Do We Need a World Environment Organization?
We do need a world environmental organization, and there are lots of reasons that prove this to be the right choice. | Albert Asllani International Relations, sect. # 10 Prof. Bill Wechsler Essay Assignment October 28, 2010 Do We Need a World Environmental Organization? The environmental issues and especially the global environmental problems, in the last years are being aroused at an increasing rate. Considering the facts that the earth’s environment is heavily interdependent, no matter where the problems may emerge sooner or later these problems will become global problems.
The earth’s atmosphere, hydrosphere and in general the biosphere itself are related with one another; so the balance of the environment will be broken if the standards are not kept, globally speaking. Natural resources from the land, ocean and air are continuously regionally and/or globally shared. Hence, if there would be negative effects they would be shared regionally and/or globally. Our planet has a balance of life and a balance of how things go on, but with the development of humans this balance is being lost, at least until nowadays.
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Furthermore, we the humans are the primary destroyers of the earth’s environment. We do need to use the natural resource on our planet, because of our needs. But, nevertheless this does not justify the damage we are causing to our own home the planet earth. Our potential of doing huge things has proved to be mean and evil as well. Millions of square meters of forests are destroyed, burned, massive CO2 amounts and of other harmful gasses are released every day from our equipments and facilities. All these are globally affecting the environment we are living in.
As for worse, the development of the technology is not being used just for progressive and right causes; it is being used as well as for the creation of massive destruction weapon systems. Well, these are among the causes that damage the environment at a lower rate, but compared to nuclear weapon systems these are really not that bad. Even though, the negative effects that the emission of gases and of other factors are not to be not- taken into consideration, the negative effects of a nuclear weapon launch in the earth’s environment, are million times more negative and harmful for the earth’s environment.
As an example, there were no cars and CO2 gas emissions years and years ago, but with the human population increasing and the need for transportation means the possibility of gas emission has been increased as well. So, some hundred years ago, the earth did not have all these equipments and vehicles that use as fuel liquid materials such as fossil oils are. Meantime, it did not have all this harmful gasses quantities released every day. Other examples are the cases of Hiroshima and Chernobyl, where nuclear materials have been exposed.
The people of these places and the whole world are witnesses of the damages caused by the nuclear blasts; people still witness the nightmare in the environment. Besides the short- run damages they cause, there are long- term damages to and these are the worst. Besides the facts mentioned above, there are others that do affect the environment in one or another way. Hence, all these factors are continuously compounding their damage and affecting the global environment. The overall emission of CO2 in the world step by step is affecting the ozone layer to be reduced, and the creating of holes in this layer.
All these causes are being associated with one another affecting the overall state of the world’s environment. “With climate change manifesting itself in the melting of Arctic glaciers and the drowning of small Pacific islands, in widespread species extinction, forest loss, desertification, and impending water shortages, the scope of environmental problems has changed. ”(Goffman, par. 1) Therefore, because this scope has changed us humans as leaders of this planet have to change to, our view towards resolving these problems must be changed.
The worst scenario which unfortunately is very much possible may be that the changes on the earth are heading us towards a state of impossible or difficult regress. The human activity, its impact on the change of the earth’s environment is also being an influence in other natural processes.
Furthermore, “[r] recently, Hurricane Katrina provided a dreadful example of how human alterations multiply natural impacts. ”(Goffman, par 1) ‘”[T]he only question is whether” the world’s environmental problems “will become resolved in pleasant ways of our own choice, or in unpleasant ways … uch as warfare, genocide, starvation, disease epidemics, and collapses of societies. “’(qtd. in Goffman, par. 2) Well considering the ongoing events on the global perspective the worst option is the most possible to happen. On the other hand, for these environmental problems to be solved, states must have good international relationships. It is the international system that must take decisions on where to act or not, towards changing the future of the global environment towards a better one.
Because the environment itself is globalized throughout the world, the damage caused in the environment is spread out. Hence, the environmental problems must be globalized in terms of facing, thinking, and contributing in solving the problems; they must be understood and seen by everyone. “International environmental responsibilities and activities are spread across multiple organizations, including the United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), numerous other UN agencies, the international financing institutions, and the World Trade Organization. (Ivanova and Roy, p. 1) Whereas, we do agree on having local organizations, but as well having global organizations that will do their best in finding a global common best solution for the global environmental problems.
