What Bali Must Achieve

29 November 2007
Article
>Download the call as PDF We, the undersigned, call on governments, businesses, civil society, and the other institutions that set the rules of our economies to lead a systemic shift to stabilize our global climate by launching a global economic and energy transition. The December 3-14, 2008 meeting of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change in Bali, Indonesia, aims to agree on a mandate to negotiate a framework that will succeed the first phase of the Kyoto Protocol when it ends in 2012. We welcome UN Secretary General Mr. Ban Ki Moon’s recently reminding climate negotiators that, during the high-level event on climate change that convened in New York on 24 September 2007, world leaders made a strong call for negotiations to begin on a future comprehensive multilateral framework. Bali must begin a pathway toward new global agreements that recognize and operate within our planet’s limits and equitably share its ecological space. Our concern is that the scope and scale of the proposals being discussed dangerously underestimate the challenges confronting us and remain far from addressing the underlying causes of today’s climate crisis. We support the goal of creating deeper binding targets to reduce greenhouse gas emissions by at the very least 80 percent below 1990 levels by 2050, on average with solutions that place the greatest burden of adjustment on the richer nations, and the richer segments within all nations. Achieving these targets will involve dynamic actions at every level of our societies, with rich countries leading through commitments to cut emissions by increasing energy efficiency and reducing overall energy use (“powering down”), while at the same time enabling poorer nations to leapfrog over the rich nations’ dirty model of development to one that is equitable and sustainable. Adequate and equitable reductions in emissions require a fundamental reordering of priorities and the transformation of almost every aspect of the way we live. Today’s situation is desperate; for the full dimensions of the multiple crises we face, plus an outline of the necessary corrective steps, see the International Forum on Globalization and the Institute for Policy Studies’, “Manifesto on Global Economic Transitions” (September 2007, see www.ifg.org). To cut overall consumption while improving standards of living for the poor, we cannot get to where we need to be within 40 years by using current development models, measurements of economic growth, or today’s outdated rules governing trade, technology transfer, investment, and finance. Coherence in policies at both the national and international levels is essential to any meaningful multilateral effort. Immediate actions are urgently needed within the existing institutions, but we also have to rethink and transform global governance. New international instruments are needed. To create the truly transformational change in the global economy we call on governments to include in the forthcoming Bali Mandate a work program to re-write the much-needed rules, incentives, and institutions in order to transition our villages, cities, countries, and world toward socially just and ecologically sound economies. This parallel track of talks must acknowledge that the globe’s environmental challenges are multi-faceted and intertwined. They involve at their core the challenges of climate chaos, the end of cheap energy, accelerating species extinctions, and collapse in fresh water, fisheries, forests, and other vital natural resources and natural systems. Solutions to each should be solutions to all. These changes should aim to redefine development, and abandon economic growth as a primary goal. They must also drastically reduce consumption of energy and others resources, materials, and commodities, especially among northern industrialized nations. Incentives for conservation and re-localizing ownership, production and consumption are the fastest, cheapest most efficient means toward "powering down." We support movements toward subsidiarity that shift power away from global and national governance, and toward local economies, especially energy and food systems, as much as possible. In addition to national governmental representatives, this track of negotiations should involve local officials, social movement leaders, indigenous leaders, and thoughtful innovators of new ideas on renewable energy and sustainable forestry and agriculture transitions. Changing international institutions can create policy space to support bottom-up initiatives and help give greater visibility to innovative steps already taken at the local level (such as “transition towns” that are rapidly reducing energy needs and shifting energy supplies; many innovations of “green cities” that are making urban societies sustainable; the grassroots tree planting campaigns in Africa that empower women while mitigating greenhouse gas emissions; sustainable agriculture practices that are being undermined by current international trade rules and regimes; legal innovations that give communities control over their natural resources); the national level (such as carbon taxes, green border fees, and other programs to transform energy use); and the global level (such as the new UN Declaration on the Rights of Indigenous Peoples, and the more than 200 multilateral environmental agreements). A Bali Mandate on Global Economic and Energy Transitions can set forth a new negotiating process to solve the inter-related ecological crises enumerated above. Essential elements of a new architecture for global economic and energy governance include the following1:
  • Articulate and implement new development models which give priority not to economic growth per se, but to satisfying basic human rights and basic human needs for all (such as survival, sufficiency, freedom, identity). These basic human needs are required for genuine human happiness and well-being, and are needed by those in industrialized nations as well as developing nations. This requires a fundamental refocusing of policy priorities at all levels of government.
