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Laren Environmental Conference


Morheim

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The Isle of Laren may have seemed an odd choice for a series of talks on the environment but in Queen Julia's mind it made sense. The purpose of the conference was to discuss and set some targets about how to ensure that the world was protected for generations to come and the fact that at least to her faith it was here on this Isle that all creation began. The isle was off the southern tip of Morheim and despite its rather large size it was home to just 1000 people. The island already had strict controls over what could be done there and the people who had elected to make the island their home, people often referred to be Morheimians as The Caretakers because of the way they tried to live in harmony with the nature present on the island. The royal family had built a retreat here in the 1700's and Julia could actually count on the fingers of one hand how many times she'd visited. The staff had arrived a week earlier and spent the time sweeping out the cobwebs and making the place look more lived in.  On the day the conference would begin the lawn behind would be used as a helicopter landing pad to which delegates would be ferried by Air Force helicopter as they arrived at Thale International Airport. The arrangements may not have been the most practical but the venue would serve to illustrate some of the issues that Julia hoped to bring up and that could be a rather useful technique. 

On the morning put aside for the meeting it was the Queen's brother Prince Isaak who greeted the arrivals. He was five years older than his sister but in Morheim the throne passed down the female line as after all it was women's blood who nourished the new born thus ensuring the families blood remained pure as it passed down over the generations. He was actually happy as Prince, he had few royal duties beyond shaking hands and could concentrate on his career flying in the Air Force. A band made up of Marines stood ready to play the national anthems of the nation arriving and as each deplaned at the airport Isaak saluted them, shook their hand and made small talk with them as they were shown the way to the waiting helicopter. It was one of the fleet of five that served the royals and from the outside may look like it was ready for a combat zone but inside large leather seats, air conditioning and a smiling Air Force steward awaited. It was only a thirty minute flight but the pilots ferrying the guests to the island as soon as they arrived at the airport made sure to keep low giving stunning views of the Morheim coastland and the strip of ocean leading to the largely untouched island. As the aircraft touched down on the back lawn Julia waited, a trademark black pin stripe suit, white shirt and plain Morheim blue tie as usual. Once the blades stopped spinning the Air Force steward opened the door and flicked the steps down before saluting his monarch. The Queen returned the salute with a nod before making her way to greet the first arrival. "It's a pleasure to welcome you to the Laren Environmental Conference" She said with a hand outstretched. 

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Life could take one to some very strange places and lead one on odd paths. Megas Logothetes Presbyteros Paulos Narses could attest to that personally. He was very glad that @Morheim wasn't one of them. He had read the briefing materials that the Logothesion ton Barbaron had provided for him and was pleasantly surprised by what he had read about the country. The Queendom had gained independence from @Derthalen, although hundreds of years ago, and it might be thought that the country would be a bit more... unbalanced, like its parent state.

But, other than an odd religion that seemed to be almost entirely confined to Morheim itself and a voting system biased towards those judged to be intelligent, the country seemed like one of the more normal states in that part of Argis, if not Eurth. Especially considering its closest neighbours other than Derthalen were @Greater Serbia, a nation happy to commit genocide, and @Aluxia, an autocratic and isolationist country currently embroiled in a civil war. Morheim could have been forgiven if it had been a lot more militaristic than it apparently was. Certainly, sharing a border with Machina Haruspex had made Arhomaneia a lot more martial than the country that was the heart of civilisation of Eurth ought to have been.

Narses had been lobbying for the Megas Agios Basileia to hold a conference on the environment since he had taken up the post of Megas Logothetes ton Agelon, Minister for the Environment, as he felt that there needed to be a more unified approach to the threat of environmental change and global warming than individual nations pursuing their own policies. Morheim had stolen a march on Tagmatium by doing so first. In a way, he was glad that the Queendom had done so – the ostentatious ceremonies and displays that Arhomaneia would have felt necessary to show its superiority to the unwashed barbarians visiting it would have eclipsed and undermined the intent behind the conference. Instead, the unspoilt island to the south of Morheim was a good setting for the conference and would hopefully serve to remind those visiting what was possibly at stake. Nonetheless, Narses was privately disappointed that his government hadn't acted on his advice.