According to Esty and Ivanova, until now we have dealt with poor performance when taking action towards responding to global environmental problems, such as the case of global scale pollution and natural resource management challenge. (p. ) Hence, this has given incentive for re- considering the global instruments for controlling global environmental issues. “Both former Soviet Union President Mikhail Gorbachev and French President Jacques Chirac have urged the establishment of a Global Environmental Organization. ”(Esty and Ivanova, p. 1) This approval between President Chirac and Gorbachev is a proof of the fact that the international system is facing new changes, such as this urge of creating new institutions in the international system that would control the global environmental issues.
Even though, world has had numerous organizations, treaties, conventions and other instruments the nowadays environmental management system has failed in addressing and solving the problems e. g. transboundary pollution overflows and shared resources. (Esty and Ivanova, 4) As an example of such organizations is the UNEP (United Nations Environmental Program). “The United Nations Environment Programme (UNEP), whose mandate is to coordinate the United Nations (UN) environmental activities, is closest to being the leading global environmental authority.
Furthermore, “[w]ithin this complex international system for environmental governance there is no single organization that possesses the authority or political strength to effectively coordinate all international environmental efforts (Inomata, 2008). ” According to Vijge the top reasons why many believe that UNEP lacks the potentials to fulfill the role as being the supreme authority in global environmental issues are the insufficient budget, and weak legal status. (p. 1) Therefore, in my opinion, I strongly agree that we do need a world environmental organization for several reasons.
Firstly, the importance of the existence of this organization is very high because of the growing mutuality between states, flows of coercive actions at a global scale, coordination and rules applied to all states. The international system is built upon interdependence, so the organization of environmental issues would positively increase the interdependence between states in the system. Furthermore, because these environmental problems we are having are also so- called global problems, there should be a global organization that would take the lead on behalf of all the states.
Based on the fact that the problems are being created by us the – states, the people, the participants in the international system, the states must be the ones who give solutions to these problems. When comparing the nowadays system of international politics and mutuality of states with the earlier ones, we do notice that the world day after day is becoming more and more globalized. The technology, economy, education, security and other fields are the main linking chains of this growing interdependence.
States are becoming strongly related with one another, and thus the need of having international structures of politics and strategies is becoming inevitable. Also, the environmental problems we are facing and probably we will face in the future, are caused as a result of all states contributing on their creation e. g. the CO2 emission, deforestation, the greenhouse effect, and the worse the nuclear blasts. Thus, it is a mutual interest for all the states to have a global mean of controlling the causes of such environmental problems.
On the other hand, we need a global environmental organization because of its ability to direct the flow of action to make changes. Until now there have been measures taken to reduce the harmful effects done in the environment, but all of these have ended being partly successful or unsuccessful at all. Thereof, we need a structure that will make decisions at a global scale. “For the past several centuries, humanity has been increasingly polluting air and water, altering Earth’s climate, eroding the soil, fragmenting and eliminating the habitat of plants and animals, and depleting the natural bank account of non-renewable resources. (Harte p. 1)
And all these have lead to the fast destruction of the balance of life on planet earth, this way destroying the environment globally. And for the measures to have a positive impact, we need to have this global environmental organization. Without the mechanism that has its leaks on the international system, thus making changes on its policies and regulations, states will not actively act at the same time in the improve of the current state of the global environment. We are in need of a mechanism that acts coercively at a global scale.
E. g. the fact the world every day is causing the ozone layer to be destroyed because harmful gasses emission; lets to understand that if a policy of universal ban on basis how much a country can emit these types of gasses would exist, and if there would be measures on keeping that balance we would not face this problem at this particular rate right now. The world needs firm actions to be taken to help prevent further destruction of the environment, and these actions must involve the whole world.
Thus, stronger national, state/regional and local environmental performance is necessary, but cannot substitute for appropriate action at the global scale. ”(Esty and Ivanova, p. 5) Whereas, the coordination and regulations applied to all, are further reasons why we need to have a global environmental organization. The world has limited resources that are to be shared with unlimited wants. With resources meaning in terms of all the resources the world has. And these resources must be efficiently allocated and guarded not to be destroyed.
