Global Policy Forum

The Environment

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Unsustainable environmental practices pose increasing threats to the Earth's climate, water, forests, biodiversity, food and energy supply, and thus to the foundations of human existence and well-being. Developing countries disproportionately suffer the ecological consequences of the exploitation of the earth's limited natural resources by Northern governments and powerful corporations. The United Nations has been at the heart of the struggle over the future of the earth's environment. Its global conferences and intergovernmental policy bodies -- especially the Commission on Sustainable Development (CSD) -- have been major battlegrounds between forces for greater environmental protection and those who oppose rules and regulations in the name of free markets and economic growth. This page touches on key environmental issues and the role of the UN, governments, businesses and NGOs in shaping environmental policy.

General Analysis on the Environment

This page provides analyses on environmental challenges and responses in a globalized world, and how they interact with issues of human development.

Sustainable Energy

Alternative energy sources are needed to replace fossil fuels and other unsustainable energy sources. This page, moderated by Michael Tanzer, critically monitors academic research and initiatives that promote a rapid transition towards a sustainable use of renewable energy.  

Climate Change

This page provides information and analysis on the politics and science of climate change.

Energy Taxes

This section posts articles dealing with efforts to implement international and regional taxes on hydrocarbon energy fuels that cause global warming. Such taxes would correct market failures by internalizing economic externalities, such as pollution, enabling the price of goods and services to reflect full social and environmental costs.

Aviation Taxes

This section posts articles dealing with efforts to implement international aviation taxes.

Environmental Degradation

This page provides information on the diverse forms of environmental degradation.

The Dark Side of Natural Resources

This page displays how the possession and scarcity of natural resources, frequently fueled by corporate interests, often lies at the heart of wars and civil strife.

Global Public Goods

This section posts materials on global public goods. Clean environment, health, knowledge, property rights, peace and security are all examples of public goods that could be made global.

The Rio Process

This page looks at the landmark UN Conference on Environment and Development - also known as the Earth Summit - held in Rio de Janeiro in 1992.

The Johannesburg Summit

This page provides documents and articles on the 2002 Johannesburg World Summit on Sustainable Developments and its follow up.

Tables and Charts

This page provides figures on environmental issues.

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