NCPA - National Center for Policy Analysis

Global Greens Push For Global Government

August 18, 1999

A green elite of environmentalists, politicians and bureaucrats is pushing for global regulation and world government to solve exaggerated environmental problems, such as climate change and ozone depletion, claims a new publication from the Institute of Economic Affairs.

A number of international treaties reflect this global green agenda, say authors Jeremy Rabkin and James Sheehan.

  • The Biodiversity Convention, under the pretext of species protection, authorizes increased government control of private land use, and plans already exist to extend its restrictions to biotechnology innovation via a Biosafety Protocol.
  • The Basle Convention controls trade in waste, scrap and recyclable materials by defining various metals as hazardous, and Greenpeace wants it used to exclude developing countries from global scrap metal markets.
  • The Convention to Combat Desertification aims to prevent land degradation by giving $30 billion to African governments for anti-desertification efforts; but such aid has perpetuated land mismanagement by promoting centrally planned irrigation projects, subsidized farming and inept agro-forestry policies.
  • The Persistent Organic Pollutants Treaty being negotiated by governments of more than 150 countries may ban many pesticides, including those crucial to the eradication of disease-carrying mosquitoes in developing countries, such as DDT.

The efforts of this green elite are self-reinforcing. Government officials in developed countries, U.N. bureaucrats and their pressure group allies lobby for increased appropriations for agencies such as the World Bank, the Global Environment Facility and national bilateral development agencies. In return for their support, environmental organizations receive subsidies and recognized status at international meetings. Thus, for instance, at the 1997 Kyoto climate meeting there were 3,500 representatives from (predominantly European) pressure groups and only 1,500 delegates from member governments.

Source: Jeremy Rabkin and James Sheehan (Competitive Enterprise Institute), "Global Greens, Global Governance," Environment Working Paper No. 4, 1999, Institute of Economic Affairs, 2 Lord North Street, London SW1P 3LB, (0171) 799 3745.


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