However, the environmentalist credentials of the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion couldn't be doubted – renewable energy was a prime concern under Kommodos III, as well as re-wilding and generally attempting to reduce the carbon footprint of the Megas Agios Basileia. Towards the end of the last year, the nation had even managed an entire week with its energy generated completely by renewable means and it would not be too long before that might even be on a permanent basis. The policies weren't just underpinned by the strategic concern that it was best for Arhomaneia to become less dependent on foreign powers for its energy, but also based on theological views, too. God had placed the stewardship of His creations into the hands of Man and ruining it, through ignorance, indifference or malice, would likely displease Him.

Prince Isaak had seemed pleasant enough when Narses had been chatting to him at Thale International Airport and the Morheimian marines had done a good rendition of the Megas Agios Basileia's national anthem as the Megas Logothetes had stepped off the aeroplane. It may not have surprised the Prince that the conservative Christian nation was at least somewhat familiar with matrilineal monarchies – the Beautiful Empire of @Orioni was one, after all, and gender inequality was something that couldn't be laid at Arhomaneia's door. At Narses' own insistence, the clutch of bodyguards that had accompanied him were left waiting with the plane. A climate conference was not the best place for them and he appreciated that going to a holy island with soldiers might well be considered as very insulting by the Morheimians.

Now that he stepped out of the helicopter, smoothed down his black robes and looked around at the holy island and smiled to himself about the incongruity of it all – a priest of Eurth's largest Christian denomination standing in a site sacred to heathen religion. Narses had been a Megas Logothetes in the Logothesion of Overseas Geological Oddities for years, after having decided that life as a professor of geology at the Mouseion was too stressful. Six years ago, he had retired and taken up a life in service to God, becoming a village priest in a rural backwater. However, when the previous head of the Logothetes ton Agelon had stepped down, Narses had found himself personally requested by the Agios Basileos kai Autokrator to take over the ministry. As a servant of God, how could he refuse the man who was God's chosen representative on Eurth?

The Megas Logothetes shook Queen Julia's hand and he gave her a smile, which was almost hidden by his large, greying beard. He towered over the queen and his large paw almost entirely eclipsed the queen's hand. He'd been a keen amateur boxer and wrestler in his youth and it still showed in his physique, despite him almost out of his middle age.

“It is a pleasure to be here, your majesty,” he said. “It's about time that we had a conference on this. I pray to God that it is productive.”

He stood back and allowed himself to be directed by some Morheimian aides towards the royal retreat that was to be the venue of the conference. It was certainly very pretty and not some sprawling edifice that many monarchies might have built. Undoubtedly it was because to do otherwise would have impacted on the island more and the heathen beliefs that the Morheimians held stated that this island was the place life had been created. That was certainly a blasphemy but barbarians ignorant of True Religion couldn't really be blamed for thinking odd things. The minister-priest looked around for a sight of other delegates – Narses had seen aircraft from @Tikva and Tellosanon, @Rihan, as he had descended from his own aircraft. Ideally, the majority of nations of Eurth would send delegates to this conference but that may be too much to hope for.

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  • 2 weeks later...

Julia was rather excited, her Queendom hadn't really engaged much in global politics, content to stick in the past to trade and research. Now she was welcoming the first delegate from @Rihan to visit Morheim as far as she was aware. "Good Morning" she said with a smile. "I truly hope we can form some kind of agreement, but also get to know each other rather better. I know Morheim has rather been absent from international affairs and as such neglected international relations. I hope I can kill two birds with one stone." She paused suddenly realising the words she'd said, "Maybe just not birds from this island." She said rather red faced. "If you'd care to head inside I'm sure they've a fire going." A junior Army Officer from the Light Scouts escorted Jovis tr'Anaka inside and found him a place in what looked like a large lounge with sofas arranged in a horse shoe around a roaring fire the sweet smell of the wood filling the room. The officer brought him a cup of tea and some ginger biscuits while outside Julia began greeting the next delegate. 

"Talya Shoshan of @Tikva" an aide whispered in the Queen's ear. It was one advantage of using the island, they could control who landed in what order and the Queen knew exactly who would be stepping out. It gave the youngster a small boost of confidence being able to apply the briefing details so directly. "Thank you for attending" the Queen began, "I'm glad your nation have attended I understand you've begun taking measures already to use renewables, its something that may come in useful during the talks." She commented remembering the details from the dark brown cardboard folder her Secretary had given her this morning. "If you pop inside Jovis tr'Anaka from Rihan has already arrived, I look forward to joining you shortly." She watched as a second Light Scouts officer took Talya inside, introduced them to Jovis and brought more tea and biscuits. 

