OPINION: G7 leaders should end not just coal, but also oil and gas finance in 2021

June 10, 2021
Ahead of the G7 summit, more than 100 economists issued a letter calling on G7 countries to commit to shift their finance out of all fossil fuels (not just coal) this year, to enable a green pandemic recovery.

You can read the full letter here.

Among the signers were GTN members Andrew Simms, Ashok Khosla, Inge Røpke, Juliet Schor, Kate Raworth, Michael Pirson, and Neva Goodwin.

Nobel Prize Laureates and Other Experts Issue Urgent Call for Action After ‘Our Planet, Our Future’ Summit

May 04, 2021
Last week, following the 2021 Nobel Prize Summit, a group of Nobel laureates and other experts, including GTN member Johan Rockström, issued a call for far-reaching global action on climate change and other global crises:

We need to reinvent our relationship with planet Earth. The future of all life on this planet, humans and our societies included, requires us to become effective stewards of the global commons — the climate, ice, land, ocean, freshwater, forests, soils, and rich diversity of life that regulate the state of the planet, and combine to create a unique and harmonious life-support system. There is now an existential need to build economies and societies that support Earth system harmony rather than disrupt it.

You can read the full letter -- and list of signers -- here.

An open letter to Joe Biden on International Corporate Taxation

March 01, 2021
Jayati Ghosh, Jose Antonio Ocampo, and Joseph E. Stiglitz penned an open letter to US President Joe Biden calling on him to lead on comprehensive, multilateral tax reform to eliminate tax evasion and avoidance. Read the full letter here and an excerpt below:

As members of the Independent Commission for the Reform of International Corporate Taxation (ICRICT), we urge you to fulfill your promise to “lead efforts internationally to bring transparency to the global financial system, go after illicit tax havens, seize stolen assets, and make it more difficult for leaders who steal from their people to hide behind anonymous front companies.” To do that, your administration should engage actively in ongoing efforts to overhaul the international tax system to ensure fair taxation of multinationals, which is currently being discussed within the G20-mandated OECD process.

Unfortunately, these negotiations have not gone well. The governments of leading member states (including the previous US administration) have negotiated under the misplaced assumption that their national interest is best served by protecting those multinationals headquartered within their borders. Discussions on the reform of international taxation have thus sacrificed common ambition to the lowest common denominator.

Jayati Ghosh Named by UN to High-Level Advisory Board on Economic, Social Affairs

January 28, 2021
GTN member Jayati Ghosh is among 20 prominent economists appointed by the United Nations to a high-level advisory board that will provide recommendations for the UN Secretary-General to respond to the current and future socio-economic challenges in the post-COVID-19 world. You can find the full list here.

Amsterdam Embraces "Doughnut Economics"

January 25, 2021
Time Magazine recently profiled the ity of Amsterdam's embrace of Kate Raworth's "doughnut economics." Read an excerpt below and the full article here.

In April 2020, during the first wave of COVID-19, Amsterdam’s city government announced it would recover from the crisis, and avoid future ones, by embracing the theory of “doughnut economics.” Laid out by British economist Kate Raworth in a 2017 book, the theory argues that 20th century economic thinking is not equipped to deal with the 21st century reality of a planet teetering on the edge of climate breakdown. Instead of equating a growing GDP with a successful society, our goal should be to fit all of human life into what Raworth calls the “sweet spot” between the “social foundation,” where everyone has what they need to live a good life, and the “environmental ceiling.” By and large, people in rich countries are living above the environmental ceiling. Those in poorer countries often fall below the social foundation. The space in between: that’s the doughnut.

Upstream Two-Part Documentary Series on a Basic Income

September 16, 2020
In a recent two-part series for Upstream Podcast, Della Duncan explores the idea of a universal basic income, interviewing economists, practitioners, and everyday people about this proposal and how it can contribute to a social and economic transformation.

