Within the framework of the International Forum on WTO Law the section on Sustainable Development and Investments was held where an independent economist Yuri Rakintsev, who is engaged in research on climate change, presented a report.The purpose of the section was to elaborate the definition of the concept “sustainable development” and distinguish a role of the World Trade Organization in this matter, as well as to identify the components of sustainable development in the 21st century.
Sustainable development –is a harmonic (a correct, uniform and balanced) development – a process of change in which the exploitation of natural resources, direction of investments, the vector of technological development, personal evolution of a human beingand institutional changesare consistent with each other and strengthen the current and future potential in order to meet human needs and aspirations. In many ways, it is about ensuring the quality of life.
Indeed, the definition of the notion “sustainable development” is not just a steady one but is in a constant growth.
Yuri Rakintsev stressed in his presentation that the correct translation into the Russian language of the notion “sustainable development”- was“supportive development.” This is a “continuing” (“self-sufficient”)change, that is, in other words, not conflicting with the ongoing existence of a mankind and its evolution in the planned direction. We are all familiar with the devastating conflicts and challenges of the 20th century, and in order not to repeat the mistakes of the past, there is a common desire to develop the concept of sustainable development that meets the economic realities of the 21st century.
Any sensible person shares the growing concern over the rapid deterioration of the environment, natural resources, since environmental problems are global in nature and determinethat the elaboration of policies for sustainable development is in the common interest of all countries.
In 1980sof the last century the search for the definition of sustainable development was the central issue of the scientific papers. Nazaretyan A.P. believes that the concept of “sustainable development” at that time resembled “the doctor’s recommendation to extend the agony of the doomed patient.”Thus, many versions of such concepts urged to a forceful reduction of the population of the planetin order to overcome the environmental and food crises. The definition of “sustainable development”, adoptedat the end of the 20th century by the United Nations also does not provide a comprehensive answer to the question. For the first time the term “sustainable development” was published in the report “Our common future”, prepared by the UN Commission in 1987. Under the notion of sustainable development, a process of evolution was understood, pursuant to which the exploitation of natural resources and scientific and technical growth were consistent with each other and strengthened the current and future potential to satisfy human needs.
At the WTO Forum, an independent researcher Yuri Rakintsev put forward the ideas for a long-term sustainable development to meet the basic human needs while preserving the planet systems of life maintenance. The global economic crisis of 2008 demonstrated that a steady pattern of growth in the world is not yet developed. Sooner or later humanity will come to a conclusion that the latter is difficult to implement in a world of increasing competition with the proliferation of such indicators of economic activity as a ‘successful performance’ and a ‘profit’. Moreover, no investment will contribute to the economic development if a society does not accept and will not follow the concept of self-restraint, or investment will just contribute to the enrichment of several individuals.
A message of Mr. Rakintsevwas received with a great interest among the participants of the Forum. The elaboration of theconcept “sustainable development” has acquired a new perspective after his acquaintance with the report “On the problems and consequences of global climate change on Earth” prepared by the scientists of the International Public Movement “ALLATRA.” Development of the notion “sustainable development” has acquired a new dimension.In fact, it has become a sensation.Afterwards a constructive discussion between Mr. YrijRakintsev and Ms. Christina AlexandrovnaKovalevskaya, the Head of the Coordination Centre of the International Public Movement “ALLATRA”took place.
YR.: – Christina Alexandrovna, a Report prepared by NGO “ALLATRA”was received with a great interest among the participants of the Forum, could you please share your thoughts on the understanding of the concept “sustainable development” in the 21st century?
KK.: – The key to a sustainable development today – is primarily a transition to a new format of life activity and the establishment of a global community based on shared spiritual and moral values, from which it follows – the respect for natural freedoms and for human rights, the creative interaction of people around the world, regardless of their place of residence, social, ethnic, political or religious affiliation, unselfish mutual aid, economic justice, the principles of ecological integrity. Everything depends on each person, from his or her desire to live in a peaceful and respectable society, from personal involvement in it.
