28 June, 2007
Our climate change/energy security predicament will need a global solution. There is no country in the world (not even the US) which will be able to win the climate/energy war on its own. But do we have the global governance structures in place that reflect this global interconnectedness? How do we achieve the “one planet governance” which is also being advocated in the recent Accountability/Consumers International report on consumers and climate change?
It is clear that our current global governance structures are too slow, too bureaucratic and too far removed from normal citizens to play any effective role in finding the urgent solutions needed. Do we really think that in the “era of new scarcity” (with countries increasingly competing for declining energy resources, precious metals and minerals), governments will be willing to transfer more power to transnational organisations? The current trends go in the opposite direction. Look at the growth of “energy nationalism” (not only from Russia and Venezuela BTW).
So will this “one planet governance” ever come about? Yes but only after several “shockwaves” (Katrina was in a way the first “9/11” of the climate/energy war, but much more is to come, and not just freak weather and storms) and the danger is that, like the West reaction to global terrorism, democracy and human freedoms will be the main victims.
An excellent analysis on this “creeping Green Junta” was just published by Peter Wells of Cardiff University. His article “The Green Junta: or, is democracy sustainable?” (in the International Journal of Environment and Sustainable Development) was well summarised in innovations-report.com. Here is an extract:
However, Wells warns that such a solution might be hijacked by the political right who would seize the opportunity to enforce a more authoritarian approach. “A modern Green Junta is unlikely to arrive with tanks on the streets and the overnight capturing of control,” he explains, “Rather, it creeps upon us through multiple small steps – each one justified by ‘necessity’.”