Debate Over UNEP’s Future Continues
On February 5th, 2012, an article covering the recent climate conferences in Paris, France appeared in AFP News. The article covers the central role that UNEP is starting to occupy in the lead-up to the Rio+20 conference in June.
The author reports that the French government is advocating the creation of a World Environment Organization. According to the French vision, this new UN specialized agency would be a transformed UNEP with expanded powers and greater autonomy. The article reflects on the fact that the French vision stems from criticisms of UNEP, many of which have noted that the UN body lacks sufficient clout. An UN specialized agency for the environment would be better equipped to deal with the challenges of creating an effective climate regime.
The article goes on to say that critics of the French proposal are calling for a strengthened, more effective UNEP rather than adding another organization to the UN bureaucracy. While some commentators are postulating that discussions about UNEP could rip Rio+20 apart, Lucien Chabason of IDDRI in Paris, and a member of the GEG Project community, says that, “One can imagine a mixture of the two ideas, in which Rio adopts a position in principle to beef up UNEP and launch a negotiation process.”
The full article can be found here.