High Noon: 20 Global Issues, 20 Years to Solve Them

By J. F. Rischard | Go to book overview

11
Inherently Global Issues
There may be around twenty inherently global issues, and how we deal with them over the next twenty years will determine how well the planet fares over the next generations. Just what issues are inherently global? Around mid-1999, a group in the World Bank estimated that it was involved in more than sixty "global" issues. Other agencies and institutions—such as the United Nations Development Program and the Camegie Endowment for International Peace—are also looking at a wide range of transnational issues and governance problems. 1But as yet, no one has done a definitive job at defining what makes certain issues inherently global—that is, insoluble outside a framework of global collective action involving all nations of the world. Instead, many problems that aren't inherently global—air pollution or acid rain in East Asia, the kinds of malaria endemic in Africa-are rashly declared "global" when they can be tackled regionally and nationallyPerhaps only around twenty issues may be inherently global. Within this list, there are three categories:
The first has to do with cross-border effects and the physical confines of our living space—that is, with what people often call the "global commons." These issues have to do with how we share our planet.

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