now – that’s why every country in the world needs a future generations act to limit the impact. We all have a duty to protect people not born yet, from the harm they’ll suffer without serious climate action.”