 

Finally it was the turn of  Paulos Narses of @Tagmatium Rules, "Welcome to our island" Julia had been told this would be the final helicopter for the time being, she was rather disappointed that it would be just the four of them but from "small acorns giant oaks grew" she remembered one of her father's favourite phrases. "I had hoped to be knee deep in delegates by now" she added as she personally escorted Paulos inside. "But we'll just have to be the trialblazers" she smiled reassuringly as they entered the lounge. Julia made sure everyone was introduced and sat down next to Talya and poured Paulos a tea from a white china pot that stood on the centre of a low table, she then poured one for herself before offering the plate of biscuits around. 

 

"Well I must say I'd hoped this lounge would have been packed with delegates by now, but a nice little gathering can probably get things set up far easier than a mighty gathering of nations. We can then work together to spread whatever we agree on across the globe and then hopefully see a second conference in a few years time swelled well beyond this." She began hopefully. " Now if I can begin by explaining my vision for this gathering and then fingers crossed we can get a few more people in here by then." She hadn't been informed of anyone else being inbound but was hopeful they may pick one or two up later. "What I hope to do is get a series of targets on matters ranging from food waste to fossil fuel use, to protecting fishing stocks to reducing green house gases. Now once we've got some targets on the table we need to look at how we can support each other to achieve them, be that technological advice, sharing best practice, carrying out research or student exchanges. I also have an idea for what I'm provisionally calling a Green Bank, a multi-national fund that would support research by small companies into such technology such as cleaning up the oceans, cutting down on fossil fuel use or even such projects as one company in Morheim trying to develop a bacteria that will eat plastic. Many great ideas are being left behind because of a lack of funds." She could feel herself on the verge of beginning to wander with her thoughts and so stopped. "The reason I picked this island is its the most perfectly green place I can think of. The people of this Holy Island live as green as anyone I'm aware of on the planet, they love nature, revere life and see themselves as the Guardians of Gods creation. Now I know you won't have the same religious outlook as us but the way this island is could be a dream for the whole world's attitude. So does anyone have any ideas for our talks beyond setting some targets and establishing a Green Bank, and maybe more importantly, how do we get more people to support whatever we agree on here today." 

 

 

Edited by Morheim (see edit history)
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"Damn the monsoons!" thought Nikol Het Lvólv as she landed on Laren, "This will certainly look terrible for the country. To arrive late for a diplomatic event..." She hurriedly exited and hailed a cab using very rushed and flustered Morheimian, "Hello! Yes! You, mister taxi car man! Please, can you give me a ride to the Climate conflict... erm, Conference."

"The what? " asked the cabby, "You mean the Laren Environment Conference? Wait, aren't you? ... never mind. Hop in, I'll get you there quick-like."

As the taxi rushed to the conference, Lvólv pondered the nature of the conference and her goals there. Not a particularly difficult thing to do, this meeting was a friendly one. And what a great opportunity for friendship it was, Morheim had always been viewed fondly in Bulgenstaz. While they operate under a monarch, they had made great struggle in the past and successfully liberated themselves from Derthaler imperialism. Such courage makes a strong nation. As for the other attendees, there were notable other nations (and perhaps others who had not been mentioned to Nikol). The State of Tikva, who has been making progressive strides in foreign aid surrounding the Aluxian Civil War, was quite remarkable. The history of relations surrounding the two countries has been few to none, but perhaps now was time to change that. Rihan has also been setting themselves up as a major player, especially since the founding of the Aurelian league. Goodwill with the diplomat here may go a ways back in Khenkhourt. As for the Tagmatine... it would be best to avoid making conflict. Rather, maybe we can use this conference to better relationships and move toward a friendlier future. Yes, perhaps.

Aside from relations, there was the nature of the conference. It would be surrounding environmentalism: policy that had been catching the eye more and more around Khenkhourt. If these discussions went well, it would most likely boost global environmental initiatives. It could also mean a bonus for the Ministry of Conservation, and for Lvólv. Both those outcomes would be most desired, she decided.

