Parliamentarian in Focus:
Deputy Camila Crescimbeni
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Deputy Camila Crescimbeni (she/her)
Elected Member of Parliament in the Argentine Chamber of Deputies, Secretary of the Families, Children and Youth Committee; Secretary of the Housing and Urban Organization Committee; Member of the Social Action and Public Health Committee; Member of the Culture Committee, Member of the Women and Diversity Committee; Member of the Cooperative, Mutual and Non-Governmental or Governmental Affairs Committee.
In parliament as in society, older generations often fail to grasp the importance and urgency of environmental protection. In response to the widespread lack of environmental education within the government, Deputy Crescimbeni introduced the Yolanda bill which was passed in 2020.
Named after the former Argentine Minister of the Environment, the Yolanda bill seeks to make the environment a crucial factor in every decision the government makes. Through a formation, members from the legislative, judicial and executive branches of the government are educated on environmental matters.
The training includes lessons on how to recycle or how to effectively promote sustainable activities for instance. It reaches everyone and makes sustainability simple and accessible. Based on what they learnt, members of the government are expected to reflect on the sustainability of their activities.
The bill stems from the belief that the environment is not just a concern for the Ministry of the Environment and the youngest Members of Parliament. On the contrary, environmental protection should be a lens through which everyday politics are conducted, and through which the impacts of every new project are measured.
Find a summary of the bill (in Spanish) here: Yolanda Bill 2020
Similarly, Deputy Crescimbeni aspires to make the 2030 Agenda a framework for Argentine Parliamentarians. Every time her team drafts a bill, references to one or several SDGs are made in the introduction of the text. The idea behind the practice is simply to encourage Members of Parliament to work in at least one of the directions of the 2030 Agenda, one bill at a time.
Deputy Crescimbeni is also working on a bill to create a certification for sustainable businesses. While private entities already offer this service, she seeks to generate an official, state-backed certificate for responsible businesses. In Argentina, around 45 percent of the population lives under the poverty threshold. The official certificate aims to bridge the gap between the much needed growth and social and environmental sustainability.
Cooperation and Communication
For Deputy Crescimbeni, sustainable policies can only be achieved through strong cross-party cooperation. Projects must be implemented in the long-term and thus resist potential changes in parliamentary majority. For instance, the transition to clean energy necessitates commitment well beyond the mandates of the Members of Parliament who initiated it.
Deputy Crescimbeni’s bill was adopted while she was part of the opposition. She states that, despite political disagreements, cooperation is possible and desirable. To engender more communication, human politics seem to be the way to go. Deputies should make the effort of getting to know each other despite contrasting views. Second, it is important to find and focus on the matters that even opposing parties agreed on. Lastly, Members of Parliaments should be ready to make concessions and accept to sometimes renounce one’s original idea for the greater good.
But communication should not be constrained to parliamentary space. In Argentina, where the agro-industrial sector is so important, the concept of sustainability is often perceived as threatening. Through open communication, the narrative could evolve to present sustainability as a solution. Instead of punishing agro-industrial workers, sustainability provides them with an opportunity to produce more efficiently and with less damage to the environment. In this context, the government has an active role in helping with finances or technologies.
At the core of sustainability is the youth, the future of the state. Deputy Crescimbeni is about to launch a network connecting young SDG activists to members of the government. In addition to financing, the youth is offered tutoring sessions from experienced policy-makers to implement their local-scale sustainable projects.