Global Governance of the Environment

Global Governance of the Environment

Environmental Principles and Change in International Law and Politics

Afshin Akhtarkhavari

This timely book examines the role of environmental principles in changing international environmental law and politics, and argues for the importance of integrating environmental principles in the global governance of the environment.

Chapter 7: The Global Compact, Environmental Principles and Culture

Afshin Akhtarkhavari

Subjects: environment, climate change, environmental law, environmental politics and policy, environmental sociology, law - academic, environmental law, public international law, regulation and governance, politics and public policy, environmental politics and policy, european politics and policy, international politics


INTRODUCTION In December 2005 the 191 Member States of the United Nations General Assembly (UNGA) officially endorsed the Global Compact (GC) initiative which the former Secretary General, Kofi Annan, had established within his office in 2000.1 In a much generalised but useful summary of its mission, the GC seeks to establish ‘corporate citizenship amongst companies’ in the world.2 The GC is now a complex initiative which is coordinated by the Global Compact Office (GCO) and is part of the Secretary General’s Office at the United Nations (UN).3 As of September Towards global partnerships, UN GAOR, 62nd Session, Agenda Item 61, A/C.2/62/L.33/Rev.1. See also Global Compact Office, Letter to Global Compact Stakeholder (2006) United Nations Global Compact, docs/how_to_participate_doc/Stakeholder_english_2008_final.pdf. 2 McKinsey & Company, Assessing the Global Compact’s Impact (2004) United Nations Global Compact [1], news_archives/2004_06_09/imp_ass.pdf. This study is a ‘comprehensive impact assessment’ of the GC that was commissioned by the Global Compact Office (GCO) in 2004 and completed on 11 May 2004. It does not actually define what it understands ‘corporate citizenship’ to mean in the context of the GC. On this point see also Surya Deva, ‘Global Compact: A Critique of the UN’s “Public-Private” Partnership for Promoting Corporate Citizenship’ (2006) 34 Syracuse Journal of International Law and Commerce 107, 111–112. For the use of this terminology see also the report produced by the GCO and the Barcelona Centre for the Support of the Global Compact on the...

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