Global problems: lists

Jean-Francois Rischard

High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them, Jean-Francois Rischard

Sharing our Planet:  Issues involving the global commons

  • Global warming
  • Biodiversity and ecosystem losses
  • Fisheries depletion
  • Deforestation
  • Water deficits
  • Maritime safety and pollution

Sharing our humanity: Issues whose size and urgency requires a global commitment

  • Massive step-up in the fight against poverty
  • Peace-keeping, conflict prevention
  • Education for all
  • Global infectious diseases
  • Digital divide
  • Natural disaster prevention and mitigation

Sharing our rulebook: Issues needing a global regulatory approach

  • Re-inventing taxation
  • Biotechnology rules
  • Global financial architecture
  • Illegal drugs
  • Trade, investment and competition rules
  • Intellectual property rights
  • E-commerce rules
  • International labor and migration rules

High Noon: 20 Global Problems, 20 Years to Solve Them, Jean-Francois Rischard, Basic Books, NY 2002.

Jared Diamond

Jared Diamond, Collapse.

Destruction or losses of natural resources:

  • Destruction of natural habitats (forests, wetlands)
  • Wild foods, especially fish, are in steep decline
  • Biodiversity losses accelerating
  • Soil loss and erosion at 10-40 times soil formation rate; and nutrient loss in remainder.

Ceilings on natural resources:

  • Fossil fuels will become very high cost over coming decades
  • Freshwater depletion and scarcity is accelerating
  • Earth’s photosynthetic capacity increasingly diverted to human use

Harmful things that we produce or move around.

  • Cumulative toxic waste exposure and releases accelerating
  • Transfer of alien and exotic species with resulting ecosystem degradation
  • Atmospheric pollution is increasing, especially greenhouse gases.

Population issues.

  • Human population growth increasing inexorably
  • Per capita environmental impact is increasing rapidly.

See also:

Collapse (book), Wikipedia

The Earth Institute, Columbia University

The overarching goal behind the research of the Earth Institute is to achieve environmental sustainability in the context of a world of environmental challenges—from rapid population growth and climate change to extreme poverty and infectious disease. The Earth Institute identified 10 themes that are deemed central to addressing the challenges of Sustainable Development:

* Climate and Society Interactions

* Managing Water Scarcity

* Clean Energy

* Poverty Alleviation

* Ecosystems Health and Monitoring

* Global Health

* Health Delivery Systems

* Food, Ecology and Nutrition

* Hazards and Risk Reduction

* Urbanization

Copenhagen Consensus, Bjorn Lomberg

Copenhagen Consensus 2008

The Copenhagen Consensus exercise started as a simple but untested idea of prioritizing global opportunities. In 2004, the process was carried out for the very first time and ended with a successful list, compiled by some of the world’s top economists, attracting attention from all over the world.

A new global Copenhagen Consensus will take place 25-30 May 2008. Once again it takes stock of the world’s biggest problems and their solutions. The basic idea is the same as used in Copenhagen Consensus 2004: Imagine you had $75bn to donate to worthwhile causes. What would you do, and where should we start?

An expert panel of 8 outstanding economists will, as in 2004, deliver a ranked list of the most promising solutions to ten of the most pressing challenges facing the world today.

Around 55 of the world’s leading economists and specialists in the ten challenges are involved in the project. For each of the ten challenges a group of three people (The Challenge Paper Authors), and two commentators (The Perspective Paper Authors), have compiled up-to-date analysis of the solutions. Altogether, the papers will ensure the best possible foundation, including costs and benefits estimates, for the prioritization of the solutions.

The ten challenges in Copenhagen Consensus 2008 are:

  • Air Pollution
  • Conflicts
  • Diseases
  • Education
  • Global warming
  • Malnutrition and hunger
  • Sanitation and access to clean water
  • Subsidies and trade barriers
  • Terrorism
  • Women and development

 South Centre – an Intergovernmental Policy Think Tank of Developing Countries

According to Article II of the Intergovernmental Agreement, the Centre has the following among its central objectives:

  • To promote South solidarity, South consciousness and mutual knowledge and understanding among the countries and peoples of the South;
  • To promote various types of South-South co-operation and action, South-South links, networking and information exchange;
  • To contribute to South-wide collaboration in promoting common interests and Co-ordinated participation by developing countries in international forums dealing with South-South and North-South matters, as well as with other global concerns;
  • To foster convergent views and approaches among countries of the South with respect to global economic, political and strategic issues related to evolving concepts of development, sovereignty and security;
  • To contribute to better mutual understanding and co-operation between the South and the North on the basis of equity and justice for all and, to this end, to the democratization and strengthening of the United Nations and its family of organizations.

Broadly, the Centre works to assist in developing points of view of the South on major policy issues, and to generate ideas and action-oriented proposals for consideration by the collectivity of South governments, institutions of South-South co-operation, inter-governmental organizations of the South, and non-governmental organizations and the community at large.

Issue areas:

  •     Access to Knowledge
  •     Climate Change
  •     Commodities and Economic Diversification
  •     Cross-cutting Issues in Global Economic Governance
  •     Cross-cutting Issues in the Trade Negotiations
  •     Economic Partnership Agreements
  •     Environment and Sustainable Development
  •     Governance and Intellectual Property
  •     Innovation, Technology and Patent Policy
  •     International Financial Institutions Governance
  •     International Taxation, Investment and Financing for Development
  •     Internet Governance
  •     Labour, Migration and Development
  •     Other Issues Related to Trade Negotiations
  •     Technology Transfer
  •     The South and Global Governance
  •     Trade in Agricultural Goods
  •     Trade in Non-Agricultural Goods
  •     Trade in Services
  •     United Nations System Governance
  •     World Trade Organization Governance

Project coordinator: Richard Tanter
Updated: 11 November 2008