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Winner Spotlight: Global 4C Mitigation

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The idea for the Global 4C Mitigation proposal was initiated by Dr. Delton Chen in August 2013 at Al Gore’s Climate Reality workshop in Istanbul, Turkey, and was conceived on the intuition that a new currency should be developed to globally finance greenhouse gas (GHG) mitigation. Dr. Chen independently created and tested the basic theory while traveling in Eastern Europe and Central America in 2013

This year, the proposal was recognized in Climate CoLab’s Land Use: Agriculture, Livestock and Forestry contest as a 2014 Judge’s Choice Winner and in December 2014, the project made the prestigious shortlist of finalists for the Climate Finance Innovation Award, managed by UNDP MDG Carbon and Mitsubishi UFJ Morgan Stanley Securities Co. Ltd.

Here’s more from the team:

The initial monetary policy was conceived through storytelling. A fictional metaphorical story, based on a pre-Columbian Mayan society, was first written through which the monetary policy was introduced to solve a hypothetical problem of severe deforestation. The monetary policy involves a complementary currency that can minimize political conflict and improve cooperation amongst tribal clans. We would like to share this story in written format, and eventually as a YouTube animation.

   2014 Judge’s Choice Winner, Delton Chen of Global 4C Mitigation Policy

The political storyline, a technical report and a spreadsheet model were developed after 29 days of continuous work whilst Delton was visiting Ometepe Island in Nicaragua (September 2013). After this preliminary work was developed, Delton then found that there were similar findings in a field of monetary study called “complementary currencies”. It was then possible to compare Global 4C (independently devised) with the other proposals that already exist in the public domain, but were not initially known when Global 4C was developed.

One of the first people to review Global 4C was Joel van der Beek (EconoVision, Rotterdam) who has since been a key supporter of this project. Jonathan Cloud (Centre of Regenerative Community Solutions) came on board in January 2014 as policy host for sponsorship applications. Since then we have connected with about 8 PhD economists who have provided intellectual contributions for our first journal publication (work in progress) that will explain the basic economic concepts.

   2014 Judge’s Choice Winner, Joel Van Der Beek of Global 4C Mitigation Policy

Global 4C Mitigation recommends the innovative use of new digital media for currency trading and creating social networks for GHG mitigation. Global 4C digital currency need not be seen as a threat to the established economic system, but rather we expect that a new international currency can be established from the top-down in a manner that is supportive of national priorities. Most banking money is already digital in form, and so the radical shift that is proposed by Global 4C is a new monetary policy and a revision to the ‘Unit of Account’ of modern money: in effect we propose a systemic change to the global economy that can enable strong and lasting changes for the conservation of our atmosphere, ecosystems and natural resources. Evidence suggests that the existing (conventional) economic system is fundamentally flawed. Global 4C provides some inspiration because it tends to avoid conflict within the economic hierarchy, and it may be used to create a self-funding currency bull market during the 21st century.

  2014 Judge’s Choice Winner, Jonathan Cloud of Global 4C Mitigation Policy

The Global 4C Mitigation proposal is a team effort. Since inception in August 2013, the Global 4C team has grown to about 12 volunteers. Our team’s contact information are found at www.g4cm.org. The executive team comprises Jonathan Cloud (Executive Director of crcsolutions.org & Policy Host),  Dr Joel Van der Beek (Manager EconoVision & Community Sponsor), Dr Delton Chen (Lead Author and Coordintor), and Theresa Carbonneau (Strategic Business Consultant). We also have a talented pool of PhD economists from Vietnam, Finland, India, Serbia and elsewhere. The team also includes volunteers in IT and digital currencies.

What inspired you to submit a proposal to the Climate CoLab and how did the proposal idea develop?

We were inspired by MIT Climate CoLab‘s invitation for new and unorthodox ideas to address climate change. We were further motivated to enter the 2014 Climate CoLab Competition because we felt strongly that we should communicate our Global 4C Mitigation (G4CM) proposal to the wider world during its development. We also believe that the Creative Commons License is appropriate because a G4CM policy could potentially change the global economy with the introduction of a globalized (government-sponsored) currency for mitigating GHGs and protecting terrestrial bio-diversity. Trust is vital in the digital communications age, and so it is hoped that our open publication on the MIT Climate CoLab will help us gain some trust in terms of the origins of this work.

What was the best thing that came out of being a part of the Climate CoLab?

The challenge of the Climate CoLab competition allowed each team member to show their support in the areas of their competency. I would especially like to thank Frankie (Phu Viet Le), a PhD economist from Berkeley University, and Jan Kunnas (PhD economist from Finland) for pushing our team to do better. It has been rewarding to receive constructive contributions from academic professionals working in various institutions and countries. Bernard Lietaer contacted us because of our work on the MIT Climate CoLab, and his advice was helpful. I have since spoken to at least two other experts on currency and economics because of the MIT competition. This kind of objective feedback is hugely valuable because the Global 4C Mitigation proposal is multi-disciplinary and no individual is an expert in all disciplines. 

What words of wisdom keep you inspired?

“…the current money system is the crucial part of the overall sustainability ‘problem’ and a vital part of any solution. … this Missing Link is an absolute imperative for economists, environmentalists and anyone else trying to address sustainability at a national, regional or global level. Aiming for sustainability without restructuring our money system is a naïve approach, doomed to failure.”

Lietaer et al. (2012). Money and Sustainability The Missing Link. A report from the Club of Rome – EU Chapter to Finance Watch and the World Business Academy. Bernard Lietaer, Christian Arnsperger, Sally Goerner, and Stefan Brunnhuber. (216 pp., Executive Summary, 18pp). Triarchy Press. (2012).

Check out the winning proposal here!

See other Spotlights of Climate CoLab winners, Fellows and Advisors here: https://www.climatecolab.org/web/guest/search#search=searchPhrase:spotlight