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Environment
has been damaged badly through the act of pollution both directly and
indirectly. As a result, the drastic changes of climate occur caused
unpredictable tremendous natural disaster such as the Largest Earth Quake in
1960, Half of the globe Tsunami in 2004. The damages of after effect of these
disaster caused fortunes for state to recover and many lives were lost in the
process. Despite other state wasn’t affect directly by the impact of the
occurrence of the natural disaster however, they also affected due to economic
interdependence and some state also affected by other state pollution. For
instance, in the case of haze pollution since 1997 caused by Indonesia. To
solve these problem, the global environmental governance, the multi-level of
cooperation from both state and nonstate actors to solve environmental   is necessary, “Supportive environment is not
an individual concern but for all to act upon” (Hum, 2011 ).  Throughout the history many agreements and
commitment has been made by states, institution, and also individual
collectively to reduce and prevent any type of pollution from happen. Some
institutions encourage state to use environmental friendly energy such as wind
power and solar energy instead of coal. Furthermore, they also encourage state
to come together to commit in reducing the pollution to environment through
adopting treaty such as Paris climate accord.
There are many contributions from institution to tackle the environmental issue
both on global scale and state scale. Thus, raise the question which
institution are the most powerful in global environmental governance?

This paper aims to conduct the
detail of the most powerful institutions; such as: The United Nations
Environment Program (UNEP), The Global Environment Facility (GEF), World Bank,
and World Trade Organization (WTO); which deal with the global environmental
issues. Moreover, this paper will answer directly to the questions: why are
those institutions the most powerful and what are their accomplishment in
global environmental governance?

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There are
many powerful institutions in Global Governance. In this point, we will look at
one of the most powerful institutions in term of environment in Global
Governance. To give an illustration, The United Nations Environment Program
(UNEP) can be best used to prove it.  UNEP, which has headquartered in
Nairobi of Kenya, is one of the most powerful institution in global governance.
 It is the leading global environmental authority that work closely on global
environment issue and development as well as focusing on preventing the current
and the future global environment issue in global, regional, and national
level, especially in developing world.  The UNEP is the one who care the
most about the mother nature. It is aimed to provide leadership and encourage
partnership in caring for the environment by inspiring, informing, and enabling
nations and people to improve their quality of life without compromising that
of future generations, according to UNEP official webpage. The UNEP acts as the
powerful institution as it can influence the decision making of state and it
guides state to act in certain way in order to save the environment as well as
people who faced difficulty with environmental issues. Since environment has
emerged as a major theme in the international arena, the UNEP has played a key
role in environmental issues. The concern of environmental is a new major theme
in the international arena. Hence, cooperation among every actor is needed. In
this case, the UNEP has obviously become the key actor in establishing
international environmental law to seek for environmental stability. So far,
nearly thirty binding multilateral instruments has negotiated and obtained
adoption by the UNEP. Those instruments include the landmark 1987 Montreal
Protocol that deplete the Ozone layer and ten sets of non-binding environmental
law guidelines and principles.  Moreover, it also served as a secretariat
to a number of environmental conventions by providing technical assistance to
developing countries and publish a set of references texts for international
environmental law scholar and practitioners. There are notable achievements of
UNEP. First, the UNEP has achieved some successes regarding the 1987 Montreal Protocol.
The UNEP has influenced 196 states and the EU to take part in its mandate. The
1987 Montreal Protocol is the only universal agreement, which signed by 196
states and the EU. The protocol is the landmark successful agreement ever. It
required its signatories to phase out the use of chlorofluorocarbons (CFCs),
which were the key driver of ozone depletion. As a result, since the
disappearance of CFCs in any kind of products, we can see that ninety-eight per
cent of all ozone-depleting substances have been phased out. In addition to
this, the protocol obviously has climate change implications despite its focus
on ozone. What make the agreement become a virtual success is the agreement not
only binds countries, it contains financial provisions to assist in phase-outs
(Low, 2016). Another notable achievement is the sponsorship they provided in
Indian Solar Loan Program. Solar Loan Program, sponsored by the UNEP, has
changed the lives of many Indian people. The program is attempted to change the
perception that clean or renewable energy is something seen as unaffordable and
out-of-reach in practical term. The project brings solar power into the rural
mainstream in India through micro-financing. The project has already shown some
incredible successes. It has reached approximately 100,000 people in the state
of Karnataka. It has saved money in the long-term and transforming the quality
of life for many people in the state. In addition to this, there is another
notable success of UNEP in this case.  The UNEP spent $1.5 million Solar
Home Project by distributing solar photovoltaic (PV) kits. The UNEP has engaged
bank to light up rural Indian. It has team up with two large Indian Bank to
overcome the lack of financing for clean energy in rural communities. The project
has proposed the idea of empowering impoverished communities and using
renewable energy into the mainstream (Mok, 2007). The Indian solar market has
transformed from a small, cash-only business in 2003, to a growing market with
more than 50% of sales, which was financed by more than 20 banks through their
networks of more than 2000 branches. Moreover, the UNEP has used the success of
the Indian Solar Loan Program to expand such finance programs into Morocco,
Tunisia and soon Algeria, Indonesia, Mexico and Chile (Fries, 2008).

