Earth Constitution

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John Bunzl:

"As opposed to some form of world government, “effective global cooperation” would mean an international agreement or treaty that is entered into by all or sufficient nation-states such that global problems can be properly addressed.

The principles underlying such an agreement could be:

1. Simultaneity: The provisions of the agreement would be implemented by all or sufficient nations simultaneously. In that way, capital and corporations could not play one nation off against another. All nations would win.

2. Give and take: The contents of any agreement would cover multiple issues so that what a nation might lose on one issue, it can gain on another. For example, if a climate agreement were paired with a global wealth tax or currency transactions tax, the vast proceeds from the tax could be used to compensate those nations having the highest costs to cut their emissions. (It is the absence of such a multi-issue approach which explains why existing UN efforts are failing).

3. Policies, not targets: Such an agreement would not consist simply of targets. Rather, it would be an agreement on precisely what policy actions each nation will implement to achieve the agreed targets. Each nation will therefore know precisely what every other nation will implement, and when, and what the likely effect on its economic competitiveness will be. (It is the lack of such transparency that contributes to the uncertainty and inaction we see today).

4. Not a one-size-fits-all: The contents of any agreement need not be the same for all nations. For example, rather than the rate of corporate taxation being identical in all countries, the agreement could be that all nations would increase their rate by an agreed percentage. In that way, every nation’s competitiveness would be maintained but the amount of tax revenue raised to fund public services would increase dramatically.

5. Democratic wherever possible: The contents of such an agreement would not be determined by national governments alone. At least in democratic nations, citizens (or their chosen experts) could determine the contents while at the same time declaring their intention to give strong voting preference at all national elections to candidates who have signed a pledge to implement the agreement, to the probable exclusion of those who refuse. In that way, not only would such an agreement be highly democratic, but politicians would also have an electoral incentive to sign the pledge while those who refused could risk losing their seats. With more and more parliamentary seats and even whole elections being won or lost on fine margins, it need not necessarily take a majority of citizens to cause political parties and governments to support the agreement.

In countries that are not democratic, the government itself would be invited to join the international negotiations at an appropriate time. It should be noted that the voluntary structure outlined above means that no nation has anything to lose by joining such a process and, as the world steadily deteriorates, each will have much to gain.

In that way, all nations regardless of their political culture or system can be included in such an agreement while citizens (at least those in democratic countries) would have a strong influence over its contents."


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