State sovereignty must go – climate justice must come
As the British newspaper Guardian reports, new institutions are necessary to combat climate change. YES! This was also picked up by the COP15-websit (here) but I doubt it will be carried into the minds of all the fearful politicians. The sovereignty of the states is one of the core good in the world.While progressive minds in the North think this concept is outdated, many countries (especially those with colonial background) see it as a prime value. Personally, I think this is sad – why building nations when they don’t function anyways (due to cleavages that might be stronger, like in Kenya or Bolivia…)? But I understand the feelings. The report (see below) has three szenarios: The Age of Climatocracy, the Multilateral Zombie or the Operating System. see below.
The British Department for International Development recommends the creation of powerful surveillance and enforcement mechanisms to combat climate change. To ensure that countries meet their commitments to cut carbon emissions, the new institutions should be given the capacity to make intrusive inspections to measure emissions in the same way that inspectors from the IAEA now oversee nuclear facilities, the Guardian reports.
”This implies a significant pooling of sovereignty, greater coercive powers at international level and significant investment in surveillance and research,” the authors, Alex Evans and David Steven, write in the report published by the Center on International Co-operation at New York University but commissioned by the British Department for International Development.
Check out the original report: ”An Institutional Architecture for Climate Change”
The climate scenarios illustrate three very different end states in 2030.
The Age of Climatocracy shows how success in negotiations can nonetheless fail to lead to a sustainable deal, with growing climate impacts leading to steadily declining levels of international effectiveness. It illustrates the dangers of achieving cosmetic agreement that is not backed by a process of institutional change. By 2030, in this scenario, only a ‘magic bullet’ or serious economic decay (perhaps aided by conflict) can bring emissions under control. The scenario shows the dangers of merely replicating the Kyoto Protocol – which is not to say that building on Kyoto is the wrong approach.
In Multilateral Zombie, an early breakdown in international co-operation is followed by the eventual emergence of a new order based on a patchwork of bottom up solutions. Concentrations are stabilized in this scenario, but at a high level. In 2030, the key question is whether dramatic emissions cuts can be achieved by 2050, given increasingly sophisticated low carbon technologies and a growing commitment to international co-operation. How bad will the overshoot be? Will future emissions be low enough that greenhouse gas concentrations can decline from their peak?
Finally, in Operating System, a long-term deal proves sufficiently robust to deliver results, while being flexible enough to respond to unpredicted shocks. It results from an ambitious effort to integrate all aspects of international reform, and an approach based on agreeing shared principles and a long-term route map rather than just incremental initiatives. The going is tough to begin with, but ambition is rewarded over time as a result is achieved that brings together top down co-operation and bottom up innovation.