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Climate – Agreements

How can we come together to address the greatest existential challenges in our collective history?  Though the scale is immense, we know, largely, what to do.  It is a question of will.

Important, useful, international commitments already exist with respect to addressing biodiversity restoration and global warming. How will nations, societies, hold one another to task?  How might we hold each of ourselves accountable?  These questions underscore the critical factor of leadership - particularly in regard to formation and implementation of public policy.

Sir Partha Dasgupta asks in Section 6.2 of The Economics of Biodiversity: The Dasgupta Review "under what circumstances would parties who have reached agreement trust one another to keep their word?" He answers his question with "because one's word must be credible if it is to be believed, mere promises would not be enough ... . If parties are to trust one another to keep their promise, matters must be so arranged that: (a) at every stage of the agreed course of actions, it would be in the interest of each party to plan to keep his or her word if all others were to plan to keep their word; and (b) at every stage of the agreed course of actions, each party would believe that all others would keep their word.  If the two conditions are met, a system of beliefs that the agreement will be kept would be self-confirming."

Agreed courses of actions (international agreements) exist.  We know it is in our best interests (our very survival) to keep our word with respect to climate action commitments.  Do we believe, however, that "at every stage of the agreed course of actions" that "others would keep their word?"  Such is the clear and present challenge facing national leaders and coalition builders.