Earth Citizen Climate Governance and Functional Democracy (September 22, 2014)
Situation In the past 25 years, a complex process of climate governance has come about, resulting in many efforts of mitigation and some regional success. The OECD countries including the USA and Canada are registered with a decrease of CO2 from 2008 on, EU 27 even with a continuous decrease from 1990 on. Global greenhouse gases, however, have increased steeply and continually since 1900, and the major greenhouse gas trends for CO2, Methane and Nitrous Oxides are still distinctly rising. That is: In spite of remarkable efforts in the race with forces of climate change, climate governance has not succeeded; in the contrary: A desastrous acceleration of climate change by mobilizing second risk structures in the deep sea and in ever frozen soil has to be taken into consideration. This unsufficient record of climate governance results from variuos reasons: Powerful actors still are not hindered to commit ecological and sociopolitical crimes, such as installing or extending huge systems of fossil energy production on the ground of poor, often native people. Significant sinks of greenhouse gases, such as rainforests and the deep sea, are step by step diminishing because of powerful explorative interests. Given mitigation capacities, such as regenerative energy sources, efficient ways of energy production and energy consumption, are not used to a sufficient degree; the use of fossil energy sources has even been extended both, in recently industrialized and in some developed countries, such as Germany. Finally, new sources of quantitative growth, above all the  current increase of world population and the export boom of big cars, additionly impede a significant reduction of greenhouse gas emissions. Against this background, traditional ways and guiding lights of climate governance appear not to be sufficient. One of those traditional ways of thinking refers to the low significance of political systems: Concepts of political systems hitherto do not play any positive role in climate governance. In contrast, belongings to political systems are consciously disregarded in order to avoid possible obstacles to climate negotiations. And traditional guiding lights of climate governance, such as Sustainable Growth or Green Economy, operate without any reference to specific political demands. Although this tradition, at the first glance, appears to be reasonable, I'd like to show that linkages between vital democracy and effective climate governance can be used all over the world. The main concept of this approach is Earth Citizen The Earth Citizen concept 1. Any human being uses and reproduces the Earth-Life System, both as person and as part of corporate actors. Hence anybody is a significant actor in this system. 2. Any human being is invited to reflect his/her widened self-interest in saving the planet for current life on Earth and for generations to come.  3. Any human being is to be respected as Earth Citizen. 4. Any Earth Citizen has - at least with regard to issues of the Earth-Life system -  all civil rights, such as the effectively protected right of life and health, the right of access to natural and built resources of this Earth, the right of free mobility, the right of free opinion, and the right of being respected as Earth Citizen on equal terms. 5. Any Earth Citizen is entitled to participate in all decisions on the Earth-Life System by electing his/her representatives, by participating in public communication, and/or by participating in substantial decision-making. This concept may be consequential on any institutional level and in any constellation, focussing on common and complementary interests - see for instance: Global Earth Citizen conferences both, within the United Nations and without, Regional Earth Citizen organisations, both, without and within given regional institutions, such as the European Union,
Composite Earth image, produced by NASA International alliances and town twinnings according to Earth Citizen ideas, Earth Citizen organisations and approaches in industrialized countries, with special reference to environmental groups standing up for effective mitigation policies, Earth Citizen efforts in autocratic and authoritarian countries, Earth Citizen efforts in recently industrialized or industrializing countries, Earth Citizen approaches in Oil-States and special areas, such as the Sahel Region, Native people (Indians, Aborigines, Maori) fighting against the loss of their traditional home-areas towards powerful economic actors, people living in particularly risky areas, such as small Pacific islands and volcanic regions. Functional Democracy The Earth Citizen concept corresponds with the functional democracy model (see figure 1). Figure 1: Functional Democracy Learning from Abraham Lincols Gettysburg Address 1863, democracy is considered as a complex of three linked functions, working for everybody, of everybody, and by everybody. At that, For everybody denotes output functions, such as fostering general safety/peace, well-being, chances of self-realization, and fostering prospects including sustainability. Of everybody denotes protecting human rights and fair procedures (bound governance). By everybody denotes indirect participation by electing representatives and direct participation in public communication and decision-making. Because these functions control and enable each other, democracy strictly needs to comprise all three functions. How the functions are realized, in contrast, is quite open. That’s why vital democracy can be implemented in diverse institutional settings. Current sources and historic cradles of democracy are located not only in Western countries, but all over the Earth. In this sense (for, of, by everybody), Earth Citizen is a concept of global democracy.    ----------------------------------------- Prof. Dr. Volker von Prittwitz Democracy Institute Berlin;  
IPA Institute for Political Analysis Prof. Dr. Volker von Prittwitz