As the cab arrived, Nikol Het Lvólv hastily paid for the ride, and apologized profusely despite the fact that the taxi was in no way related to the event. As she walked toward the building, she muttered to herself, "Get your act together, Nikol. Do not embarrass yourself and your country here. Relax, there is not any reason to be nervous." In truth, Nikol had rarely been outside the country, save for a climate conference a few years back, and felt quite out of her element. She arrived up to the gates and said a quick "sorry" before being ushered inside to the main conference.

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The queen seemed to be slightly put out that there were only a handful of delegates attending the conference, more or less one from each continent. It was perhaps disappointing that none of the nations that might be considered major players from either Argis or Alharu had come, although Julia did seem hopeful that there might be a few stragglers. Narses thought that was unlikely, but it would be unfair to dash the Morheimian monarch's hopes by saying something about that. It was a shame, certainly, that none of the bigger players could have sent representatives. The Megas Logothetes hoped that this was more down to prejudice against the Queendom for some unidentified reason, rather than an unwillingness to recognise that climate change was a problem for all of Eurth. Although he definitely suspected that many just didn't care.

“Even if there aren't many of us here, your majesty, then I am sure that we will nonetheless be able to set an example that all abide by,” replied Narses, returning the queen's smile, although again it was probably hidden by his beard. “God be willing, of course. And I don't doubt that He will look favourably on this endeavour.”

He accepted the offered tea cup and it looked almost like a doll's in his large hand and he took a biscuit in the other. Taking a bite from the biscuit, he sat and listened whilst Queen Julia outlined her vision. It didn't sound too unreasonable – that is, it was similar to policies that the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion was already putting into place, or had been in place for some time. The fishing quotas were proving to be the most controversial in Arhomaneia, especially the northern, coastal areas, for obvious reasons. The counterargument that had been put forward for several years was that no other nation was really taking advantage of the fish in the Fillipou Thalassa – the Kosscow Sea – and therefore there were more than enough to go around. What that really meant was that fishing vessels based in Tagmatium were the only ones with an organised navy to back them up.

“The main issue, of course, will be getting other nations to agree to whatever it is that we agree here,” said Narses, knowing that he was going to sound unduly pessimistic. The minister-priest really didn't want to. The atmosphere at this conference should be one of hope at a bright future, not one of doom and gloom. Plus Julia was so young and it seemed like kicking a puppy to bring her down. “As Minister Shoshan says, Rihan will be the best bet for getting the rest of Aurelia in line behind whatever we agree here. I cannot, of course, say the same for Europa. I shall get my government to lobby the main nations in Europa to undertake what we agree to here – the Beautiful Empire and the Grand Federal Imperium were but two whose presence would have been useful. It is the smaller nations, the ones that are isolationist, at best, that will prove the most difficult. I can suggest that any future trade agreement between my country and those has the preconditions of agreeing to some aspects of any green policies, but it will possibly end up being seen as a bigger nation bullying smaller ones.”

That was something that Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion would have little problem with, Narses knew. Both from the fact that Tagmatium had few qualms about throwing its weight around and it saw itself as the guardian of God's creation. Enforcing unequal treaties wouldn't be above what Tagmatium would do, especially since it could then be justified as being for the good of Eurth. That wasn't really something that he wanted to mention here. It just sounded a bit shitty, really.

“I must also echo the statement of Ambassador Anaka with regards to expenses. As you're undoubtedly aware, your majesty, my government has some... significant international commitments right now, and they require a lot of attention.” That sounded mealy mouthed, even to Narses, but he really didn't want to sidetrack anything right now. The Arhomaiki forces in one of Morheim's neighbours could be a sore topic, especially since one of other delegates was from the government of Tikva. “We, that is, the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion, would be very happy to share ideas and technology. The Megas Agios Basileia has made great headway in recent towards the reduction of dependence on fossil fuels and we are definitely willing to pool resources with other nations in order to bring the rest of Eurth in line with that. I will make sure that capital is freed up when possible to start putting it towards either this 'Green Bank', helping other nations with setting up renewable energy technology or similar.”

Narses took another sip of his tea. It sounded likely empty promises, even to him. It wasn't what he wanted to do, but all that the could do right now. War was expensive, after all. And not very good for the environment, either.

