E-Consultation on Environmental Governance for the UN Summit of the Future

The Global Goals – Sustainable Development all leads on from strong and effective Global Governance

Dear Friends, 

Please JOIN our E-Consultation on Environmental Governance for the UN Summit of the Future

This E-Consultation starts on Wednesday 8th Feb. and continues with Daily Sessions and Google Drive Conversations to Tuesday 21st Feb. It addresses what many feel is the most fundamental failure of humanity’s stewardship of the Planet: our failure to protect and conserve the global Commons – air, atmosphere, oceans, water, forests, ice caps etc. 

In this consultation, we shall seek to create a raft of bold and innovative Citizens’ Recommendations with which we can all start lobbying our governments well-ahead of the Summit which is scheduled for September 2024.  

What is Environmental Governance?

It is a truth universally acknowledged by think tanks, scientists, academics and agencies around the world that human beings take far more out of the Biosphere than Nature has the capacity to put back. Environmental Governance is all about the rules and regulations, institutions and enforcement infrastructure that we, as a human family, must put in place immediately to halt and reverse this trend. 

The catastrophe towards which we are hurtling as a result of this trend was well explained by Johan Rockström in the first 3-minutes of his introduction to the Climate Discussion at Davos this year. Al Gore’s speech at the same session (36-mins in) got all the media attention – it’s great and so is Johan’s devastating analysis. 

Neither has attempted to fully outline the kind of governance system which we have to set up in this century to halt and reverse this trend. That is the task that we are addressing in this E-Consultation.   

We all know what Governance is and we all experience it every day: 

  • Companies have bosses who wield incentives (wages, bonuses) and punishments (“You’re Fired!”) to keep staff in order.
  • Schools have head-teachers and staff who likewise wield carrots (prizes, exams) and sticks (detention) to keep students in order.
  • Councils have leaders Civil Servants and Councillors who provide services and collect taxes to pay for them.
  • Countries have Parliaments who make rules and regulations called “Laws” which we all have to obey. And they have a whole system of courts and prisons and police to enforce them.

The Biosphere has none of these things. As Partha Dasgupta says in his landmark Biodiversity Review

Our world lacks the institutional arrangements needed to protect global public goods, such as the ocean or the rainforests….” 

Our job, in this track, is to imagine and design them. And then to figure out how we might install them.

Interested in joining us?

  1. Click on: gff2023envgovernance.googlegroups.com and select a group
  2. Go to “Members” on the left 
  3. Click: “Add Members”
  4. Scroll down to “directly add members” 
  5. Enter your details, confirm that you’re not a robot

That’s it – you’re all signed up! Any difficulties, email us with the title line: Please Enrol Me and we will put you on the list. 

In the group, you will see the Zoom links for each session and access privileges to all the online conversations, where you can ask questions, submit your ideas and help craft and prioritise the recommendations.  

The Programme:

The People’s Pact for the Future team has set up seven sets of 2-week e-consultations.

  • Week one starts with the theme “better understand what proposals are already in the discourse” and enables you to put discuss your own ideas.  
  • Week two works to craft and prioritise 3-5 recommendations.

Our Reading List gives you some ideas for the proposals that are already in the discourse. We hope to add many more over the two weeks by welcoming your ideas, and by running a series of video calls with experts in the field. These calls will be scheduled at different times during the days to enable our global audience to participate in different time zones. They will focus on five main questions:

  1. How do we fill the Global Governance Gap and robustly protect the Biosphere for Future Generations?
  1. Trust and Accountability – how do we ensure people, businesses and governments keep their promises?
  1. How can we harness the potential of Technology to help fill that Governance Gap?
  1. How do we Finance this additional layer of Governance?
  1. Geoengineering – is it a viable option if all else fails? How do we manage and govern initiatives in this field?

During the e-consultancy, you will be able to raise your own ideas, put questions to the experts and help craft the recommendations. These recommendations will be gathered in five Global Conversations on the five questions in the Google group. A daily schedule & update will be sent to each participant throughout the E-consultation and we shall be very open to taking your advice on how to adjust this to meet your concerns, needs and ideas.

The Outcome(s):

We see the 3-5 Recommendations as headings under which a whole list of sub-recommendations may be listed. We will aim to recommend bold, decisive governance structures to pull the world back from the cliff edge and deliver a world safe for our children and grand-children.

We’d also like recommendations to come out of this track on how we might better promote the Summit of the Future to a wider public – to schools, universities, community groups, interested NGOs.

We look forward to spending a fascinating fortnight in your company!

Best wishes,

David Woollcombe     Nandini Harari            Felipe Castello


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