Will The World Be Enough?

by Einar Du Rietz

Bureaucracies and weed have the thing in common that when not controlled, they grow beyond control. The same goes for governmental organisations, supra national or others, with the addition that it’s most often difficult even to find out who’s in charge, what the mandate is, not to mention the plan. Delegates and functionaries, as well as paid scientists seem to be on a constant world tour, with one only goal in common, to grow and find enough solid ground and symbolic conflicts to justify next year’s tour. The only thing certain is that someone else will have to foot the bill.

So, what to do, when all the old topics have been carefully transferred to – also growing – sub organizations? Where’s the new new mission to pay for next year’s lunches?

One suggestion from French President Sarkozy is already on the table for the 2012 environmental conference Rio+20. Here’s a good update with links to various documents.

“The Rio Earth Summit in May 2012 will try to set a global vision on greening the economy, with France leading European calls to establish a brand new World Environmental Organisation (WEO).”

The amount of documentation – and what will follow during the year – is more than enough to keep everyone busy, but some of the wordings are already rather intriguing.

Goals first: “A major goal of the initiative is to address market failures in tackling the environmental fall-out of economic activity (applying the ‘polluter pays’ principle or the so-called ‘internalisation of externalities’). It also addresses social goals, such as jobs, the overall macroeconomic framework and development policy.”

A sub goal in this is said to be the, from an economic perspective more than intriguing, ambition to “Getting prices right”

And the wording: “The current talks are mainly focused on the establishment of a specialised UN agency for the environment or upgrading the existing UNEP, which lacks the authority to push ambitious policies.”

The authority. Think about the implications for a bit. Where are we really heading?

Is the fear for the secret establishment of a world government really justified?

“To ensure consistency at global level, French President Nicolas Sarkozy has championed the idea of a World Environment Organisation (WEO) that would be responsible for ensuring coherent and effective action across multiple levels of decision-making.”

I rest my case. ET, come pick me up. We are out of here.


About the Author: Einar Du Rietz

Einar Du Rietz is a journalist and communications consultant based in Europe. He has authored several environmental reports for the Electrolux Group and written many blogs for the Center for the New Europe at CNE Environment.