Found at the UK Telegraph via Drudge.
Stephen Hockman QC is proposing a body similar to the International Court of Justice in The Hague to be the supreme legal authority on issues regarding the environment. (One world government on it's way.)
The first role of the new body would be to enforce international agreements on cutting greenhouse gas emissions set to be agreed next year.
But the court would also fine countries or companies that fail to protect endangered species or degrade the natural environment and enforce the "right to a healthy environment". (Wanna bet who would be the number one target in their sights? The initials are U-S-A)
The innovative idea is being presented to an audience of politicians, scientists and public figures for the first time at a symposium at the British Library.
Mr Hockman, a deputy High Court judge, said that the threat of climate change means it is more important than ever for the law to protect the environment. (Note to Dumbass; the climate is always changing. What's in dispute is human influence of it.)
The UN Climate Change Conference in Poznan, Poland this month is set to begin negotiations that will lead to a new agreement to replace the Kyoto Protocol in Copenhagen next year. Developed countries are expected to commit to cutting emissions drastically, while developing countries agree to halt deforestation. (Yeah, I can see that last happening. Especially when deforestation helps industrialize a country and bring it up to par with major powers. But any Third World country will automatically fall under different rules than the rest.)
Gordon Brown, the Prime Minister, has agreed the concept of an international court will be taken into account when considering how to make these international agreements on climate change binding. The court is also backed by a number of MPs, climate change experts and public figures including the actress Judi Dench. (Well! If an actress is behind it we all know it must be the best thing going! Who could be wiser than someone paid to play a grownup version of Make Believe?)
Mr Hockman said an international court will be needed to enforce and regulate any agreement.
"The time is now ripe to set this up and get it going," he said. "Its remit will be overall climate change and the need for better regulation of carbon emissions but at the same time the implementation and enforcement of international environmental agreements and instruments."
As well as providing resolution between states, the court will also be useful for multinational businesses in ensuring environmental laws are kept to in every country. (Noted.)
The court would include a convention on the right to a healthy environment and provide a higher body for individuals or non-governmental organisations to protest against an environmental injustice. ("Injustice"? That sounds like a politically correct can of worms just begging to be opened.)
Mr Hockman said the court may be able to fine businesses or states but its main role will be in making "declaratory rulings" that influence and embarrass countries into upholding the law.
He said: "Of course regulations and sanctions alone cannot deliver a global solution to problems of climate change, but without such components the incentive for individual countries to address those problems – and to achieve solutions that are politically acceptable within their own jurisdictions – will be much reduced." (Only if they give a damn.)
The court would be led by retired judges, climate change experts and public figures (Why does Al Gore come to mind here?). It would include a scientific body to consider evidence and provide access to any data on the environment.
Most importantly, Mr Hockman said an international court on the environment would influence public opinion which in turn would force Governments to take the environment seriously. He said: "If there are bodies around that can give definitive legal rulings that are accepted as fair and reasonable that has its own impact on public opinion." (And we all know how important public opinion is in countries like Iran, Saudi Arabia, Russia, Venezuela, China, Zimbabwe, etc.)
Friends of the Earth welcomed the idea. (Big surprise!)
A spokesman said: "We think any institution that is going to promote and help people enforce their right to a clean and healthy environment is a good thing." (Oh, go eat your tofu!)
This sounds like something that would be right up the alley of our President-Elect. The good news is that Congress ratifies all treaties (check out how Wilson got shortstopped on our membership in the League of Nations). The bad news is that the majority of Congress is Democratic and thats the home of the radical treehuggers.
Sunday, November 30, 2008
Found at the UK Telegraph via Drudge.