YR.: – Undoubtedly, it is so. For example, I believe that in the framework of the concept “sustainable development”a human being is not an object but is a subject of development. Based on the expansion of human choices as the main value, the concept of sustainable development implies that people should participate in the processes that shape the scope of their life activities, promote the adoption and implementation of decisions, monitor their execution. This is the definition of sustainable development that meets the realities of the 21st century.
KK.: – In order to achieve a sustainable development for a long term, to overcome the crisis in all spheres of society, each person, as a small part of the community, must overcome this crisis within himself, discovering the meaning of life and the main goal of his or her evolution – spiritual, moral, cultural, social.
Moreover, a spiritual evolution which is not within the framework of certain religious views or atheistic concepts but is in the range of perception of a single universal all-human spiritual heritage, the quintessence of the spiritual wisdom that was a characteristic of different cultures and the peoples over the centuries. Only by adopting spiritual and moral prioritiesin a global society not on paper, but in reality, it is possible to resolve the crisis, to acquire a sustainable creative evolution.
YR.: – My opinion is that the concept of sustainable development should be considered as evolving one, though, a notion in such interpretation undermines the fundamental basis of the traditional economy – unlimited economic growth.
But already some economistscall into question traditional notions of economic growth and they highly suggest the search for patterns of consumption and production that meet the essential needs of a whole mankind. Within the framework of the concept the theoretical approachesmust be formulated to the problem of ceasingthe economic growth without unacceptable social consequences, “the economy of a steady state”.
KK.: – Today it is pertinent to raise the question of establishing the economic relations between people in a new format (more precisely in the well-forgotten old format), built on universal moral and spiritualvalues, in which the main priorities for the human being is Responsibility, Conscience and Honor. Doing business not with a changeable human face that has a lot of masks but with a sincere human soul. One of the means to implement it – is the embodiment of all people initiative “Global partnership ALLATRA.” Global partnership agreement ALLATRA – is the foundation for the practical implementation of the model of spiritual and creative society through the establishment in a labor sphere of a community a qualitatively new format of relations between people, which is based on sevenuniversal spiritual and moral ALLATRA foundations (www.allatra-partner.org).
In his speech, Yuri Rakintsevalso touched upon the issue of effective functioning of Kyoto Protocol. United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCC) contains commitments of industrialized countries to reduce greenhouse gas emissions in the period up to 2000. However, it soon became evident that reducing emissions requires a long period of time and considerable resources. The question of developing a system of measures to achieve the objectives of the UNFCC and a Protocol to it was raised again in 1995 at a conference in Berlin. After two years the international agreement was elaborated and adopted in December 1997 in the Japanese city – Kyoto and was called the Kyoto Protocol. Gradually new countries joined the new agreement. The Russian Federation signed the Kyoto Protocol on 11 February 1999.
AccordingtotheProtocol, theleadingindustrializedcountriescommittedthemselvesin 2008-2012 toreducecarbondioxideemissionsbyanaverageof 5% comparedto 1990. Each state was allocated a quota for carbon dioxide emissions. Those states that emit carbon dioxide less than the allocated quota are entitled to sell the surplus to another state, which thus acquired the right to produce carbon dioxide in greater quantity than in its original quota. Thus, the Kyoto Protocol granted the right to the national governments to a certain amount of emissions, and proposed to develop a market for trade in those rights.
YR.: – To what extent then the Kyoto protocol has a practical valueand whether it is possible to adopt a full-scale international agreement on pollution control? And whether the adoption of these instruments is the issue? After all, the functioning of Kyoto protocol is associated with a global warming, but among the scientists there is no consensus that the global climate change is ahuman-induced. Moreover, the problem of global warming has become widely and actively discussed in the world only in recent decades, although the climate perturbations have been repeatedly observed in the history of the Earth existence. There have been both short and long-term cycles of warming and cooling, with a period of several decades to thousands and millions of years. The scientific justification of the Kyoto Protocol is often criticized due to the fact that essentially the protocol is based on emission quotas. In fact, it is based on an unproven hypothesis of a significant influence of “greenhouse gases” that are alleged to be of anthropogenic originon global climate and suggests sanctions for those who will not cut their emissions within the framework of another hypothesis.
