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UN overhaul required to govern planet's life support system: Experts

Organization a step that would give it greater authority, more secure funding and facilitate the creation and enforcement of international regulations and standards;

  • Create special majority voting in decision-making systems when earth-system concerns are at stake.

    Also recommended:

    • Strengthening national accountability and legitimacy with, for example, mandatory disclosure of accessible, comprehensible and comparable data about government and corporate sustainability performance; and

    • Allowing discrimination in world trade law between products on the basis of production processes to encourage investments in cleaner products and services. Such discrimination should be based on multilateral agreement to prevent protectionism.

    Tools available

    "We have tools to address our challenges effectively, but we're quickly running out of time to put them in place," says Planet Under Pressure conference co-chair Dr Mark Stafford Smith, science director of the Commonwealth Scientific and Industrial Research Organization's Climate Adaptation Flagship, in Canberra, Australia.

    The international Planet Under Pressure conference will be the largest gathering of global change and sustainability scientists prior to the Rio+20 Earth Summit next June in Rio de Janeiro. The 3,000 global experts expected at the London conference will provide a "State of the Planet" assessment, discuss concepts for planetary stewardship and societal and economic transformation, and prescribe a recommended route to global sustainability.

    Sponsored by the International Council for Science (ICSU), the conference is being organized by a consortium of four leading global research programmes: International Geosphere-Biosphere Programme, DIVERSITAS-the international programme on biodiversity science, International Human Dimensions Programme on global environmental change, the World Climate Research Pro

  • Contact: Terry Collins
    Earth System Science Partnership

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