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Global referendum should follow UN Climate Treaty

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Global referendum should follow UN Climate Treaty


From 30 November to 11 December 2015, leaders of all UN member states are convening in Paris, France, to negotiate a legally binding and universal agreement on climate protection. Following more than 20 years of negotiations, the overarching goal of the United Nations Climate Change Conference (COP 21) is to agree on measures that cap global warming at 2 degree Celsius over pre-industrial revolution levels.

For the non-governmental organisation Democracy International the conference in Paris marks a decisive moment to allow people throughout the world to decide by means of direct democracy on global decisions that affect them all.

“During the past two decades the world had to witness the failure of heads of states and governments to commonly implement rules on protecting the world’s climate. This is because the special interest of individual countries and industries dominated the world’s common interest. Yet considering the problems of the world today, it is obvious that humankind must tackle issues like climate change or international trade commonly. A global referendum is the means to overcome these segregated interests and to decide on the fair distribution of resources globally”, states Erwin Mayer, who is a board member of Democracy International.

In view of the ongoing climate negotiations in Paris, this would mean concretely to hold a binding referendum to ratify the UN Climate Change Agreement. In other words, the fair distribution of the remaining carbon budget would be up for democratic decision after the world’s heads of state and government have drafted the climate treaty.

“Of course there are still many countries in the world that are not democratic and there is still a long way to go to include every single citizen. Yet, when we talk about social justice on a global scale, then common democratic approaches are the way to go. The globalisation of democracy is the logical consequence of the fact that some political problems can only be solved on the global level”, Mr Mayer outlines his vision.


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Democracy International is a registered association in Germany
(eingetragener Verein e.V.).

Gürzenichstraße 21 a-c
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Phone: +49 (0) 221 669 66 50
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Democracy International e.V.
IBAN: DE 58370205000001515101

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