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Climate is too important to be left to the politicians

• Published on 23 Sept. 2014 • Category : nyforum • Tags : Climate


Don Tapscott is the author of 15 books about new media and business and society. He directs the Global Solution Network Program at The Rotman School, University of Toronto, which is investigating partnership models of global problem solving and governance.

Tuesday’s Climate Summit at the United Nations is unprecedented. Even though it is not part of the UN’s official negotiating process for reducing greenhouse gas emissions, this could be the most important and productive meeting on climate change ever held. In addition to heads of member states, it’s bringing together leaders at the highest level from finance, business, NGOs, and local leaders from public and private sectors – to develop some collective progress on emission controls.

The meeting will surely turn up the heat on the world’s political leaders. However there is a much bigger opportunity that is not yet on the table here for discussion. It is now possible to create a global multi-stakeholder Climate Governance Network to actually govern the climate. I’ve been leading a team of researchers at the University of Toronto investigating this idea and we have concluded that it is not only feasible but necessary to solve the problem. Other important global resources are governed through a multi-stakeholder partnership rather than by states. Examples include old growth forests (Forest Stewardship Council), diamonds (The Kimberley Process Certification Scheme) and complex ecosystem that governs the Internet itself. Why not the climate?

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