“And Minister Shoshan is likely correct that the oil-producing nations will take a dim view of any attempts to break from what they sell. Frankly,” he leaned forward in his chair, taking on an almost conspiratorial air, “we'll have to tell them to put it where the sun doesn't shine. Otherwise we won't get anywhere. Worst comes to the worst, we might have to think about trading oil amongst ourselves, if they threaten to pull the plug on us. That does sound counterproductive, I know, but if it is done with all profits being either put into this 'Green Bank' or towards renewable sources, that we could then effectively wean ourselves off of oil, and help show that any and all nations could break away from the dependency on it.”

It perhaps wasn't the greatest idea ever, Narses would be the first to concede that. But they were at the stage in this conference where they were sharing ideas and it was about the only thing that he could think of off of the top of his head that could be an alternative to a continued reliance on the oil-producing nations.

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  • 3 weeks later...

OOC- Sorry for the delay folks, had a new internet provider and apparently they can't work a calendar so been without WiFi for a while.

 

The Queen listened to the various points and discussions being made. "What I think the best approach to take will be is not one entrenching one method over another or one policy to fit all nations, that would be unreasonable. Each of us sat here today faces different challenges and barriers, but what we also posses are different ideas and examples. I am confident that between those of us sat here we can achieve great things. I am naturally aware of the reliance we have on oil at present but we live in a world now where the prospect of a life without the stuff is not a chance any more it is a certainty, and the nations who can best prepare for that day are the ones who will be the best placed to thrive following its demise. Now just as a drug addict is not safe to go cold turkey we too can not just stop our dependency on oil overnight. So what I suggest is a target driven initiative. This also will take onboard the fact we all start from very different foundations, and seeing as financial concerns are playing a role perhaps they can be reassured this way. Therefore I would like to present you with this draft." She opened a thick leather folder and handed around copies of a document she'd typed up a few days earlier. 

 

Recognizing that our world is currently dependent on non-renewable resources

Understanding that a time will come in the future when these resources are depleted

Convinced that climate change is a man-made phenomenon

Concerned that levels of pollution of all kinds are raising 

The signatory nations of this agreement agree to do all that is within their powers to fulfil the following aims. 

1. Limit global temperature increases to within 2.0C (3.6F) of those recorded during the 19th Century.

2. Limit the amount of greenhouse gases emitted by human activity to the same levels that trees, soil and oceans can absorb naturally by 2070. 

3. Remove 75% of plastic packaging by 2025.

4. Remove all fossil fuelled road vehicles by 2040

5. Reduce pollution caused by air travel by 35% by 2030.

6. Create 3million square km of new forests by 2040.

7. Remove at least 40% of plastic from the oceans by 2040.

8. Nations with a GDP per capita of $40,000 or more to produce at least 70% of their electricity from non-fossil fuel sources by 2050. Nations with a GDP per capita lower than $40,000 to aim for 50% by 2060.

9. Reduce pollution caused by public transport to zero by 2040.

10. The amount of green spaces within urban areas to increase 10% by 2030. 

11. Reduce food waste by 50% by 2040.

12. All students to receive education on how to better protect the environment by 2021. 

13. Halt or reverse the trend of ocean acidification by 2030. 

14. For each nation to have 10% of their Exclusive Economic Zone protected as marine reserve by 2050. 

In order to help nations achieve these aims the following shall be established

I - An Environmental Bank . It is expected but not compulsory for signatory nations to make an annual donation to this bank. The Environmental Bank may also accept funds from philanthropic contributors of all kinds. 

a)This Bank shall be overseen by a committee made up of one representative of each nation. 
b)Any nation, including non-signatories, may approach the Bank for an interest free loan to fund any project designed at meeting the aims of this treaty. 
c) The committee shall vote on whether to approve the funding and a simple majority shall be needed to release the funds. 
d) Nations receiving funding are required to present regular reports on the progress of funded projects. 

II- The Environmental Review Conference - All signatory nations to meet every two years to review each nations progress towards these aims and share research. This conference shall be open to all non-signatory nations. Furthermore targets may be adjusted by a majority vote dependent on new research. 

III - The International Environmental Institute - An institute made up of members of all signatory nations who shall undertake research projects on behalf of the members. It shall have a seat at the Conference and act independently of national control. It shall be free to make any recommendations that it wishes. It shall also spread best practice between all nations. 

