|New paths to international environmental cooperation|
In 2012, the Government of the Netherlands asked the Advisory Council on International Affairs (AIV) to produce an advisory report on global environmental public goods. The request was prompted by the observation in the Advisory Council on Government Policy’s report «Attached to the World» that the Netherlands is increasingly affected by complex global issues such as climate change, energy and security, and by the interrelations between these issues. The government notes that global environmental public goods are particularly important for global stability and security, as well as sustainable economic growth and prosperity. An improved ‘supply’ and regulation of environmental goods – a stable climate, access to energy and resources, an adequate water supply and preservation of biodiversity and ecosystems – are essential for growth and stability in rich countries, emerging middle-income countries and poor countries.
Chapter I, The environment and global public goods, examines current and future environmental problems in a global perspective. These problems can be resolved only through international environmental cooperation. The Netherlands’ track record in this area is then considered.
The first chapter closes with a brief discussion of the term ‘global public goods’ and how it relates to environmental policy.
Chapter II, Foreign policy and international environmental cooperation, first roughly outlines Dutch foreign policy. It then explores the relationships between environmental cooperation, development cooperation, economic cooperation, human rights policy and security policy, culminating in an integrated vision of international cooperation.
Chapter III, Strategic building blocks for an international environmental agenda, presents details of a number of conceptual principles for sustainable development based on this integrated vision. It then looks at the policy instruments and funding of international environmental cooperation. Finally, further details of selected priority environmental issues are presented.
Chapter IV, Governance and partnerships, explores the pros and cons of taking a multilateral approach to global environmental issues. It also looks at the role and significance of the EU in international environmental cooperation, as well as considering the importance of working with the private sector and the rise of corporate social responsibility. Finally, this chapter explores the opportunities for using existing and adapted governance structures to improve implementation in relation to five priority environmental issues.
In chapter V, Conclusions and recommendations, the AIV sets out policy recommendations for an integrated approach to international environmental cooperation. These recommendations are explained in greater detail in the answers to the questions posed in the government's request for advice.
The report will be presented in July 2013 at the Netherlands Ministry of Foreign Affairs.