  • Replace today’s main measurement of economic well-being, Gross Domestic Product (GDP), with new economic indicators that measure meaningful progress toward economies designed to remain within the earth’s carrying capacity. Climate and other systemic ecological crises compel us to re-set the central guidepost of economic policymaking on a course that improves living standards while conserving natural wealth. Governments should invigorate the discussions about measures that account for natural wealth and peoples’ health, such as the Genuine Progress Indicator (GPI).
  • Create global trade and financial institutions so that their core mission supports these global transitions in an equitable and democratic fashion.[2] With the World Bank still funding over 15 times more fossil fuels than clean energy, and the World Trade Organization declaring how most of the measures governments are enacting to counter climate change could violate its overlapping agreements, a Bali Mandate must aim to develop recommendations for global economic policy coherence that ensures climate and overall ecological security. These adaptations should especially address the impact of current world trade rules on: 1) intellectual property, which make it very difficult to transfer clean energy technologies to poorer nations in affordable ways; 2) prohibitions that restrain governments from enacting climate measures such as energy-efficiency standards or support programs for sustainable energy; and 3) agriculture, which make it difficult for small farmers from developing countries to survive in the face of unsustainable, subsidized agribusiness in rich countries. International financial institutions must shift their own funding away from fossil fuels to clean energy.
  • Create a Global Financing Mechanism that enables economically poor but resource rich nations to keep their forests and biodiversity intact, and their fossil fuels under the ground, without sacrificing their own ecologically sustainable development (as Ecuador has recently offered to do with 20 percent of its oil).
  • Create a Global Clean Energy Fund that would generate finances from rich nations and the rich within all nations (through debt cancellation, green border fees, or fees on arm trade, or fees on speculative financial transactions across borders) to help poorer nations leapfrog over the dirty industrial paths of most rich nations. It is urgent that effective formulas for these transfers be successfully conceived, negotiated, agreed, and implemented at the soonest possible time, before the climate and resource emergencies get truly out of control. Many organizations are already hard at work on this. All alternative energy sources and technologies must be assessed for their systemic impacts on the atmosphere, biodiversity, water, soil, and universal human rights, so as to help the public and governments better decide between false solutions and genuinely sustainable climate stability alternatives. The internalization of social and ecological cost will drive ecological solutions that transform today’s patterns of production and consumption, replacing long-distance trade and absentee-ownership with decentralized economic activity under community control.
  • Adopt an Oil Depletion Protocol, which creates a framework for oil producing and consuming nations to reduce production and imports to keep ahead of the global depletion of oil supplies (as Sweden, Iceland, Cuba and a few other nations are already doing). We need to reduce global energy demand. As recent reports of runaway energy demand make clear, the world needs a crash diet to curb its overall energy consumption or it faces ecological catastrophe and violent conflicts over resources. The planet’s carrying capacity must be collectively measured and monitored, with an agreed program that both decreases over-consumption and redistributes real resources and wealth to the poorest, while taking meaningful measures to slow population growth that advance the economic, educational, and reproductive rights of women. Projections of energy needs are unnecessarily high and we can close the gap by powering down and re-localizing production and consumption cycles, led by the industrialized countries.
  • Adopt a UN Covenant on the Right to Water, which will be in ever shorter supply due to accelerating climate change and entrenched patterns of unsustainable development, to clarify the responsibility of governments to provide clean, affordable water to all citizens. The UN Covenant must recognize water as an ecological trust and oblige governments to take bold actions to ensure water conservation and water quality, as well as water equity.
  • Strengthen the United Nations’ overall system of multilateral environmental agreements (MEAs) to protect forests, fisheries, biodiversity, fragile ecosystems, and endangered species. Adequate resources for implementation and enforcement of the Convention on Biodiversity, the Convention on the Law of the Seas, the Convention on the International Trade in Endangered Species, and many others must be secured. Also, the legal relationship between MEAs, which sometimes may restrict trade, and the WTO, which generally prohibits restrictions on trade, must be clarified to establish a clear hierarchy of public values prioritizing people and the planet over profits for private corporations.
