World in Transition: New Structures for Global Environmental Policy
Today, more than 900 bi- and multilateral environmental treaties are in force. Nonetheless, the most pressing problems of global change remain unresolved, some are even intensifying. The international institutional and organizational architecture has proven too weak to provide effective and efficient responses to these challenges.
In this situation, the German Advisory Council on Global Change (WBGU) has developed a vision for reforming the United Nations in the environmental arena. It terms this the ‘Earth Alliance’, comprising three interlocking realms. First, to provide authority in the assessment of environmental problems, the Council proposes establishing an independent body whose task is to provide timely warning of particularly risk-laden developments in the sphere of global change – Earth Assessment. Second, the report makes recommendations for redesigning the organizational core of global environmental policy – Earth Organization. This revolves around the step-wise establishment of an International Environmental Organization, building on the existing United Nations Environment Programme as its initial nucleus. Third, the Council highlights new avenues for financing global environmental policy – Earth Funding.