The Fatal Flaws of the Paris Climate Conference

Paris Climate Conference

By Lawrence Wollersheim

 

The United Nations Conference on Climate Change (or COP21) has just concluded in Paris. This historic conference represented a valiant effort by world leaders to tackle humankind’s most daunting problem from within the limits of a dysfunctional system of global governance. Tragically, the conference was doomed to fail for many reasons, even though the final agreement is in certain ways unprecedented. One of the most obvious and important of these reasons is the absence of enforceable global law–the lack of a world federal government that can verify and enforce global warming carbon and methane reduction targets. As the global compact now completed in Paris is structured, (1) each nation has agreed to its own set of voluntary emission-reduction goals, and (2) developed nations have pledged to help developing nations fund these reductions. Some accountability mechanisms are built into the compact, but of course, none of the commitments are legally binding on the parties. Further, this debilitating problem is not the only issue with this conference–it’s only one of five fatal flaws facing this effort which I detail in a comprehensive research article at my site, Job One for Humanity. We as world federalists know the great truth that our work is crucial to the future of our planet. The failure of COP21 highlights and also underscores this “inconvenient” truth as we now go on to watch the almost futile efforts at emissions-reduction in the aftermath of this meeting: In effect, the countries of the world will be struggling to handle a common global crisis, which as separate nations they are completely incapable of solving. The irony is that, other than an extinction-level event like an asteroid heading towards the earth, or an attack by technically superior aliens, no other exterior common threat is available to unite us. Escalating global warming and its consequent irreversible climate destabilization is a serious and dire threat. I believe this predicament alone offers humanity the motivation that is needed for creating a real global government.


NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.


Share This:

Training Youth: The Model Global Parliament

Model Parliament
By Chris Hamer
DWF Board Member

A Model Global Parliament was just held in the New South Wales Parliament building, the eighth in a series of Model Global Parliaments that have now been held over the past three years in Melbourne, Canberra, and Sydney. The Model Global Parliament program is the brainchild of Pera Wells, formerly an Australian diplomat, and at one time the Secretary-General of the World Federation of United Nations Associations. The scenario is that the Members of Parliament (MPs) act as if they are members of a real global parliament, with the power to enact binding laws or regulations concerning global issues, such as nuclear weapons, climate change, and so on. In Pera’s model, half the MPs represent regions of the globe, such as North Asia or Latin America, and half represent global civil society organizations such as the World Parliament of Religions or the International Association of Trade Unions. Up to now, most but not all of the MPs have been graduate students in disciplines like international relations or international law.

Attendance at our 3rd Model Global Parliament in Sydney was modest, but as always included an extraordinary mix of students and others from many different nationalities, including Syria, Italy, Turkey, Sri Lanka, China, Spain, Ireland, Singapore, New Zealand, Egypt, Hong Kong, Palestine, Australia, and Bangladesh. The concept generally seems to appeal more to international students than the locals.

This session took place on the theme of climate change, looking forward to the global conference in Paris at the end of the year. Prof Chris Hamer, President of Scientists for Global Responsibility, gave a quick rundown of the conventional view of the facts behind climate change, as given by the IPCC. Dr Howard Brady, an Antarctic geologist, gave the skeptical viewpoint, arguing the need not to panic, but to slow down and give time for infant technologies to develop. Debate of the motions put forward to the MGP followed.

The following motions were voted upon:

Motion 1: North Asia

Motion Carried

Noting the increasing concerns over global environmental issues,

Calls for the creation of a global umbrella group instead of establishing a new institution, which will act as a research facility, think-tank, and information bank for the wider public. The Global Institute for ‘Green’ Innovation (GIGI) will have a headquarters in North Asia coordinating regional hubs, and will be internationally renowned as a hotspot for innovative renewable energy technology. The institute will include a significant scientific research division with focus areas being the development of ground-breaking ‘green’ technologies on an international scale.

 

Motion 2: International Union for the Conservation of Nature

Motion defeated

Considering that setting of emissions reduction targets is hindered by differing viewpoints over appropriate accountabilities of developing and developed nations.

Proposes that the target agreed-upon in Paris informs resolution of these conflicting views by incorporating objective, crowd-sourced data around human dependence on nature/natural resources and the contribution of nature to people’s livelihoods.

 

Motion 3: World Parliament of Religions

Motion carried

Noting that more than eight in ten people worldwide identify with a religious group, religious adherence should be given greater acknowledgement by the United Nations.

Calls upon the United Nations to establish a Council of Religions and also to bring the religious groups into discussion, to give a voice to religious groups, and to ensure their interests are represented in policy.

Motion 4: Latin America

Motion Defeated

Noting the power imbalance in the UN Security Council and the changing dynamics of global power.

Calls on the United Nations General Assembly to vote to amend the Charter to include Brazil as a permanent member of the United Nations Security Council.

Motion 5: Universities

Motion Defeated

Noting that the UNSC is becoming increasingly ineffective in stopping transnational wars as in Iraq, Syria and Yemen,

Calls on the UNSC to disband and to allow the UNGA to make decisions involving global security on an 85% supermajority vote.

 


NOTE: The Democratic World Federalists are committed to expressing a wide range of views on the vision of creating a peaceful, just, and sustainable world through a democratic World Federation. The views expressed in this article represents that commitment and not necessarily our official position.


 

Share This: