No. 3

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What Is GLOBE and What Is Its Background?

  • Andres Tarand

    member of European Parliament, Estonian Social Democratic Party

The inter-parliamentary organisation GLOBE (Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment) was founded in 1989, in Washington, at the initiative of a then Member of the European Parliament, Hemmo Munthing.

The small group of members of parliaments named their creation “The Inter-Parliamentary Consultative Group on the Environment and Animal Welfare“. Francois Roelants du Vivier, a former Member of the European Parliament from Belgium, was appointed as the Director of the GLOBE International Secretariat in March 1990; he is still active in the management of the GLOBE. This non-governmental organisation is registered in accordance with the law of Belgium. The protocol of intentions from March 1989, invited all members of parliaments, who wish to join the organisation, to “do everything in their powers within the limits of their mandate in legislation to improve the environment of the earth“. Further, underlining natural and artificial environments as the central concepts in the work of the organisation, selected legislators were invited to “lead mankind to a new time of sustainable use of the resources of the earth“. The work style was to be “flexible, but professional“, including exchange of information, preparation, amending and comparison of environmental laws, implementation of international arrangements, increasing environmental awareness among the people and their colleagues in the parliament, and finally, co-ordinated international activities. In the author’s opinion, at least two goals related to GLOBE objectives have been attained in Estonia. It was decided at the GLOBE alternative energy and climate change conference at Linz, Austria, in September 1996, to bring simultaneous pressure in Europe upon the parliaments to treat the relations between climate and energetics and develop corresponding policies. The planned series of seminars, and the media campaign, managed to breach the indifference in the Parliament of Estonia regarding a long-term energetics development plan. The timing was supposed to be synchronous with the readings of the Energy Act. The other accomplishment was the Sustainable Development Act, adopted in 1995. Estonia was the second country in the world, after Costa Rica, to adopt such an Act. The Act was criticised due to its low level of regulation, which is always true regarding outline Acts. But this Act helped to stop the stand still or the reluctance of the political circles to discuss any long-term development plans and strategies, which in the beginning of the 1990s were automatically considered to be “attempts to restore a planned economy”. An objective interfering factor was also the need to mass-develop an enormous amount of Acts in the Riigikogu to regulate very different fields. Hopefully, the Riigikogu will continue to co-operate within the framework of GLOBE Europe. Finally, the author genuinely hopes that this article redeems him, at least a little bit, in the eyes of the members of the Riigikogu, as GLOBE obligates its members to inform others about global environmental issues.

Full article in Estonian

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