If there are not any policies or measures in guarding these resources, they will be unequally treated and sooner or later there will be unbalance. As an example, the fundamental resources such as air, land, forests are increasingly being impacted by the human population on earth the pollution of air is increasing, and as well the deforestation process. Forests and in general the flora, are a mean of regenerating the oxygen we breathe; but, by polluting the air and deforestation we are disabling this process of regeneration.
And, this has a global impact, because ruins the balance of oxygen. Therefore, the international society must be aware of the importance if we would act globally in keeping these balances. The coordination is a key factor, and it is available only if we act globally. As such, we need a world environmental organization to provide coordination in policy making and action taking globally. “Global problems require international strategies and coordination, particularly for such goals as maintaining biodiversity, keeping the oceans clean, and lowering carbon emissions. ”(Goffman, par. ) States must be connected at an international level so the problems can be evaluated from all the state members, and then rules and regulations will be applied by finding a common ground that is satisfactory for the whole international society.
“Apart from regime-building and norm-setting, a WEO could also improve the overall implementation of international environmental policy, for example by a common comprehensive reporting system on the state of the environment and on the state of implementation in different countries, as well as by stronger efforts in raising public awareness. (Biermann p. 7) A difference will be made only if we reach the state of having the attention of all stakeholders in the international society, because as long as we try to make changes locally we will not achieve to protect the environment completely. Almost every society on earth has negatively contributed in the harm of the environment, and as such we all should participate in higher international structures that will take care of these problems. In addition, by creating world environmental organization we ease the chances of having a positive impact on saving the environment.
Furthermore, all decisions and policies would be applied at the same time and to all states. “Global problems require international strategies and coordination, particularly for such goals as maintaining biodiversity, keeping the oceans clean, and lowering carbon emissions. ”(Goffman, par. 3) Thus, this creates coordination between states and probably it is easier to stop the destruction of the environment. Also, a key to success is when developing policies and strategies, states/nations to be decisive and determined to apply the rules on all states.
With a global environmental organization it is easier to control those who do not obey the rules. “Strengthening and/or reforming International Environmental Governance requires strong political will from nation-states, which ultimately decide about the future of the IEG system? ”(Vijge p. 13) Secondly, a newly powered and authoritative policy making organization should be created to handle the variety of complex issues raised, and provide assistance in upgrading environmental capacities in non- developed states.
Despite the current existing organizations, whether local or global the environment is not being spared of the damages and harms that are impacting it every day. The earlier legislative organizations that have dealt with global environmental issues have done a decent job, but still not enough compared to the job that must be done. The heaviness of problems has grown, along with the development of technology and science. Earlier, we had to take care of relatively small problems regarding the harm in the environment.
But nowadays the science and technology have changed the way we live, and in the meantime the gravity of problems has grown up. Scientists have discovered new means of easing our lives, but also what is the most useful and the most dangerous new massive destruction weapon systems. And all of these have a huge impact on how things go-on on our environment, so for all of these issues to be managed there is need for some higher instance on the level of International Society to have a cohesive control upon all states.
A newly powered global environmental organization that has all the privileges, legal power, financial support and a qualified crew is the most needed to help on managing global issues on environment. “In addition, a WEO could host the Clean Development Mechanism and the clearinghouse for the future emissions trading scheme under the Kyoto Protocol to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, which would reduce bureaucratic overlap, increase efficiency, and assist in preventing conflicts with other, non-climate related environmental problems. ”(Biermann p. )
A strong justification for the need of the GEO/WEO (global/world environmental organization) is that the power of control will be handed to a single organization that would ease the means of communicating and coherent developing. On the other hand, the authoritative position of this organization among other structures in the international systems is another advantage on creating this GEO/WEO. “The world community would benefit from the presence of an authoritative environmental voice in the international arena and a recognized forum for national officials and other stakeholders to work cooperatively to address global issues”.
