A global authority on climate change is needed
Dr. McClean joins Guillaume Nordhaus (Nobel Prize in Economics 2018) by claiming that voluntary compliance and commitments will almost certainly fail to prevent runaway and catastrophic warming. Nordhaus proposed a “climate club” of states that would create mutual incentives to comply with climate agreements. Likewise, Dr McClean says he agrees with Stewart M. Patrick (Sr. Fellow, Council on Foreign Relations) that current international political mechanisms are inadequate for the climate emergency (Patrick called for a “new planetary policy” in the last issue of Foreign Affairs).
Obstacles to the creation of a Global Climate Authority include the commitments of nation states to political realism, resistance from fossil fuel-producing countries, and nationalism. While these obstacles are formidable, McClean believes the catastrophic predictions of uncontrolled warming and climate change provide the reasons to overcome them.
McClean argues that a Global Climate Authority should not be seen as a zero-sum game in which some countries will win while others lose, and that it does not undermine the sovereignty and self-determination of states any more than it does. other international agreements including mechanisms for redressing infringements and non-conformities. How exactly would that work? McClean believes that mechanisms could include, among other things, the requirement for security deposits, indexed (in part) to GDP, which would be forfeited in the event of significant non-compliance, and the Authority could expire on a certain date at unless its maintenance is affirmed by the Member States. According to McClean, a global climate authority should make it much less likely that domestic politics will interfere with a country’s meeting its climate-related commitments, such as reducing GHGs.
Calls for a World Climate Authority, a climate club and a new planetary policy indicate significant shifts in thinking about how global environmental threats (including threats to biodiversity) should be respected. McClean says, “We have a planet. While Earth’s homeostatic systems are robust, they are clearly not immune to the types of shocks imposed during the Anthropocene. the news.”
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SOURCE Business and Government Ethics International