On the power of formation: A revitalised case for a global environmental organisation

By Aaron L. Ramcharan

“Formation” may be defined as “an act of giving form or shape”. In international environmental governance, matters of form and shape are constitutive.

Whether the formation of a global environmental organisation (GEO) is needed is a question that implicates the most important elements of existing environmental governance at the international level. In this post, a revitalised case for such an organisation is presented. The post argues that a global environmental organisation may be needed because such a body would contribute three primary components to international environmental governance: (1) enhance inclusive participation, (2) resolve dangerous policy conflicts within the UN system, and (3) capitalise on existing political momentum. At its root, the impetus for a global environmental organisation is based in a scientific assessment of existing ecological conditions and a call for invigorated political leadership. The revitalised case comes at a time when post-pandemic political momentum offers an opportunity to expand established arguments about the advantages of using a GEO to address interlinked global environmental challenges.

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