It Could Work
The following details are at this stage
suggestions only. We don't pretend to have all the answers or even,
at this very early stage, to have identified all the problems. This
is a discussion document. The widest possible input will be sought
before the details of the Trust are finalised.
This page has four sections
1. Features of the Trust
2. The Trust in operation
4. How the trust would fit in.
1. Features of the Trust
It is suggested that the proposed Global
Trust would have the following features;
- a formal constitution establishing the
Trust as an independent legal entity in a particular country.
It would be constituted as a public purpose
trust. It would thus be subject to, and have the benefit of,
the laws of that country applicable to public purpose trusts and
the jurisdiction of the courts and other relevant regulatory authorities
in that country.
- the constitution would require the Trust
to respect basic principles including the Earth Charter, the Universal
Declaration of Human Rights, the UN Declaration on the Rights
of Indigenous People and the Biodiversity Convention.
- The stated purpose of the Trust
will to progressively reduce the emission of greenhouse gases
into the Earth's atmosphere from the use of fossil fuels with
a view to minimising climate change and to do so by schemes biased
in favour of social justice
- The constitution of the Trust could include
power at a later date to enlarge the remit of the trust to include
other activities designed to minimise climate change and promote
- The Trust will be managed by Trustees
selected and appointed by a group of Guardians of unquestionable
integrity. This will enable the Trustees to take tough decisions
without fear of being voted out of office by popular pressure.
- The Trust will have a Process Group
appointed, by the Guardians, who will design the decision-making
procedures of the Trust. These procedures must ensure that
- The Trust must facilitate processes
for all stakeholders (scientists, governments, international
organisations, NGOs etc) to reach the maximum possible consensus
on all decisions to be made by the Trust before final decisions
are made by the trustees
- decisions are nevertheless taken in good
- there is total transparency
- there is strict accountability.
2. The Trust in operation
In managing global schemes (such as Cap
and Share and Cap and Dividend, but not limited to these) we envisage
that the Trustees would
- take scientific advice. The Trustees
will make arrangements with the IPCC and ISCU and other relevant
bodies to ensure that their decisions relating to the cap are
based on the fullest and latest scientific evidence
- decide how to issue permits and ensure
that the full market value of the permits is paid by the
bodies who acquire them
- make arrangements with state governments
and other stakeholders for enforcing the permit system
- ensure that the proceeds of sale
of permits are received by, or paid to, or applied for the benefit
of, all adults in the world equally
- ensure that the system of tradeable permits
is not abused
- ensure that the proceeds of sale of permits
are received by, or paid to, or applied for the benefit of, all
adults in the world equally.
- We envisage that there would be a wide
range of choice in the ways funds could be applied for people's
benefit, whether in terms of minimising climate change or
adapting to its effects, and that the Trust would have a wide
discretion as to how, and at what level, decisions were taken,
- facilitate the development of various
arrangements in individual countries relating to the administration
of the schemes managed by the Trust, applying the Schumacher
principle of subsidiarity, with power to delegate various
functions. Regional or national climate or atmosphere trusts could
be formed to administer local components of the Trust's schemes
The Trust will be fully resourced. The Trustees
should be entitled to refuse funding from any source if they consider
that it would prejudice the independence of the Trust. The Trust
would employ staff and may engage consultants. It would have to
acquire accommodation and whatever other property may be needed
in order to maintain its independence and operate effectively.
4. How the Trust would
The Trust would take its place amongst International
Organisations and develop working relationships with the UN and
other relevant bodies.
It is important to be clear about the limited
scope of this project:
- The powers and duties of governments
at all levels will be unaffected. They will be involved in developing
the Trust's schemes at the design stage. They will be invited
by the Trust to cooperate in the administration and policing of
the schemes within their jurisdictions.
- Addressing climate change is a massive
subject involving many kinds of mitigation to avoid or limit climate
change and many forms of adaptation to climate change that occurs.
Actions of many kinds will be required at every level from the
individual to the global. Thousands of schemes of many different
kinds are being developed at many levels. This project is about
one particular aspect of mitigation, namely emissions of global
warming gases from the use of fossil fuels and certain industrial
- This initiative is not directly concerned
with promoting schemes like Cap and Share
and Cap and Dividend at national or regional levels. Here
it may well be appropriate to work within existing governmental
and political systems.
The Trust would nevertheless be the leading
organisation in the world representing the interests of humanity
as a whole and future generations in relation to the particular
subject matter of the Trust. On this issue it will aim to become
the driving force at the head of a new global system comprising
scientists, state, regional and local governments, international
organisations such as the UNEP, commercial corporations, non-governmental
bodies and individuals learning how to take the best possible actions
to mitigate climate change.
The Trust might perhaps provide a model
for dealing with the management of other kinds of global commons.