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For a citizen-elected Global Climate Assembly

Photo by Li-An Lim on Unsplash

The climate crisis continues to intensify, demanding immediate global action. The pressing need for effective climate policies requires innovative solutions that transcend national boundaries and unite citizens around the world. One promising approach is the establishment of an elected Global Climate Assembly, in short GCA, an international body that represents the voice of global citizens in shaping climate policy.

The GCA as we suggest it would be a prototype of a permanent global assembly elected by the world’s citizens. It should be established by an alliance of countries covering at least half of the world’s adult population. The deliberations of the GCA would provide a forum to formulate climate policies reflecting the values and concerns of citizens worldwide. This assembly would draft international treaties against climate change and propose them to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change.

A prototype of a permanent global assembly elected by the world’s citizens

According to our proposal, representatives in the GCA would be decided by two voting rounds. First, an online pre-election where the public votes on lists of representatives. Second, the twelve lists with the most support qualify for the global public vote. The election would take place six months after the qualified lists are known, allowing for debates and campaigns. Seats would be allocated proportionally to voting shares.

Global political elections would enable citizens worldwide to participate in the same election, transcending national boundaries. Global elections also foster a global public debate, raising awareness about climate justice and facilitating the emergence of global media. Using proportional representation for the election of the GCA’s members offers a ground-breaking opportunity for citizens worldwide to participate in the same election, selecting from different lists in a unique worldwide constituency. By enabling each adult across the globe to have one vote, these elections would transcend national boundaries and provide an equal voice to every world citizen. Details on the GCA can be found in the policy brief by Global Redistribution Advocates, a new group that puts forward the proposal.

Recent studies, such as the research conducted by Adrien Fabre and colleagues available here, have demonstrated near consensus among citizens of 20 countries in favor of a GCA. Surveys covering various countries, including Brazil, Germany, Japan, the UK, and the U.S., have shown significant support for global democratic institutions, emphasizing the need for a global government and a global parliament directly elected by the world population.

Encouragingly, the idea of a GCA is not new. Visionaries like Immanuel Kant and Albert Einstein have advocated for democratic global institutions to tackle global challenges. The Campaign for World Government, founded in the pre-World War II era, already advocated for direct representation at the global scale. Over the years, support for global democracy has grown, with initiatives such as the campaign for United Nations Parliamentary Assembly gaining momentum and obtaining endorsements from parliament members, heads of state, and international bodies. This potential new assembly is being promoted as a first step towards an elected world parliament. The GCA is proposed as a complement and indeed could be a crucial stepping stone to achieve this goal.

To support the advancement of global climate governance and the establishment of the GCA, we encourage you to sign a petition launched by Global Redistribution Advocates. This organization is dedicated to promoting global redistribution and climate justice, with a focus on empowering marginalized communities and advocating for fair and equitable climate policies to policymakers worldwide. By joining forces with like-minded individuals and participating in their initiatives, you can contribute to shaping a sustainable and inclusive future for all.

Eston McKeague
Eston McKeague is the President of the Young World Federalists and a member of the board of Citizens for Global Solutions in the United States.
Adrien Fabre
Adrien Fabre is a researcher at CIRED, the Centre International de Recherche sur l'Environnement et le Développement, and founder of Global Redistribution Advocates