Green Future
The World Trade Organization Ministerial Conference of 1998, in the Palace of Nations (Geneva, Switzerland). ©U.S. Green Technology

Negotiate a Greener Future

How to Negotiate a Greener Future

More so than ever before in the history of humankind, technology is moving fast. It seems every year or two sometimes new comes along that totally changes the game. We’re not sitting stagnant for hundreds or thousands of years anymore, in fact if you went to sleep tonight and woke up even just ten years into the future; chances are you wouldn’t even recognize a lot of technology. This has a huge impact on the environment. In some aspects, it can be a good thing but it can also be very detrimental to our planet’s environment health. Negotiations play a huge role in shaping our world, including environmental policies all around the word. Remember, we all share the same planet and breathe the same air.

The goal of negotiations, especially huge-scale negotiations that involve countries and massive corporations is to continue our progress without hurting long-term sustainability but that’s not always the outcome. It’s hard for negotiations and regulations to keep up with technology, and the WTO and Doha round negations are a prime example. These negotiations aren’t agile enough to keep up with a changing world, and by the time anything is put in place it’s already out-dated and obsolete.

The Sad Truths of Globalized Trading

The internet has opened doors for commerce but as with any open door, you’re going to have some bugs and pests getting inside. Take the Transatlantic Trade and Investment Partnership (TTIP) for example. The TTIP is a bad solution for many reasons. The only reason it’s even in existence is due to the lobbying powers of the huge corporations that back it because it means more profit for them. These corporations are legally required to squeeze out every penny they can for their shareholders. Globalized trade means more sea traffic, which is worse for the environment than all of the cars on earth put together. According to the award-winning science writer Fred Pearce, all of the cars on earth create the same amount of pollution as just 16 massive cargo ships that travel back and forth across the oceans. Why do these ships pollute so badly? They aren’t required to meet the same low-emissions standards as automobiles, and they use the cheapest, filthiest fuel to power themselves. Now take into account that these 16 cargo ships represent only a fraction of the total ships sailing our waters, and it’s impossible to even imagine the staggering damage these ships are doing to the environment with incredible amounts of pollution. The TTIP aims to keep these ships even busier, as do advocates of free trade between the USA and Europe where the governments are charging fewer taxes to the big companies, which naturally means higher taxes for the private citizens.

How to Make a Difference

Money is the bottom line. If you ever need to make sense of something, just follow the money and the answer becomes quite apparent. What can the average person do to fight back against globalization and corporations who impose their profit as top priority while leaving citizens and mother nature to foot the bill? There are a lot of things that we can do. We need to speak the language of the Governments and corporations, which is the Language of Negotiations. Everything comes down to a negotiation. Consumers can speak loudest with their wallets. Politicians listen to votes. At the end of the day, everything comes back to negotiations in one way or another. There are the negotiations that happen in boardrooms, and there are the ones that happen in the court of the people, they take place on social media on blogs, and at the dinner table. If you disagree with a corporation and how they treat our planet, negotiate with your wallet by boycotting them. One person on their own won’t change global policies, but even the biggest forest fires begin with just one small spark.

There are many incredibly intelligent people who have a lot to bring to the table in terms of making a huge difference, but if they don’t speak the Language of Negotiations and if they don’t understand “how things work”, they won’t be playing in the same league thus their skills and talents will go to waste. The ability to negotiate is what separates potential from success. You can have all the potential and talent in the world, but you’ve got to know how to play the game and learning to negotiate is exactly how to do that .You may not always have the upper hand, but this is how you come closer to levelling the playing field.

Final Thoughts on Negotiating a Greener Future

With all of the bright minds working together to do our part in preserving this planet for future generations and not letting modern luxuries and excess force us to an early extinction, we should all feel cautiously optimistic. If those with big dreams and the minds to make them happen don’t learn to negotiate their way to success, we’re in trouble.

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