Just as one of the oldest global bodies, the International Labor Organization, includes representatives from governments, labor, and business, these new negotiations must involve all of the sectors of society to be effective. We call on our governments in Bali to accelerate a Global Energy and Economic Transition. Signed: 1. JOHN CAVANAGH, Institute for Policy Studies, US 2. JERRY MANDER, International Forum on Globalization, US 3. CHARLES ABUGRE, Christian Aid, UK and Ghana 4. AFRICA JUBILEE SOUTH 5. MOHIUDDIN AHMAD, Community Development Library, angladesh 6. AYODELE AKELE, Labour, Health and Health and Human Rights Development Centre, Nigeria 7. YOKO AKIMOTO, ATTAC Japan 8. SARAH ANDERSON, Institute for Policy Studies, US 9. TAKEMASA ANDO, ATTAC, Japan 10. MARCOS ARRUDA, Policy Alternatives for the Southern Cone (PACS), Brazil 11. TOM ATHANASIOU, EcoEquity, US 12. ATTAC-GERMANY 13. ROSMARIE BÄR, Alliance Sud, Berne, Switzerland 14. DEBI BARKER, International Forum on Globalization, US 15. HARRIET BARLOW, HKH Foundation, US 16. MAUDE BARLOW, Council of Canadians, Canada 17. DAVE BATKER, Earth Economics, US 18. WALDEN BELLO, Focus on the Global South, Philippines and Thailand 19. BRENT BLACKWELDER, Friends of the Earth US 20. PATRICK BOND, professor, University of KwaZulu-Natal School of Development Studies in South Africa 21. RICHARD BRAND, Church Development Service, Germany 22. THE BRETTON WOODS PROJECT 23. ROBIN BROAD, professor, American University, US 24. KENNY BRUNO, Oil Change International, US 25. NICOLA BULLARD, Focus on the Global South, Australia and Thailand 26. PETER BUNYARD, author, founding science editor of The Ecologist magazine, UK 27. TONY CLARKE, Polaris Institute, Canada 28. HÉLÈNE CONNOR, sustainable energy expert, France 29. CORPORATE ETHICS INTERNATIONAL, US 30. JUDITH DELLHEIM, AG Wirtschaftspolitik/Linke, Germany 31. MARIE DENNIS, Maryknoll Office for Global Concerns, US 33. FIONA DOVE, Transnational Institute, Netherlands and South Africa 34. MICHAEL DORSEY, professor, Dartmouth College 35. JARED DUVAL, author, former National Director, Sierra Student Coalition, US 36. ENVIRONMENTAL RIGHTS ACTION (ERA), Nigeria 37. ROSS GELBSPAN, author, The Heat Is On, and Boiling Point, US 38. SUSAN GEORGE, Transnational Institute, Netherlands & US 39. SVEN GIEGOLD, Attac/FoE, Germany 40. ARZE GLIPO, Asia-Pacific Network for Food Sovereignty (APNFS), Philippines 41. ERIC GOEMAN, Attac Flanders, Belgium 42. JEFF GOODELL, author, Big Coal, US 43. CLAIRE GREENSFELDER, International Forum on Globalization, Plutonium Free Future, US 44. JEAN GROSSHOLTZ, professor, Mount Holyoke College, US 45. GROUNDWORK, Friends of the Earth, South Africa 46. CÂNDIDO GRZYBOWSKI, Brazilian Institute of Social and Economic Analyses (IBASE), Brazil 47. DAVID HALLOWES, environmental researcher, UK 48. JIM HARKNESS, Institute for Agricultural & Trade Policy, US 49. RANDY HAYES, International Forum on Globalization, US 50. RICHARD HEINBERG, author, The Oil Depletion Protocol, US 51. HGSD. (Humanitarian Group for Social Development), Lebanon 52. SAUQUAT HUSSAIN, social activist, India 53. INDIAN SOCIAL ACTION FORUM—INSAF 54. INDIGENOUS ENVIRONMENTAL NETWORK, US 55. REINALDO ITURRIZA LÓPEZ, Universidad Central de Venezuela 56. WES JACKSON, The Land Institute, US 57. JUBILEE SOUTH 58. JUBILEO SUR AMERICAS 59. JUBILEE SOUTH—Asia/Pacific Movement on Debt and Development 60. ARJUN KARKI, South Asia Alliance for Poverty Eradication, Nepal 61. PRAJEENA KARMACHARYA, Rural Reconstruction Nepal 62. YOKO KITAZAWA, Japan Network on Debt & Poverty, Japan 63. THERESA KLOSTERMEYE, Network of Young Altermondialists (NOYA), Germany 64. SMITU KOTHARI, Intercultural Resources, India 65. DAVID KORTEN, author, The Great Turning, US 66. FRIEDERIKE KRESSNER, BUNDjugend (Young Friends of the Earth, Germany 67. STEVE KRETZMANN, Oil Change International, US 68. TOM