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Simonis, Udo E.
Year of Publication: 
Series/Report no.: 
WZB Discussion Paper FS II 98-405
The interest in global environmental problems has - in particular in the wake of the UN Conference on Environment and Development in Rio in 1992 - increased substantially, in both the theoretical and the practical sense. This may be bound up with the growing pressure stemming from still unsolved problems, though it may also result from the insight that many of these problems cannot be solved even by the best national environmental policy on its own. In analyzing the problems and formulating policy, one has to distinguish between global and universally occurring environmental problems. The German Global Change Council (WBGU) bases its work on the following definition, placing it in the context of a network of global relations: Global environmental problems are changes in the atmosphere, in the oceans, and on land the causes of which can be attributed, directly or indirectly, to human activities; these changes affect the natural metabolic cycles, the aquatic and terrestrial ecological systems, as well as economy and society; and they call for international agreements (cooperation) if they are to be dealt with effectively (WBGU 1993; author's emphasis).
Document Type: 
Working Paper

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