Globalization has brought economic prosperity to almost all countries of the developed and developing world and enabled efficient economic integration by removing barriers to free trade and improving channels of communication. Even though global economy operates on a positive-sum game model, not all countries enjoy equal level of prosperity. In certain areas, globalization has depleted natural resources and disrupted environmental balance.
There are various issues that arise out of the unequal distribution of wealth, such as climate change, global warming, growing population in relation to rapid urbanization and increased consumption of land, water and air resources, etc. Resource scarcity and environmental imbalance could pose a serious threat to global security and human rights. International community thus must act instantly and efficiently in condemning these issues and preserving security and human rights. There are four main tasks to be considered:
- Protection of Natural Resources
- Sustainable Development
- Environmental Management
- Reducing Climate Risk
Energy security is an essential part of the protection of natural resources. A country with energy supremacy enjoys a particular geopolitical significance in worldly affairs: it could use its supremacy as a coercive tool in a conflict and therefore pose a threat to the international stability; or could by itself be a desirable land in relation to neighboring countries, thus an object of foreign intervention and/or invasion. The concept of the “resource curse” or the “oil curse” describes this phenomenon. Sometimes, profits obtained through the exploitation of natural resources are reserved for a small group people. This creates unequal distribution among the citizens and causes unjust and intolerable situation, which in turn endangers the security of the population, also threatening regional and global stability. Security of energy resources depends on the credibility of global governance, as well as regional and local political and economic stability.
Sustainable development is enhanced through the improvement of education and learning facilities, as well as through the establishment of a framework for understanding and implementing social and ecological changes. It is a collective action within civil society, markets and the public sphere, aimed at promoting good governance and implementing integrated environmental policies. The main goal is to “make development opportunities available to all while staying within ecological limits.”
Environmental management is an all-encompassing concept tied to the enhancement of sustainable development, which aims at preserving food security, reducing health risks and promoting air, land and water resource management to protect ecosystem services and climate. Climate risk is one of the main issues of environmental management because it disproportionately affects the poorest people in the world who have the least capacity to respond and adapt to rapid environmental changes. If inadequately approached, the climate risk could lead to severe consequences such as making certain countries uninhabitable, damaging infrastructure, increasing mortality and prevalence of diseases. This is the most challenging task for the international community since its frauds are imminently embedded into our socio-economic activities.
 Transforming Governance. Stockholm Environment Institute. www.sei-international.org.