KK.: – The climate changes of planetary character today is a significant issue of our time. The global climate change in the world largely depends on astronomical processes and their recurrence, they are inevitable and transcend the boundaries of the states. The earth has repeatedly suffered similar phases of global climate change and it is evidenced by geological history of our planet. (More information on this topic can be found in the report of the international group of scientists of the International Public Movement “ALLATRA”–“On the problems and consequences of global climate change on Earth.Effective solutions to these problems” – http://allatra.org/pages/climate).
Some developed countries, international organizations and even scientists who are also sponsored by them, support the theory that the main cause of global climate change on Earth is theanthropogenic impact on nature – namely, the release of greenhouse gases into the atmosphere.
The Kyoto Protocol (addendum to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change) as well as other various international instruments is elaborated as such on the basis of these unwarranted assumptions. Such arguments, as a practice reveals, are not effective. The implementation of commitments to improve the climate situation on Earth was turned into a commercial project – emissions trading, which brings enrichment only to certain people. And the term itself a “human influence” carries with it a political and commercial taint.
Unfortunately, such international documents are adopted only as an argument to use them in trade wars and constitute a factor of pressure on the economic policies of certain countries. And instead of the real attempts to improve something on the planet, these documents mostly defend the business interests of certain individuals. The reason –is that the notorious human factor triggered this situation – the prevalence of the decisionsbased on notthe best human impulses of individuals. As always, it all depends on the choice of the people.
YR.: – Under the guise of “global warming” governments signed the Kyoto Protocol, which, in fact, does not contribute to the resolution of the issue and international lawyers support the “anthropogenic greenhouse” idea, the failure of which is evident not only to alawyer, but just to a person who is capable of reading. The lack of scientific evidence “of anthropogenic greenhouse hypothesis” reasonably translates the Kyoto Protocol to the category of global business enterprises with the objectives typical for the modern business concepts.
The Doha amendments also detects it, being adopted at the Conference of the Contracting Parties, on 8 December 2012, Qatar, which resulted in the adoption of a second term on the obligations of the Kyoto Protocol, starting on 1 January 2013 and finishing on 31 December , 2020.
KK.: – Unfortunately, in the exploitative society of todaysuch climatic hypothesis are declared and massively popularized that are beneficial,in fact, only to those countries which initiate, support and promote them.
Some states are guided by the political interests, the others – by the economic ones. However, in general,there is utopian view on the fundamental solutionsto the problems related to global climate change since what we have – is the strategic rivalry, hidden struggle for power and world influence which forcesconfrontation between world powers. From systems theory, as we know, any idea that brings high returns is used in more and more complex environment as long as it causes a big disaster…
Human activity on a global scaleundoubtedlyhas a negative impact on the environment. However, this influence has a little tangible impact in comparison to what is happening on the planet as a result of the influence of the complex natural factors, which in the near future will only grow and what the respectable scientists of the world do not cease to inform about. Today the anthropogenic impact is not the cause of planetary mass disasters, global climate change on Earth occur in circumstances, independently of a human being. In order to meetthe challenge of nature and for the survival of the civilization in the near future, the consolidation of the efforts is required of all the people on the planet, and every inhabitant of our planet should think about this.
YR.: – Thank you very much for the constructive conversation. We believe that a mankind has a chance to change something. At the International Forum in adopting the Resolution, it was decided toapply officially to the Secretariat of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, with the initiative to amend the Convention and the Kyoto Protocol in order tosecure the effective functioning of these two legal instruments in the light of scientific knowledge discovered in the report on Climate Change of the International Public Movement “ALLATRA”. The requirement to spread the information on climate is expressly provided for in Article 4 (h) of the Convention, according to which “… [Parties]shall promote and cooperate in the full, open and prompt exchange of relevant scientific, technological, technical, socio-economic and legal information related to the climate system and climate change, and to the economic and social consequences of various response strategies.” The Kyoto Protocol also provides the adoption of measures by the Parties with respect to public access to information on climate change in light of the best available scientific information. Suitable conditions for carrying out these activities through the relevant bodies of the Convention are to be elaborated, taking account of Article 6 of the Convention.