IV - The Technology Exchange - This programme shall accept donations of equipment and repurpose it to other nations in need. This shall allow poorer nations to access significant support in improving some of their systems. 

This treaty shall come into force 30days from signing.

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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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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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  • 2 weeks later...

Julia looked around at the various delegates before turning to the @Rihan delegate, "I think at the moment asking for people to make a perscribbed contribution based purely on their GDP would be a mistake. Some nations who will be members of this agreement will be in a position where they will need to use the funding internally in their own nation. I'd hope nations would however consider making a kind of annual voulentary donation to show their commitment to this. As for how it would be funded." She turned to face towards Talya from @Tikva "As for people funding their commitment to this not everything requires bags of money" she smiled, "Cutting down food waste, I'll give you an example of something we're trying in Morheim, we launched a mobile phone app where if you have some food your not planning on using you take a photo of it, post it on the app and anyone in your local area can message you and claim it. It cost our government nothing but has seen for example some smaller baking companies giving locals the about to go stale bread at the close of the day, they get put on the app and someone uses them, as such its less food going to waste. Will it help us reduce food waste by 50%, of course not, but its a start and it costs nothing to do. A lot of the targets can be moved towards with simple measures such as that or just clever legislation. Reducing plastics, ban certain types of packaging, green spaces in urban areas you can achieve by insisting new developments feature gardens such as a roof top garden or something. We then pass the responsibility onto construction companies not just ourselves. I'm excited to see what ideas the general public of Morheim come up with if they know the government are likely to support good ideas." She was rather positive about how all this was going. "So unless there are any further questions, suggestions for an edit or additions then would people like me to prepare a signing ceremony?" 

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Narses nodded. Whilst he had certainly been given the authorisation to sign the treaty on behalf of the Agios Basileos kai Autokrator, he knew that most other representatives here would not have been given quite the free rein that he had been. Most of the others would likely have to put it before their monarchs, presidents or parliaments before they were able to put the treaty into action. It could conceivably put Julia's plans on hold for some time, even as forward thinking as they were.

“OPEC could possibly be an issue, I will admit. They are at the moment a somewhat disparate body and much of the oil Arhomaneia comes from northern Europa, not southern.” The cleric scratched at his beard for a moment, thinking a bit about the possible repercussions. He knew that the Epistrategaion had certainly made contingency plans for a disrupted oil trade and that there were large reserve supplies but it would obviously be better to not have to use them. “It is a shame that none of those five nations could have attended this conference. It would probably make life in the future easier for everyone concerned if they had.”

He was somewhat surprised at the Rihannsu delegate's seeming hostility towards him. He had hoped that all of the parties here would be able to put aside their historical differences for such an important moment in history. One that might safeguard the future of the world. But, the minister-priest guessed that that may well have been naïve of him, after all. He was enough of a man of the world that he knew that people could often nurse their grudges. Even when the good of the world was at stake. It wasn't something that he would allow to put his nose out of joint, however.

“I suspect that the council will have to be something that we give long consideration to,” Narses said, nodding his head in the direction of the Rihannsu delegate. “It could be a great force for change within the world, or it could get our great work bogged down.”

He shrugged, having seemingly undermined his own idea. It probably wasn't something to get overly concerned with right now and the Arhomaios knew that there would be many within the Agios Megas Basileia who would likely take offence to any suggestion that any barbaroi might have a genuine say in the affairs of the greatest nation on Eurth. That would take some getting over, he imagined. Kommodos may not be able to ignore that, although spinning it as a step needed to make sure that God's Eurth was still as pristine as the day it was created. Well, so long as He didn't take too close a look at some parts.

The Rihannsu was insisting that private contributions be taken into account regarding the bank, and Narses had raised his own suggestions before. Ultimately, it would likely be a good thing but the signatories would have to make sure that each other government didn't use this as an opportunity to attempt to get around their own contributions.

“I'm glad that you agree with me about the animals, Ambassador,” replied the Megas Logothetes brightly, apparently ignoring the Rihannsu's impolite wording, at least on the surface. “My government would likely request the same conditions added to the treaty.”

