REPORT TO THE CLUB OF ROME
Seven Points to Remember:
'THE CAPACITY TO GOVERN'
YEHEZKEL DROR *, HEINER BENKING
1. The first Club of Rome Report LIMITS TO GROWTH helped to put global climate issues on the political and public agenda. Reaching the conclusion that without radical improvements of capacities to govern global problems cannot be adequately handled, the Club of Rome commissioned the Report by Yehezkel Dror, Professor at the Hebrew University of Jerusalem and a widely experienced policy advisor to many countries, to evaluate governance capacities and propose improvements. At the initiative of the International Corner, Professor Dror came to the Climate Summit to reconsider the conclusions of his Report in light of global climate issues.
2. The main finding of the Report that present governance is incapable of adequately handling major issues is clearly proven by the inability of the Climate Conference to reach operational decisions assuring implementation of Agenda 21. While the compromises reached are much better than paralysis—much more is needed, including:
a. Better integration of climate issues with economic and social issues so as to arrive at comprehensive policies.
b. Universal application of an energy tax. to go in part to protection of essential global resources, such as rain forests.
c. Global enforcement of limitations on dangerous chemicals, with limits to be determined on the basis of risk-cost-benefit analysis directed at long-range effects.
3. The following recommendations from the Report require rapid implementation for adequate handling, inter alia. of climate issues:
a. Decisions to be taken at such global conferences by a large weighted majority, but without veto rights.
b. An 'Ecology and Global Resources Council' to be set up at the United Nations, with weighted voting but no veto, with powers to take binding decisions subject to appeal to the General Assembly.
c. A Global Policy College to be set up, where politicians from all countries go for periods of 4 to 8 weeks for in-depth study of global issues, such as climate problems.
4. However without redesigns of domestic politics, such global innovations are of limited use. Politicians are overloaded with local and regional issues and public opinion is not ready for painful steps, however essential for the future and within broad 'raison d'humanite' perspectives. Minimum essential steps on the national and European Union level include, therefore:
a. Radical upgrading of public understanding of complex and global issues, with of suitable courses to be included in school and university curricula and presentation of public television programs explaining complex issues in viewer-friendly ways.
b. Setting up of 'Global Impact Units' in the offices of heads of governments.
c. More support for public interest NGOs devoted to global perspectives.
5. Additional, more far reaching, recommended measures include, for instance: longer periods between elections, and setting up of non-elected advisory 'Second Chambers' to 'represent' future generations and global perspectives.
Additional concepts to help map and understand complex issues presented at the Global Change Exhibition and the International Corner at the CLIMATE '95 include:
6. Research into spatial metaphors supporting local and global governance by enabling understanding of intersectoral strategic dilemmas of action and results chains in a symbolic and trans-cultural form, for shared exploration of issues and evaluation of proportions and consequences with differentiation between data, conjectures and 'noise' in policy information.
7. Further development of a conceptual superstructure as a reference paradigm to ease access to salient data while avoiding unnecessary redundancy and overloads.
The BOOK: 'THE CAPACITY TO GOVERN' by YEHEZKEL DROR
Published in German by C. Bertelsmann München. I 99S; La capacidad de governar: Informe al Club de Roma, Published in Spanish by Circulo de Lectores, Barcelona: publication in English and other languages planned for 1995 and 1996), applied to Global Climate Conference Berlin in cooperation with Heiner Benking, International Corner, Messe Klima '95.
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