Global governance and climate change

Professor Schnellnhuber  proposes the formation of global authorities to cope with the global problem of climate change. Our proposal of Good Global Governance (GGG) is similar but addresses in addition to the environment the global problems of peace and disarmament. Below is a reference and a summary of Professor Schellnhuber’s proposal.

Helmut Burkhardt Toronto, 2015-06-14

Hans Joachim (John) Schellnhuber Founder & Director – Potsdam Institute for Climate Impact Research (PIK)

http://www.humansandnature.org/democracy—hans-joachim-schellnhuber-response-61.php

Summary:
… In addition to the reforms and constructive steps each state can make, we should implicitly create innovative concepts to respond effectively to the climate crisis. One crucial concept is the idea of a global democratic society. This society could be represented by a small set of global institutions that support the sovereign countries as assembled within the United Nations in working out solutions to problems that require concerted transnational action.

Let me conclude this short contribution with a daydream about those key institutions that could bring about a sophisticated—and therefore more appropriate—version of the conventional “world government” notion. Global democracy might be organized around three core activities, namely (i) an Earth Constitution; (ii) a Global Council; and (iii) a Planetary Court. I cannot discuss these institutions in any detail here, but I would like to indicate at least that

  • the Earth Constitution would transcend the UN Charter and identify those first principles guiding humanity in its quest for freedom, dignity, security and sustainability;
  • the Global Council would be an assembly of individuals elected directly by all people on Earth, where eligibility should be not constrained by geographical, religious, or cultural quotas; and
  • the Planetary Court would be a transnational legal body open to appeals from everybody, especially with respect to violations of the Earth Constitution.

In order to dovetail the die-hard system of national governance with the global institutions, a certain percentage of national parliamentary seats should be earmarked for “Global Ombudspeople.” Their prime mandate would be to ensure that the first humanitarian principles as sketched above are observed, not least in the interest of future generations. This is no less and no more than a vision to extend democracy across space and time. Unprecedented challenges like anthropogenic climate change remind us that such dreams need to come true—soon.

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