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IBA LPRU launches climate registry: legal profession's collective response to climate crisis

IBA LPRU launches climate registry: legal profession's collective response to climate crisis


The International Bar Association's new Climate Registry fosters legal collaboration for climate action globally

The International Bar Association (IBA) Legal Policy and Research Unit (LPRU) has taken a significant step towards addressing the climate crisis by launching the IBA Climate Registry. This innovative platform aims to assist local bar associations in showcasing their efforts in combating climate change while emphasising the broader context of business and human rights, environmental sustainability, and governance issues.

The Registry, functioning as a peer-to-peer platform, will be officially unveiled during a webinar held on Thursday, March 14, 2024, at 1700 GMT. International experts will convene to discuss the pivotal role of the legal profession in tackling the climate crisis, highlighting its interconnection with environmental, social, and governance (ESG) principles, sustainability, and business and human rights.

The webinar, titled "Legal solutions for a net-zero future: launching the International Bar Association's Climate Registry," will explore how legal practitioners can contribute to sustainable practices and advocate for policy changes that uphold human rights and environmental integrity. Drawing upon the IBA's Updated Guidance on Business and Human Rights for legal practitioners, published in November 2023, the panel of speakers will delve into practical strategies for navigating the complex landscape of climate-related legal challenges.

The IBA Climate Registry serves as a vital tool to amplify the contributions of lawyers and legal professional bodies in advancing climate action and fostering greater accountability. Aligned with the United Nations Guiding Principles on Business and Human Rights, the Registry aims to build momentum and facilitate peer-to-peer learning, echoing the objectives of the IBA Climate Crisis Project and the Climate Crisis Statement issued by former IBA President Horacio Bernardes Neto in 2020.

Designed to benefit bar associations and law societies, the IBA Climate Registry encourages information sharing and collaborative initiatives in the realms of climate change and sustainability. Users can access statements and information categorised by region, while representatives of legal associations at all levels are encouraged to contribute documents that highlight collective action in addressing the urgent challenges posed by climate change.

Lara Douvartsidis, IBA Project Lawyer leading the climate and business and human rights initiatives, expressed the significance of collective action within the legal profession to address the pressing challenges of climate change. Douvartsidis highlighted the growing demand for collaboration and shared resources in response to the triple planetary crisis, underscoring the IBA Climate Registry's role in providing a platform for legal associations to showcase their responses and exchange insights.

Sara Carnegie, Director of the IBA LPRU, emphasised the strategic importance of legal professionals in prioritising climate action. She stressed that addressing the climate crisis goes beyond professional duties, emphasising the need to safeguard human rights, promote environmental integrity, and foster sustainable business practices. Carnegie urged active engagement in initiatives like the IBA Climate Registry to harness collective expertise and drive positive change towards a more just and sustainable world.

Ken Murphy, Chair of the IBA’s Bar Issues Commission, appealed to bar associations and law societies worldwide to contribute to the IBA Climate Registry. He emphasised the urgent need for collaboration within the legal profession to address the global emergency of climate change. Murphy emphasised the importance of sharing insights and developing international best practices, stating that the IBA is at its best when promoting collaboration and learning from each other.

In conclusion, the launch of the IBA Climate Registry marks a significant milestone in the legal profession's collective response to the climate crisis. By fostering collaboration, sharing knowledge, and advocating for policy changes, legal professionals can play a pivotal role in addressing one of the most pressing challenges of our time.