KUCHARZ, Ecologistas en Acción, Spain 69. EDGARDO LANDER, professor, Universidad Central de Venezuela 70. SARA LARRAIN, Chilean Ecological Action Network (RENACE), Chile 71. JOHANNES LAUTERBACH, Attac, Germany 72. IVAN LESAY, CEE Bankwatch-CEPA, Slovakia 73.CAROLINE LUCAS, Member of European Parliament, UK 74. STEPHANIE LUSBY, Jubilee Australia 75. ESPERANZA MARTINEZ, Accion Ecologica, Ecuador 76. NADIA MARTINEZ, Institute for Policy Studies, US 77. BILL MCKIBBEN, Step It Up, and professor, Middlebury College, US 78. HELEN N. MENDOZA, SOLJUSPAX, Philippines 79. VICTOR MENOTTI, International Forum on Globalization, US 80. ROBERTO MEREGALLI, Tradewatch, Italy 81. HORST MEYER, Initiativkreis Energie Kraichgau, Germany 82. M.C. JUAN SIFUENTES MIJARES, Red Mexicana de Acción Frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC) 83. MARIO BLADIMIR MONROY GÓMEZ, Red Mexicana de Acción Frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC) 84. BHUMIKA MUCHHALA, Bank Information Center, US and Indonesia 85. IRFAN MUFTI, Global Call to Action Against Poverty (GCAP), South Africa 86. PAT MURPHY, Community Solution, US 87. SAMUEL NGUIFFO, CED (Environment and Development Center), Cameroon 88. HELENA NORBERG-HODGE, International Society for Ecology and Culture, Sweden 89. IKE OKONTA, co-author, Where Vultures Feast: Shell, Human Rights and Oil, Nigeria 90. MARCELA OROZCO, Red Mexicana de Acción frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC) 91. TOMAS OSCHMANN, Bündnis 90 / Die Grünen, Germany 92. HERMANN OTT, author, The Kyoto Protocol?, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment and Energy, Germany 93. TAD PATZEK, professor, University of California at Berkeley, US and Poland 94. RUTH PAULIG, MdL, Umweltpolitische Sprecherin, Germany 95. ELIZABETH PEREDO, Fundacion Solón, Bolivia 96. CHARLY POPPE, Friends of the Earth Europe, Belgium 97. JONAS POSSELT, BUNDjugend (Young Friends of the Earth) Germany 98. SAJIN PRACHASON Focus on the Global South, Thailand 99. TOM PRINCEN, Author, The Logic of Sufficiency, US 100. PUBLIC SERVICES INTERNATIONAL 101. MEGAN QUINN BACHMAN, Community Solution, US 102. VINOD RAINA, Alternatives Asia, India 103. SIMON RETALLACK, climate change author and campaigner, UK 104. TOM REIFER, Transnational Institute, Netherlands 105. IAN RIVERA, KALAYAAN-Pilipinas, Philippines 106. WOLFGANG SACHS, Wuppertal Institute for Climate, Environment, and Energy, Germany 107. JACK SANTA BARBARA, Sustainable Scale Project, Santa Barbara Family Foundation, Canada 108. VANDANA SHIVA, Research Foundation for Science, Technology and Natural Resource Policy, India 109. ANDREW SIMMS, the New Economics Foundation, UK 110. ATOSSA SOLTANI, Amazon Watch, US and Iran 111. TAKAFUMI SUZUKI, Space Allies/Arise Law Office, Japan 112. AMADOU TAAL, Worldview, The Gambia 113. VICTORIA TAULI-CORPUZ, Tebtebba Foundation, The Philippines 114. DAVID TUCKER, Pachamama Alliance, US 115. BILL TWIST, Pachamama Alliance, US 116. SERGIO ULGIATI, professor, Parthenope University of Napoli, Italy 117. ALEJANDO VILLAMAR, Red Mexicana de Acción Frente al Libre Comercio (RMALC), Mexico 118. PETER WAHL, WEED—World Economy, Ecology & Development, Germany 119. PAUL WAPNER, professor, American University, US 120. MASAHIRO WATARIDA, Globalization Watch Hiroshima, Japan 121. ROBERT WEISSMAN, Essential Action, US 122. DALE WEN, International Forum on Globalization, US and China 123. SUZANNE YORK, International Forum on Globalization, US 124. MONA ZIEGLER, Initiative 'Aufbruch—anders besser leben’, Germany 125. GABRIELE ZIMMER, Member of European Parliament, Germany (List in formation. Note: Organizations are for identification purposes only.) 1 These proposals are elaborated in the September 9, 2007 paper by the Institute for Policy Studies and the International Forum on Globalization entitled: Steps Towards a Global Grand Bargain.