The global environment facility is also one of the powerful
institution in global environment governance. It was created to help tackle the
planet’s most pressing environmental problem. It is considered as the powerful
organ since it has its own effective governing structured. The assembly, which
is composed of 183-member countries meet in every four or five years to review
general policy; evaluate the operation; and consider for approval by consensus.
The council comprises 32 members appointed by constituencies of GEF from all
type of countries. Moreover, council member removes every three years. A chief
executive officer chairperson who has four years term by the council has
responsibilities to coordinate and oversee program and ensure policies with GEF
agencies. The operational arm of GEF also work closely with project proponents,
civil society and another stakeholder under the GEF fund program and project.
the scientific and technical advisory panel (STAP) has 6 members who are experts
in the GEF’s key area of work. It works with many relevant scientific and
technical bodies like UNFCC, UNCCD, POPs and UNDP. Finally, it has the best
independent evaluation office which is appointed by the council to share lesson
learned and best practice. Since the creation in 1992, GEF has done many
projects by providing financial resource for developing countries to implement
the convention on biological diversity in focus on helping to build the
strategy plan for biodiversity 2011-2020. It also works together with both
government and private sectors to reduce chemical and waste. It ensures that
the products crossing national border are free of global priority substances.
In addition, in 2001 the adoption of the Stockholm Convention provided $928 million
to POPs to reduce unintentionally generated by industrialized countries
according to GEF 2018. It also considers about the climate change. It can
remove almost 600 million tons of greenhouse gases through renewable energy
project and over 400 million tons through energy efficiency project. Beside
this GEF also works to preserve the integrity of forests and related ecosystem
to support livelihoods for communities. For example, in 1992, it had funded at
380 forest-related projects for restoring the forest land and protecting areas
in forest landscape (GEF, 2018). On land degradation, it has invested more than
$786 million in resource for at least 190 projects and programs to support
national and regional development priorities and restore degraded land. In
overall, since 1992, GEF has protected areas covering 860 million hectares all
around the world (GEF, 2018). Second, it conducted 790 climate change
mitigation projects contributing to 2.7 billion tons of GHG emission reduction
and reduced the vulnerability of more than 15 million people in 130 countries.
Next In 73 countries it made an effective sustainable management of 34
transboundary rivers and improved cooperation and governance of one third of
the world’s large marine ecosystem. Lastly, it provided a conservation-friendly
management of more than 352 million hectares of productive landscape and
seascapes (Ibid).

