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23 Laws from Other Countries the US Should Adopt
TRAVELING IS A GREAT WAY to learn about other cultures and ways of thinking. While most of our encounters with a host country’s legal system usually revolve around visas and Customs offices, there is a much broader and underlying set of laws that guides the flow of daily routines and reflects a people’s values and beliefs.
Here are 23 laws from around the world that, while maybe not perfect, could be steps in the right direction to make the United States a better place to live.
The Law of Mother Earth
Bolivian President Evo Morales recently enacted his country’s Law of Mother Earth (Pachamama) and Integral Development to Live Well, a groundbreaking piece of legislation that redefines the Earth and all its inhabitants as a living system with rights instead of a commodity to be exploited.
Gross National Happiness
Expanding conventional Gross Domestic Product (GDP) measurements of wealth to include non-monetary factors like psychological well-being, community vitality, and environmental quality, Bhutan’s Gross National Happiness (GNH) is a sophisticated survey instrument to measure the population’s general level of well-being. Proposed policies in Bhutan must pass a GNH review similar to an Environmental Impact Statement in the US.
Renewable Energy Act
Germany’s Renewable Energy Act mandates that 80% of the country’s power will come from renewable sources by 2050. With new wind and solar installations as well as huge investments in overhauling its entire grid, a complete conversion to renewable energy by 2050 is now becoming a realistic target.
Climate Change Act
The UK and Mexico are the first two countries in the world to have put long-term climate targets into national legislation. The UK’s 2008 Climate Change Act mandates an 80% reduction of greenhouse gases from its 1990 baseline by 2050, along with a range of measures to achieve this goal. Mexico’s recently adopted law establishes the National Institute of Ecology and Climate Change, a centralized agency to oversee the implementation of all its climate policies.