Minister Shoshan leant her full backing behind the treaty and used the same justification that Arhomaneia did, that of human's being God's stewards on Eurth. It was certainly a shame that no other Christian, albeit heretical ones, had come to this treaty. The Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion had hoped that @Sancti Imperii Catholico would attend and in their place was the nation that shared the island with them. One that had... prickly relations with Arhomaneia. That, however, didn't really matter, as @Bulgenstaz was demonstrating that they had the same motivations as the Arhomaioi when it came to the climate.

“Similar to both Ambassador Anaka and Minister Shoshan, I can offer the minds of Arhomaneia's universities to the ends of our noble goal,” the Megas Logothetes stated. “However, I'll admit that offering it is one thing, getting them to cooperate entirely willingly is quite another. I was once an academic and I know how hard that might be. Nonetheless, I imagine that pooling our resources like this will boost the progress and the speed that we make – I'm sure that it will turn out that we are working down the same lines and that there are things that were obvious to some and not to others. This will help to bring us all towards our goal of weaning our nations, and the Eurth, off of the use of oil, and other environmentally-damaging products.”

Like concrete, Narses thought. He'd read statistics that suggested that the building material was the third most used item on Eurth, after water and oil. And one of the most carbon dioxide-producing things, too. The combined research power of the governments and nations that signed the treaty would have their work cut out trying to tackle both oil and concrete.

“Your majesty, I think your suggestions will go some way to allaying the fears of my government and people,” Narses responded. “And NGO or IGO would mean that we could see better what precisely the human impact has had on plants and animals. I'll admit that I don't necessarily agree with you that protecting forests or helping them recover, for example, will mean that animals are protected or recover themselves. But, for the sake of getting your treaty closer to being signed, I will agree to looking again at this issue after we have done so.”

The idea of the Morheimian waste food app was a very good one and Narses squirrelled the idea away to suggest to the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion himself. Hopefully, they'd not heard of it and that there might be some way of getting over any copyrights or intellectual property over it. It would be considered bad faith to entirely steal it, after all.

“There are possibly things that we have not yet considered, your majesty, that we might if we keep discussing.” That sounded like he was going to throw a spanner in the works and Narses wondered if a look of horror might pass over the queen's face. He didn't drag out the pause before the next sentence. He was not a cruel man and the queen was trying to get the world to a better future, after all. “However, I feel that we can tackle these once the treaty has been signed. I, as representative of the Agios Basilikon Kounsistorion, have no qualms about signing the treaty.”

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Having listened to @Tagmatium Rules delegate Narses speak Julia thought for a moment, "Well I have a suggestion maybe when it comes to people signing the treaty" she began to explain, "Those of us in the position such as my own will sign the treaty and that means as of the moment we've signed it we're committing our nations to do everything reasonable to hit these targets. Those of you in a position similar to yourself can sign it "in principle" it means your publically throwing your support behind the treaty which will hopefully send a message to your homelands that this is something we should be doing. It also then means your capable of placing it before whatever individual or body needs to approve it." She hoped this would be acceptable. "As for things we've not considered please feel free to make any suggestions you think would be worth us following. I can't speak for the others but I'd prefer to get this right first time and I'm in no rush to get things finished if it means we can get a perfect treaty." 

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  • 2 weeks later...

Nikol had spent the meeting weighing the insights of the other representatives at the conference. Truth be told, it was still difficult for her to decide if she was completely subscribed to the terms of the treaty. Among the most direct issues was the reality of the economy of Bulgenstaz, in the over-reliance on fossil fuels as an export. Lvóv believed this issue would ultimately be the deciding factor of how her country would respond to the treaty. Regardless, Nikol Het Lvóv felt affirmation of the current treaty would be best for the time being, at least until the Bulgenstazi bureaucracy made their decision.

"While I cannot speak for the Prime Minister's final decision, especially given upcoming elections, as the representative of the People's Ministry of Conservation, I approve of much of the plans currently proposed. However, I am curious as to how we address the economic structure of the oil producing countries, particularly those whose economies are particularly dependent on oil for export. There are many countries I can think of, especially those in OPEC, who would be severely impacted by the shift in oil demand. While I cannot speak for them, I feel I must address my concerns for these countries. Regardless, I have little doubt Bulgenstaz can, and will, adapt to the shift in world oil demand, and I will sign the treaty in hopes of later confirmation by my homeland."

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