The World Bank was established in 1944.The World Bank group
constitute with 5 international organizations such as the International Bank for
Reconstruction and Development (IBRD), the International Development
Association (IDA), the International Finance Corporation (IFC), the
Multilateral Investment Guarantee Agency (MIGA), and the International Centre
for Settlement of Investment Disputes (ICSID). It is the largest development
bank in the world and specifically targeting on developing countries in helping
to fight the poverty with sustainable solution. Some of its Millennium
Development Goals are to reduce extreme poverty and ensure the environment
sustainability. Over the last few decades, The World Bank has contributed and
created many environmental programs and policies to reduce the pollution and
prevent the natural resources, watersheds, landscape, and seascapes from being
destroyed by individuals and industries because environment is the key point in
increasing economic growth and human wellbeing. It roles in global
environmental governance are as follows: The World Bank group is the partner of
the Global Environment Facility (GEF) and playing some major roles as
the trustee of the GEF and related trust funds; as one of the original
implementing Agencies of GEF-funded projects; and providing administrative
services as the host of the functionally independent GEF Secretariat (“World
Bank Group’s Partnership with the Global Environment Facility,” n.d.). The
World Bank alone also created many programs in order to protect the
environment.  There is the Pollution
Management and Environmental Health Program. This program aims to solve the
problem in the countries which severely impact by pollution. For example, from
2009-2016, IBRD and IDA contribute around US$6.5 billion in pollution
management and environment health resulting in reducing air pollution in Mongolia
and decrease pollution in China’s rivers (“Pollution Management and
Environmental Health Program,” n.d.). The World Bank also provided the
Environmental and Social Safeguards Policy which is the mechanism for
addressing environmental and social issues, identify and manage impacts and
risks, establish framework for consultation and public disclosure. These
policies require countries to prevent people as well as environment from any
harm in order to gain support from the World Bank on investment projects as we
know that the international organization like IFC, IBRD, and IDA which is under
the World Bank are the most powerful investors and they spread the environment
norms through their projects and policies. According to The World Bank (2017),
it approved loans for more than $2.1 billion in projects to improve air quality
in several countries like in China, a US$500 million project is reducing
emission of specific air pollutants in Hebei province. Moreover, through
policy-based loans in Peru, the World Bank helped improve air quality by
reducing the content of sulfur in diesel and converting the vehicles so they
can run on natural gas instead of polluting air.  

Although WTO has no definite accord dealing with
environmental problems, the WTO agreements confirm governments’ right to protect
the environment which enable the provided certain conditions to be met. As the
result of negotiation in the Uruguay Round in 1994, trade ministers of
participating states determined to start a comprehensive work programmed on
trade and environment in the WTO, they created the Trade and Environment
Committee. The agreement that established WTO in the 1994 recognized “the
objective of sustainable development, seeking both to protect and preserve the
environment.”  The committee takes a broad-based responsibility covering
all areas of multilateral trading system- goods, services, and intellectual
property. The roles of the committee are to study the relationship between
trade and environment, and to make recommendations about any changes over trade
agreements. As the WTO is not an environmental agency, its work is based on two
important principles. First, the committee can only study the problems which
emerge when environmental policies make an enormous impact on trade.
 Second, if the committee does identify problems,
its solutions must continue to uphold the principles of the WTO trading system-
market liberal and non-discrimination.

There are three remarkable achievement of
the WTO rules. First, under multilateral environmental agreements, no specific
provisions have been challenged in the WTO, meaning that the environmental
agreements may be the indispensable and effective ways to address environmental
issues. Second, developing countries have more rights to participate in
standard-setting, therefore allowing them to gain access to international
markets. Lastly, the WTO has not given rights to environmental labelling to
provide full information to consumers. Furthermore, according to official
website of the WTO, the Dispute Settlement Body of the WTO has made some
decisions which tended towards environmental interests. One of the cases is the
‘shrimp-turtle’ case brought by India, Pakistan, Malaysia, and Thailand in
order to against the United States. The official title of the case is ‘United
States — Import Prohibition of Certain Shrimp and Shrimp Products.’ The panel
upheld the US prohibition on the imports of shrimp harvested in way that
affected sea turtles. The panel also encouraged member states to protect the
sea turtles, which resulted in the MoU on the Conservation and Management of
Marine Turtles and Their Habitats in the Indian Ocean.     

To sum up, there are four institution that have the most
powerful that we have mentioned above: firstly, UNEP is the key important role
in the global governance of environmental issues. UNEP works closely to global
environmental issues in global, regional, and national level, especially in
developing world. Secondly, The Global Environment Facility (GEF) was created
to help tackle the planet’s most pressing environmental problem, which was
considered as the most powerful organ because of its own effective governing
structure. Thirdly, World Bank also known as the powerful institution since it
has contributed and created many environmental programs and policies to reduce
the pollution and prevent the natural resources, watersheds, landscape, and
seascapes from being destroyed by individuals and industries because
environment is the key point in increasing economic growth and human wellbeing.
Last but not least, the huge organization, like WTO also have many influential achievements
in global to deal with environmental issues. WTO takes a broad-based
responsibility covering all areas of multilateral trading system- goods,
services, and intellectual property. Its roles to study the relationship
between trade and environment, and to make recommendations about any changes
over trade agreements.

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