Wednesday, February 21, 2007

Nation States Loosing Legitimacy?

There are many reasons to believe that Nation States are loosing legitimacy. This needn't be the case, there are many good reasons for having a strong state, if governments are to prove themselves worth having then it is time for them to step up to the key challenges of our time, challenges of social justice, global poverty, environmental sustainability and climate change.

Since the Kyoto agreement was negotiated with the express motivation of avoiding dangerous climate change carbon emissions have only increased. World leaders--so called--have increased rhetoric substantially, but actual legislation and resourcing in favour of climate change mitigation has been sparse to say the least.

Meanwhile, businesses are working through associations such as the global wind energy council (GWEC) who have been holding international conferences and mapping out a low carbon energy future. The Climate Group has supported legislation in California (where local industry benefits strongly from this regulatory driver of innovation). NRDC teamed up with a group of the worlds largest companies including energy giants and aluminium manufacturers, pushing government to cap carbon emissions. Now the global round table on climate change, which represents over 80 companies has called again for a global cap on emissions.

Is this a nightmare of inadequacy or a neoliberal dream? Perhaps both, companies are coming to the rescue; only history will tell if they are arriving to late. For many related challenges of sustainability we have good reasons to believe that companies will not be on the side of the people or the governments, with increasingly marginalised states the prospects for a brighter future are delicate. We need our politicians to reclaim the ground that is rightly theres to protect on our behalf.

The UN has bemoaned the lack of leadership on climate change from world leaders and never has a strong stance looked likely. The ability of governments to make these crucial decisions for the very survival of there citizens has been placed in doubt. One of the reasons for the existence of nation states is security. In today's world wars are rhetorical and metaphorical, there is a war on terror, a war that is in fact a cause of terrorism. The legitimate fights that modern society has to deal with are in controlling it's own thirst for resources and it's own requirements to use the atmosphere as a dumping ground.


Climate Change Action

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