Interviewees include the following:
  • Julianna Bidadanure - Assistant professor in political philosophy at Stanford University
  • Doug Henwood - Journalist, economic analyst, and writer whose work has been featured in Harper’s, Jacobin Magazine, and The Nation
  • Rutger Bregman - Journalist and author of Utopia for Realists: The Case for a Universal Basic Income, Open Borders and a 15-hour Workweek
  • Kathi Weeks - Marxist feminist scholar, Associate Professor of Women’s Studies at Duke University and author of The Problem with Work: Feminism, Marxism, Antiwork Politics, and Postwork Imaginaries
  • Eric Richardson - A recipient of basic income / Mincome
  • Evelyn Forget - Economist and professor in the Department of Community Health Sciences at the University of Manitoba and Academic Director of the Manitoba Research Data Centre ​
  • Erik Olin Wright - Marxist scholar and sociology professor at the University of Wisconsin, Madison
  • Matt Bruenig - Writer, researcher, and founder of the People's Policy Project
  • Richard Wolff - Marxist economist, economics professor emeritus at University of Massachusetts, Amherst, founder of Democracy at Work, and host of the weekly radio show Economic Update
  • Martin Kirk - Co-founder and Director of Strategy at The Rules
  • Manda Scott- Novelist, columnist, and broadcaster
  • Sofa Gradin -Sofa Gradin - Political Organizer and Lecturer in Politics at King's College in London ​
Listen to episode one here and episode two here.

Walden Bello, Jayati Ghosh, and Ashish Kothari featured in ourVoices Podcast

Posted by Jonathan Cohn

June 25, 2020
Jayati Ghosh, Yanis Varoufakis, Walden Bello, and Ashish Kothari were featured guests on a recent episode of openDemocracy's podcast ourVoices. On it, they and other insightful guests dicuss how the rules of today’s global economy are skewed in favour of large corporations and financial institutions. You can listen here.

Is Race Real? A Discussion with Dr. Rasigan Maharajh

Posted by Rasigan Maharajh

June 18, 2020

Racism is making headlines as yet another Black person is the victim of extrajudicial assassination by the US police force. More people are engaging in protest than ever before, but how many of us even understand what we mean by the term "race"? Join Peace Vigil as Dr. Rasigan Maharajh from the Institute of Economic Research on Innovation at Tshwane University of Technology explains.

Video available here

Interview with Gus Speth in Yes! Magazine

February 25, 2019

In the case Juliana vs. the United States, 21 young people brought a suit against the US government for promoting the fossil fuel industry despite being well aware of the dangers of climate change. Since the case was filed in 2015, the US government has tried repeatedly to block it from having its day in court.

One of the experts with whom the youths have consulted is Gus Speth, an Associate Fellow at Tellus and member of the Great Transition Network (among many other things in his illustrious career). He discusses the case and the history of inaction on climate change from presidents over the past 40 years in an enlightening interview with Yes! Magazine.

Despite the obstacles ahead, Speth makes clear tha the fight is far from over:

Thousands and thousands of the smartest people in our country have pushed hard for 40 years, and to see so little actually accomplished is disturbing. We’re up against the huge power of the fossil fuel industry; the extraordinary ideological opposition to the federal government doing anything important; money going into disinformation campaigns that people readily bought into. And it’s still going on.

It is a sure sign in my view that we need to change the system of political economy in which we are struggling. It’s sobering, as I say. But not discouraging, because we’re still fighting.

You can read the full interview here.

Civic Charter Launched by International Civil Society Centre

December 01, 2016

The Civic Charter, an initiative led by the International Civil Society Centre, was oficially launched at Global Perspectives 2016 in Berlin (Germany) on October 26. Developed through international consultations, it presents an opportunity to align efforts and develop new action initiatives to protect and expand civic space.

The preamable of the Charter reads:

We, the people have the right and the duty to participate in shaping our societies

Human rights and fundamental freedoms are increasingly violated worldwide. In a growing number of countries, people and their organisations face severe restrictions and are deprived of their rights to participate in shaping their societies. Activists are threatened, persecuted, imprisoned, tortured and killed. Legitimate civil society organisations are hindered in their work, deprived of funding, forbidden to operate and dissolved. Avenues for people’s participation in public decision-making are restricted or closed down.

Yet, unless people genuinely participate, the world will be unable to overcome its most threatening challenges, including persistent poverty, growing inequality, and climate change.

People’s individual and collective participation brings life and gives meaning to democracy. It is vital in protecting human rights, achieving development and building just, tolerant and peaceful societies. It ensures that those who hold public offices, or other positions of power, are held accountable for their actions, and working for the common good.

We reject any attempt to prevent people from participating in shaping their communities, their countries and our common planet.

The Civic Charter provides a framework for people’s participation

The Civic Charter is grounded in our common humanity and universally accepted freedoms and principles. It provides a framework for people’s participation that identifies their rights within existing international law and agreements.

It is imperative that all governments, all levels of public administration, international institutions, business and civil society organisations worldwide fully respect and implement the provisions of this Charter.

You can read the rest of the Charter along with the list of signatories (including a number of GTN members) here.