THE UN TARGET YEAR OF 2015
November 29, 2012
Two main areas of discussion and negotiations among UN member states have taken the year of 2015 as their target in the achievement of their goals. These two most important areas of development and climate policies are discussed and negotiated as if they are unrelated. The 2015 target year is proposed here as a point in time where serious global discussions of an integrated global governance approach are to commence.
The development strand called the post-2015 sustainable development framework wants to come up with a sustainable development framework that will succeed the framework of the Millennium Development Goals or MDGs that ends in 2015. This development strand also includes on an equal level of importance the discussions dealing with the Sustainable Development Goals or SDGs that were initiated as part of decisions taken at the Rio June 2012 Earth Summit. Both development strands and discourses only tangentially deal with the 21st century’s main challenge of the changing climate.
The second major area of discussion and negotiation, dealing with the climate crisis, takes place mainly within the confines of the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) of June 1992 and its Kyoto Protocol whose second implementation in 2013 is being discussed during its present two weeks conference in Doha. This UNFCCC conference and the ones of 2013 and 2014 are geared towards the establishment of a New Accord in 2015 which would replace the Kyoto Protocol with its many shortcomings. The official climate negotiations have even less connection with the development issue than the official development community’s connection with the climate issue.
Though those two UN strands of discussions and negotiations hardly make any connections with development and climate, civil society on the other hand generally make connections between development and climate. However, its connecting the dots between the two is still inchoate and needs far greater emphasis and far more resources to arrive at an integrated global governance system.
The connection or rather integration of development and climate is the major focus of a proposal by the International Institute for Monetary Transformation. The proposal called The Tierra Solution or the Tierra Fee & Dividend system or the Tierra System for short, presents the conceptual, institutional and strategic dimensions of an integrated global governance system. It is based upon the transformation of the international monetary system which is the most basic of global system that as glue binds together the monetary, financial, economic and commercial systems. It can also be considered the lubricant of those global systems making them work smoothly and even as their linchpin. This global money system is to be transformed by the introduction of a carbon standard of a very specific amount of tonnage of CO2e per person. The introduction of this standard makes exchange rates stable by having currencies pegged to the standard or by the introduction of a single global currency.
This carbon-based international monetary system is predicated on at least two major new institutions. One of them is a balance of payments system that accounts not only for financial credits and debts, but also ecological (climate) debts and credits. Given that countries in the global North are financial creditors and ecological debtors and countries in the South ecological creditors and financial debtors, negotiations of converting financial debt into ecological credit become a real possibility. The second new institution is the Global Central Bank which would not only administer, regulate the new system, but would be the only institution that together with its regional central banks engages in money creation. Limits to money creation as described in the 1865 US Senate document are set by the imagination of responsible public officials. Transformational financing for the enormous needs in development and climate change areas becomes possible without the straitjacket of austerity. Gone are the privately-owned banking systems with their fractional reserve systems, because they have become financial utilities without the privilege of money creation. People and their public officials direct their ample financial resources where they are needed as was done by the public banks in various countries during the 1930s.
There are two main strategies by which this carbon-based international monetary system with its fixed exchange rates, its transformed balance of payments system and Global Central Bank can become a reality. One is the top-down, UN strategy and the other is the bottom-up, grassroots strategy. They are fully described in the last chapter of The Tierra Solution: Resolving the Climate Crisis through Monetary Transformation, the June 2012 Cosimo publication that also describes in detail the earlier mentioned conceptual and institutional dimensions. For additional information, see www.timun.net.
The Tierra Solution went public for the first time during UNITAR/YALE Global Governance conference in September 2010 and has been presented at various UN meetings in preparation for the Rio 2012 Earth Summit and at the two NGO Committees on Sustainable Development and Financing for Development at UN Headquarters. It is hoped that the year 2015 will be the year that serious discussions will take place in the UN development and climate communities about this integrated global governance proposal, propelled and pushed by the leadership of civil society.