Author: Deborah

The World Needs an International Agreement

The World Needs an International Agreement

Editorial: 5 reasons for frustration — and hope — as the world prepares for another U.N. climate summit

At the climate summit in Bonn, Germany, in mid-September, many governments, businesses and civil society actors are braced for what some describe as the “last chance” to stop climate change. And they know that the chance of success is vanishingly small. But they hope that the summit might be the catalyst that pushes a global change movement closer together.

They’re right about that. But they’re also right about one other thing: the summit is shaping up to be a disappointment.

If this summit, which is a mere five days old, is going to be the catalyst that brings civil society and governments together, it’s going to need to do more than just tell each other to “wake up.” If it’s going to lead to meaningful action that actually transforms the way we live and threatens our planet, the summit will need to act in unison with more than just its own members. The world needs an international agreement.

And if this summit is a disappointment, this year’s will be. I’ll be in the United Kingdom, the European Union, and Japan from September 17-19. The United States’ participation is too late to have any impact. Our participation is meaningless in the short term. Our participation is meaningless in the long term.

And yet, here in Bonn, a city that prides itself on its role in international peace and good will, something is happening. This month, in the lead-up to the summit, a small but growing group of civil society, business and government leaders are banding together to demand an international agreement. They’re planning to form an “international government,” or Intergovernmental Authority on Climate Change, or I.A.C.C.I., as a kind of “citizen diplomacy.”

This effort is part of an international network of organizations working to advance a Green New Deal. The U.N.

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