Jul 11, 2009 7 Comments ›› Pat Dollard
Former Vice President Al Gore declared that the Congressional climate bill will help bring about â€œglobal governance.â€
â€œI bring you good news from the U.S., â€œGore said on July 7, 2009 in Oxford at the Smith School World Forum on Enterprise and the Environment, sponsored by UK Times.
â€œJust two weeks ago, the House of Representatives passed the Waxman-Markey climate bill,â€ Gore said, noting it was â€œvery much a step in the right direction.â€ President Obama has pushed for the passage of the bill in the Senate and attended a G8 summit this week where he agreed to attempt to keep the Earth’s temperatures from rising more than 2 degrees C.
Gore touted the Congressional climate bill, claiming it â€œwill dramatically increase the prospects for successâ€ in combating what he sees as the â€œcrisisâ€ of man-made global warming.
â€œBut it is the awareness itself that will drive the change and one of the ways it will drive the change is through global governance and global agreements.â€ (Editor’s Note: Gore makes the â€œglobal governanceâ€ comment at the 1min. 10 sec. mark in this UK Times video.)
Gore’s call for â€œglobal governanceâ€ echoes former French President Jacques Chirac’s call in 2000.
On November 20, 2000, then French President Chirac said during a speech at The Hague that the UN’s Kyoto Protocol represented “the first component of an authentic global governance.”
â€œFor the first time, humanity is instituting a genuine instrument of global governance,â€ Chirac explained. â€œFrom the very earliest age, we should make environmental awareness a major theme of education and a major theme of political debate, until respect for the environment comes to be as fundamental as safeguarding our rights and freedoms. By acting together, by building this unprecedented instrument, the first component of an authentic global governance, we are working for dialogue and peace,â€ Chirac added.
Former EU Environment Minister Margot Wallstrom said, “Kyoto is about the economy, about leveling the playing field for big businesses worldwide.” Canadian Prime Minster Stephen Harper once dismissed UN’s Kyoto Protocol as a â€œsocialist scheme.â€
‘Global Carbon Tax’ Urged at UN Meeting
In addition, calls for a global carbon tax have been urged at recent UN global warming conferences. In December 2007, the UN climate conference in Bali, urged the adoption of a global carbon tax that would represent â€œa global burden sharing system, fair, with solidarity, and legally binding to all nations.â€
â€œFinally someone will pay for these [climate related] costs,â€ Othmar Schwank, a global tax advocate, said at the 2007 UN conference after a panel titled â€œA Global CO2 Tax.â€
Schwank noted that wealthy nations like the U.S. would bear the biggest burden based on the â€œpolluters pay principle.â€ The U.S. and other wealthy nations need to â€œcontribute significantly more to this global fund,â€ Schwank explained. He also added, â€œIt is very essential to tax coal.â€
The 2007 UN conference was presented with a report from the Swiss Federal Office for the Environment titled â€œGlobal Solidarity in Financing Adaptation.â€ The report stated there was an â€œurgent needâ€ for a global tax in order for â€œdamages [from climate change] to be kept from growing to truly catastrophic levels, especially in vulnerable countries of the developing world.â€
The tens of billions of dollars per year generated by a global tax would â€œflow into a global Multilateral Adaptation Fundâ€ to help nations cope with global warming, according to the report.
Schwank said a global carbon dioxide tax is an idea long overdue that is urgently needed to establish â€œa funding scheme which generates the resources required to address the dimension of challenge with regard to climate change costs.â€
‘Redistribution of wealth’
The environmental group Friends of the Earth advocated the transfer of money from rich to poor nations during the 2007 UN climate conference.
“A climate change response must have at its heart a redistribution of wealth and resources,â€ said Emma Brindal, a climate justice campaigner coordinator for Friends of the Earth.