a Global Citizen's Initiative?
The reason for instituting the process of
establishing the Trust independently from the process of inter-governmental
negotiation under the UNFCCC and Kyoto Protocol is that this is
the best way to make sure that a well-designed and competent structure
is put in place in due time.
On this page we:
behind this initiative
- The latest science,
indicating an extremely urgent need for the fastest practicable
reduction in global emissions from fossil fuels
- Schemes such
as Cap and Share/Cap and Dividend - especially the upstream
cap and money received by all adults equally
- Peter Barnes's book Capitalism
- The systemic defects and grossly inadequate
outcomes of the UNFCCC and Kyoto process
- Links between climate change, the more
general depletion of the natural resources on which human life
depends and increasing inequality between and within countries:
these are all symptoms of an unjust and unsustainable global economic
system. This initiative is conceived as a step in the transformation
towards a fair and sustainable global economy.
- Self-organising systems and Stafford
Beer's Viable System Model - the global economy consists of millions
of players large and small all of whom need to operate with maximum
autonomy, with minimum top-down regulation, but within strict
rules some of which need to be global rules (of which the schemes
operated by the Global Trust will be part) designed to enable
the entire world economy to operate sustainably
- The proposition that a global trust of
this nature does not have to be set up by governments is inspired
by Philip Allott's vision of global society in his book The Health
of Nations Society and law beyond the state. Professor Allott
describes international society as a society of which we, the
people, are members, as opposed to the conventional idea that
it consists of a collection of states, together with a number
of intergovernmental organisations. State governments are not
designed to serve global society: it's not surprising they fail
dismally to do so. Whilst state governments are important players
in the global society of the human race, to think in our minds
of global society as basically a collection of states is a mistake.
There is no reason to assume that state governments have a monopoly
of the right to establish legal institutions on the global stage.
There are other ways in which society can act.
we believe that the project is doable
A citizens initiative
The process of forming the Trust and getting it up and running is
a huge task but essentially do-able. It is daunting but there is
nothing impracticable about it. We have the honourable and inspiring
example of the way in which the International Committee of the Red
Cross was initiated and established to follow. (There are major
differences between the two roles, the Trust being more dependent
on active involvement of governments; but, like the ICRC, the Trust
will be an independent worldwide organisation). If the time is right
for fundamental change, a small group can start the process.
This project offers an opportunity for wide popular support, from
individuals and NGOs who would not normally take part in campaigning
and lobbying in the UNFCC/Kyoto process or mainstream politics at
national or regional levels. As the process of establishing the
Trust will run in parallel with and independent from the mainstream
process, it can attract support from people who are not 'environmentalists'
and may have lost faith in the mainstream political system but are
extremely concerned about climate change and want to make sure that
fossil fuel emissions are effectively capped and reduced.
The project of forming the Trust and getting
it recognised by governments provides an opportunity for a mass
expression of people power, by millions of people who are currently
locked out by the current system from the possibility of having
any real impact on the issues of global governance that affect the
future of humanity.
It may well be that it will be possible to secure not only powerful
non-governmental support for the project but also the support of
some state governments. Often on the international stage a small
number of sometimes comparatively small countries take a lead in
winning support for ethically correct treaties, such as the roles
played by Norway and Ireland in the negotiations leading to the
recent Cluster Bomb Treaty.
Once established the existence of the Trust
will provide an opportunity for popular pressure to be brought on
individual governments to agree to cooperate in the implementation
of the Trust's schemes - in particular by ensuring that their customs
officials require companies introducing the fuels into the economy
to hold permits issued by the Trust.
management and tasks
We envisage that the project of establishing
the trust and getting it up and running will be led by a comparatively
small steering group with the widest possible participation. Once
the Trust has been established and is up and running, the people
who have carried out this job will withdraw.
- identifying Guardians of the Trust
- designing the constitution of the Trust
- assisting the guardians in the selection
and appointment of Trustees
- winning support for the project
- securing funding
The Guardians should be the most suitable
people in the world to undertake the functions of the Guardians
of the Trust, ensuring above all that it is independent of governments
and vested interests. There should be a good gender balance, a good
age balance, and a good geographical balance.
Decisions are needed as to decide how to
go about this.
Designing the constitution of the Trust
There are many questions to be resolved
in designing the Trust to make sure that it is fit to do its job
without becoming bureaucratic and bloated. Numerous disciplines
will be involved in reaching the best possible design. These include
- law and practice relating to public
- decision making by trustees and judges
and consensus decision-making
- several branches of science relating
to climate change
- organisational management
- change facilitation
- climate change debates and negotiations
- public administration
- international relations
- international organisations
- International non-government organisations
We are looking for experts in each of these
fields to help ensure that everything about the trust and the way
it works meet the highest possible standards.
Assisting the Guardians in the selection
and appointment of Trustees
The Trustees will be responsible for building
and running what is bound to be a large international organisation.
The sole criteria in the selection of the trustees should be ability
and experience. We need to find the best people in the world to
form a brilliant body of trustees. As with the Guardians, there
should be a good gender balance.
Here again, decisions are needed as to decide
how to go about this.
Winning support for the project
This can be broken down into
- arranging the active participation of
individuals and organisations in the tasks outlined above
- winning the support
of individuals and organisations willing to be listed as supporters
- winning the support of governments
A distinction is to be made between funding
for the Trust and funding for the project of setting up the Trust.
Funding for the project of setting up the
Trust may be provided by one or more foundations, charitable trusts
or individuals, either for the project as a whole or for specific
parts of it. How the trust will be funded once in operation is something
for further discussion.
A steering group
The steering group will be responsible for
establishing the Trust and getting it up and running by the end
An important task will be to design a process,
drawing on experiences of participatory processes such as that leading
to the Earth Charter and participatory budgeting in Porto Alegre,
Once the Trust is established and up and
running, the steering group will withdraw.
To register your support for the project,
click here to go to the Contact Us page.