Mass extinction, ocean acidification, deforestation, pollution, desertification, and climate change: the environmental issues facing the world are numerous and increasingly global in nature. To respond more effectively, the United Nations is considering forming a World Environmental Organization or WEO, similar to the World Trade Organization.
The idea was first seriously considered at Copenhagen in December, but has taken a step forward at an annual meeting of the United Nation Environment Program (UNEP) in Nusa Dua, Indonesia.
Executive director of UNEP, Achim Steiner, said that governments were showing support for the idea.
“The status quo … is no longer an option. Within the broader reform options, the WEO concept is one of them,” Steiner said according to Reuters. “Governments established a high-level ministerial group to continue this process with greater focus and also urgency. That group will convene within a few months.”
Details as to whether or not the new organization would have the power to sanction nations for breaking international law—like the World Trade Organization—have not been decided.
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