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Laren Environmental Conference

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“Attempting to effectively dismantle the oil-based world economy is precisely what we are trying to do here,” pointed out Narses, although he shrugged and settled back in his chair. Whilst he had been given the power to talk about and agree to a number of wide-ranging topics by the Agios Basileos kai Autokrator, there were certainly some things that would need to be mulled over beforehand. And such epoch-making decisions were likely amongst them. If nothing else, both the Tagmatine ministers for trade and finance would be rather irritated if he decided on such things without consulting them in any way. “Although I will say that it could well be beyond the scope of what we are discussing here, although it is undoubtedly our ultimate aim.”

“Since the OPEC nations are quite disparate and without any real driving force behind them, it is perhaps not a hard a task as otherwise – if our nations, and others who will hopefully come to join us later, God willing, were to organise and form an administration along these lines, we would likely tip the balance away from the more conventional oil-producing nations and help wean Eurth off of oil.” Again, this was just musing on the part of the minister-priest. There were clear problems to it, even at this early and entirely hypothetical stage. Narses took a sip of tea and then swirled the dregs about in his cup, watching the liquid move about as he did so. He realised it was something of a childish action and he stopped and slowly drank the rest of the tea, pausing before he spoke again. “Of course, one of the issues might be that we end up becoming far too entrenched or invested in the production of oil and start to be exactly what we are trying to fight – we shall have to remain vigilant against that possibility, assuming that we go forward with it. Although I'm possibly getting bogged down here.

“And, Ambassador Anaka - unless I'm being too literal here – I doubt anything supported by Rihan or Arhomaneia will have much to fear from piracy.” There was certainly an element of typical Tagmatine arrogance to that statement, but facts would definitely bear the sentiment out. Whilst the Tellosanoi might still be a rising power, the rest of their continent was rising with them. They were the first among equals and would likely soon become the predominant power in the south-western part of Eurth. And with one of the major powers of the Old World and the coalition of Aurelia behind any agreement, it would be a very foolhardy pirate indeed that tried to prey on those shipments.

“I could well be going beyond what her majesty wants to guide us towards here, but a permanent council of nations that abide by the agreements that we work out here could well have more bite than just a treaty that we all sign,” Narses said, with a slight nod of the head towards Queen Julia. The Megas Logothetes sat up straight in his chair again and leaned forward to help himself to a biscuit. He munched on it for a moment and the quiet in the room showed that the rest of those gathered were either considering his words or formulating their own ideas. At the moment, it did seem that the atmosphere of the Laren Environmental Conference was fruitful. That was very hopeful. “But starting smaller may well be the best way to go, at least for the moment.

“Private investment in the bank is a very interesting idea, and it does have a lot of merit.” Narses knew it was a lot easier to shoot down ideas than actually put them forward, so he did feel slightly bad for what he was about to say. It was a good idea, sadly. “Perhaps this is coming from a certain standpoint, but my fear would be that some governments could use private investment as a way of getting around any obligations that they themselves might have. Ideally, it would not just be a public or private solution, but both.”

Wherever the minister-priest's train of thought was going next was cut off somewhat by the document that Queen Julia took from the leather folder that she was holding. Narses took one of the proffered documents and started to read it. Nothing was entirely unreasonable within it. Some aspects of it might be quibbled over and he knew that, to a greater or lesser extent, the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion would hate to give up anything it might consider a strategic advantage over other nations. But, on the other hand, there was the God-given stewardship over the world that must be held as a priority.

“As the Ambassador from Rihan says, it is something of a 'moon-shot'” - an odd turn of phrase, that - “but nothing is truly beyond our scope here, I feel.”

Some of the time limits imposed might be drastic but then if global climate change was to be taken as seriously as it needed to be, then drastic steps needed to be taken. The Tagmatine continued to look at the treaty and a slight frown began to creep across his brow.

“I notice, your majesty, that there are no provisions for the protection of animal or plant species,” he stated, tapping at his copy of the treaty with a forefinger. “Is this intentional, or is it an oversight? I imagine that most of the countries that are attending this conference have something akin to the ones that Arhomaneia has been conducting for some years. For instance, since the 1960s, a breeding programme for the Occidental Bison has been operating, partially under my own ministry and other organisation. This has fed into a policy of re-wilding that has come into play under Kommodos III, may God guide him. Did you not consider adding something like that to this treaty? As you're already encouraging reforestation, it could hardly be much more of a step from there.”


OOC: I apologise for the slight gearshift mid-post, but I'd already written up a chunk before @Morheim's latest post and I didn't want to chuck it all away :P

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"But of course," responded Anaka to Narses, "I was just saying if we do go ahead and put this agreement into force, there has been strict regulation and means of enforcement. It is fair to say that we are not all going to be in a position to sign this today, after all," taking a pause, "the honorable Senators back in Dartha will need to get behind it, much in the same spirit as your Emperor," commented Jovis. "But those are procedures that can be undertaken assuming everyone here is on the same page on the underlying framework Her Majesty here," extending his hand in expression has put before us."

