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“Policy Incoherence”? Shurely shome mishtake

September 3, 2009

Ah, the wonderful “Multilateral Environmental Bulletin” drops onto my cyber-doormat again. This, from the International Institute for Sustainable Development, is a 6 or 7 page pdf that covers, well, the multilateral environmental agreements (climate, biodiversity, sustainable development, oceans, deserts etc).

There’s usually a guest article worth reading, and in issue 75 it is snappily entitled

Policy Incoherence in Capitals: Flawed Messages from the International Community

In order to be effective, a post-2012 climate agreement will need to motivate extensive changes in investment flows and government expenditures, it will need to trigger restructuring of important sectors of the economy such as agriculture, forestry, fisheries and manufacturing, and it will need to change national consumption patterns. The new climate agreement will, in short, have to deal with a whole range of economic activities.

Climate negotiators, however, are being instructed by their finance ministries, their trade ministries and their central banks to keep away from hard economic issues unless there is a chance that dealing with them will bring new cash into the country. These instructions severely restrict the range of economic options that can be incorporated in the post-2012 climate agreement and therefore severely restrict the possibilities of the negotiators to produce an effective and viable post-2012 climate agreement.

and it continues in this cheerful vein, with horrifying but strangely unsuprising observations like “the international financial system, working through the IMF, the World Bank, the regional development banks and the Basel Committees, does not require reporting of climate related capital flows.  The new World Bank Group Strategic Framework on Climate Change does not address climate-related measurement.” What a species.

The authors of this are Harris Gleckman, Principal, Benchmark Environmental Consulting, Project Manager for the Institute for Environmental Security’s Global Policy Coherence Project and Ewout Doorman, Programme Assistant, Diplomacy Programme / Global Policy Coherence Project, Institute for Environmental Security

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