The goal of the recent Open Government Partnership Global Summit was to highlight the crucial role of open government as a countervailing force to the rise of various forms of nationalism and populism. Although open government alone can’t solve this and other global challenges such as extreme poverty, climate change and mass migration, these problems can’t be solved without greater transparency and civic participation.
A recent summit in Paris brought together heads of state, government officials and civil society leaders to discuss the future of open government. Three key messages emerged.
The climate and open government communities have historically worked in silos. That arrangement can't continue if countries are to successfully implement their national climate plans under the Paris Agreement.
Negotiators made major and encouraging promises when they adopted the new Paris Agreement at COP21 last week. Yet the future success of this Agreement relies on tough questions about accountability, participation, transparency and effectiveness—all of which have governance challenges at their core.
A key objective of the Open Government Partnership's Global Summit this week is supporting implementation of the new Sustainable Development Goals.
Despite the encouraging expansion of environmental democracy around the world, there are still areas where environmental laws are not being properly or fully implemented. The Environmental Democracy Index reveals four areas where practice is not living up to legal standards.
Evaluating "environmental democracy" requires looking not just at the existence of laws, but their implementation.
The need is growing for public access to environmental information, public participation in environmental decision-making and enforcement of environmental laws. Without these rights, explain WRI Managing Director Manish Bapna and UN Special Rapporteur on Human Rights and the Environment John Knox, people are left marginalized and powerless.
EPA General Counsel Avi Garbow, renowned environmental attorney Rizwana Hasan and others explained at a recent event why citizens' rights to information, public participation and justice are critical for sustainable development.
WRI's new Environmental Democracy Index tracks and scores 70 countries' progress in enacting national laws that promote transparency, accountability and citizen engagement in environmental decision-making.