Esty and Ivanova, p. 4) Because of the gravity of the issues, the international society needs to have a global voice appealing for a common cause, the cause of protecting the environment. Meantime, in this way the authority has an easier job on creating policies and addressing them to higher instances on the hierarchical system of the international society. With the policies developed and approved by higher international authorities on the environmental issues, the process of controlling the states what they can do and what they can’t is a lot easier.
Rules and Laws would be the same for all the nations/ states and they would have standards e. g. how much gas can be emitted, if they can test nuclear weapons, policies on saving the oceans and fresh water etc. It is totally different if a particular policy e. g. on CO2 emitting would apply only on some states, and on all states. There is no huge positive impact on guarding the environment unless acting strongly and on the same level from all. It is not a success if we reach on minimizing the problems only in some areas, while doubling them on others; success is when we all are aware and understand the lessons.
The world needs changes done globally and the environmental issue must be seen as important from all. “A GEO would be able to provide the framework for addressing collective action problems by (1) creating a policy space for continuous interaction among actors, (2) ensuring that multi-dimensional issues are addressed directly and with full participation, and (3) revealing the common interests of the parties through a continuous flow of information. ”(Esty and Ivanova, p. 16) A GEO/WEO would have the ability of making decision based upon the events and the problems on the global environment.
Thus, it is true that we do need this GEO/WEO instead of having states/nations making decisions locally with a global impact, it is better to make decisions globally with a global impact. This way we have a directed flow of actions. Moreover, the implementation and monitoring of these policies would be more efficient in the case of a GEO, because all the reports go to one place, they have the same address and as such the response would be the best for all, not the best for some. On the other hand, the structure of a GEO/WEO promises compactness and more ability in controlling the variety of complex issues that may rise in time.
This compactness and ability is provided by the heads of the GEO who are members of these nations. Thus it is easier to control the actions of a state when it has agreed to be part of the international society rather than when it acts alone. As an example, there are states that contribute more than others in polluting the environment. But, with a GEO depicting international standards and limits, states have to agree and follow the rules. In addition, the capacities of a GEO are higher than of a state’s alone.
Because of the continuous and sudden changes in the international society, world needs, a coherent decision making mechanism when dealing with complex issues such as nuclear weapons, CO2 emission, oceans pollution, fresh water depleting etc. These issues all have global impact and considering that they have to be solved and tracked at a global scale. According to Esty and Ivanova, thanks to the possibility of equally sharing common but differentiated responsibilities to the center of a GEO, leads to an improved fairness in balancing rights and responsibilities regarding transboundary environmental issues. p. 17) GEO tends to be inclusive in terms of dealing with environmental problems of the global society.
This proves that a GEO is needed because it will help in developing the left- behind countries on their environmental programs. Strengthening the potentials on dealing with local and global environmental problems in developing countries is a core function of a GEO. “[H]umanity is degrading environmental goods and services such as clean water, air, soil, and biodiversity, and simultaneously reducing the capacity of natural processes to replenish these contributors to the quality of life. ”(Harte p. 3) Thus a GEO will assist in improving the overall state of the global environment, but as well assists the developing countries to catch the pace of the developed countries. In conclusion, world is in desperate need of a Global Environmental Organization. Besides the fact that there are current international organizations that are similar to the idea of a GEO, there are no proper organizations that would have the ability and power to deal with global environmental problems. As an example, the UNEP (The United Nations Environmental Programme) lacks the financial stability and the legislative power.
Thus, we need a GEO. The main facts why I agree in having a GEO are, because of the gravity of the issues it is a mutual interest of all states to have a GEO, it enables a flow of coercive actions taken at a global scale, it easies the coordination between states/ nations, and the rules and regulations are applied to all nations. Furthermore, it would be a new and powered organization accepted by all, because its span is global, it easies the process of managing complex issues, and is a tool of helping development in developing countries.
Hence, to save the environment from further destruction world needs a structure that will include all nations and apply for all nations. Finally, I agree in having a GEO because I think it is the easiest way to get a global awareness on environmental issues. Then, I believe that states must be controlled by a higher instance so they cannot do what they want, because in this way they are harming the environment and being irresponsible. And the last, having a centralized power and a structure that develops and implements policies on a global scale, I believe is with a huge impact and can really change how things are developing.