"The OPEC nations may exist in such an organization for the purposes of deliberation and there is yet to be any indication of their unified front that would cause a challenge but it is equally possible that once they learn of this, they will respond, eventually." He looked Narses, "perhaps my reference to piracy was misrepresented. It was only made when we were still talking about a solution you came up with." It was just as clear to Jovis as it was to his Tagmatine counterpart that there was still some stinging wounds that would need to hear. Prior to the Laren Conference, both Arhomaneia and Rihan had come to the point that they had to recognize each other and move forward, slowly. 

"I do concur with my Tagmatine colleague - a small council consisting of those present and two or three other participants would be a tremendous beginning of aligning efforts and hopefully spark others to get engaged in the process. Once we have mass, then we can grow it."

"As to the bank," he changed topics in a flourish, "I do think private investment is the immediate right step if we in the room want to see it formulate and take action in short order in undertaking readily-available opportunities." He paused. "Recognizing that in order for this work with both public and private engagement, howabout leveraging the private contributions into matches by the public sector. We'd double if not triple the money on hand in the bank. It also gives us all and others time to strategize how they will come up with their respective financial attachments to the larger goals of the bank itself."

Jovis listened to the Tagmatine's response to the treaty in relations to animal and plant species protection. He nodded in agreement. "As hard as it may be for me to agree with my counterpart, particularly as we are still getting used to more regular diplomatic engagement, "I know the Praetor and the Senate would want such protections inserted into whatever final treaty were to be submitted for their consideration."

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Talya was quiet while the Tagmatine and Rihan representatives spoke at length about their concerns and praise for the proposal Queen Julia had put before them. She at first waited to see if the Bulgenstazi emissary had any comments and seeing that he was still looking at the document before them, Shoshan proceeded. She had taken the time to read the treaty in the intervening period.

"The State is prepared to be an active partner in this effort," she said, "we've already begun the process to decarbonize our energy and in due time, transportation. There is very little else I could add to the accord short of echoing the suggestions brought by Narses." She adjusted herself. "As the Setgvek stresses, we are responsible for our world's condition, to be stewards of its beauty - an exacting charge placed in the Great Book," looking to the Tagmatine.

"Though I cannot personally approve the treaty, I am more than happy to present it to the Prime Minister for him to bring before the Knesset for approval. However, I can provide the same academic and technical assistance Ambassador Anaka has already present, the combined brainpower of Asher Katz University of Ayalon and the National Institute of Technology in Harel are ready to be engaged."

"We may not have sufficient funds to invest much into the green bank at the beginning but I am willing to make the case to Prime Minister Lasker to put aside funds for it once the present situation in Samarria is calmer. That land could use considerable conservation and careful stewardship."

She looked around the room. "I think it is fair to say that everyone is by and large in agreement of the terms in principle, but in the end, its about enforcement, target setting, and monitoring."

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Having listened to the various people around the table Julia scribbled down a few things as they spoke. 

"If I can first address the comments of our @Tagmatium Rules guest." she turned her body to face Narses. "I think we can accomodate some kind of permanent body, be that a Council or liason group, call it what you will. Maybe we can make the Institute I suggest making have a multi-national team of researchers but each nations team lead by a person appointed by their government. That institute could have a permanent HQ somewhere, I'd be happy to find a place in Thale if need be. They could then be kept informed of the latest research and this could mean we have a very well informed council of sorts capable of reacting to situations that require attention." She paused for a moment, "Now as I think the best approach is a target driven treaty it makes it hard to include anything about protecting specific animals or plants. However I think in a roundabout way thats taken care of. For example by creating extra woodland that creates new habitats, by cutting down things such as ocean acidity that means habitats such as coral reefs will be protected and thus ensure life thrives. Plastic is a great killer of wildlife and cutting that down will protect many species. Now that doesn't mean we can't do more. Another idea I've had bouncing around is the creation of a kind of international agreement on animal protection, perhaps even creating a NGO to investigate and tackle the trade in endangered species. That is maybe something if you have an interest too that we can create together in addition to this. I just felt specific targets on animals would be difficult to create in a manner that all nations could be monitored and scrutinised." She hoped her explanation had satisfied the representative. 

 

She next turned to the @Rihan representative. "It is my hope we see lots of larger companies and wealthy individuals keen to cement a legacy helping us. However I think tying a commitment of nations to match fund or even go further and multiply the contributions of private donors could be problematic. If we have less wealthy nations sign up then would it be fair to place this burden upon them while they are also trying to fulfil the targets. I think however perhaps we should all commit to some kind of GDP linked percentage being a minimal annual contribution, I'd be open to any suggestions on that front." Julia gazed at the others hoping for some suggestions on that front. 

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Anaka wanted to interject as he felt the Queen did not exactly understand what he said before. "I wasn't attempting to mandate a country match a private contribution, I was merely stating that private citizens may be in a far better position to help capitalize the green bank you're recommending in the short term and then nations can then use their momentum to lead towards making their own investments. Now, if you want to consider a GDP based approach in determining contribution levels, that your expectations aren't unrealistic."

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