Newsletter 10 / 2011

Encouraging Debate About Sustainability Nation-Wide
Dennis L. Meadow's simulation game "Stratagem"
- Background Information -
New Study "Who Owns Economic Education?"
September 27 was "Earth Overshoot Day"
The Encyclopedia of Life
- Plant-for-the-Planet -
Dear Wangari, your Legacy Will Live on in the Young Generation
National Conference and Camp for Youth & Children "Let's Take Care of Egypt"
- Current Issues -
European Financial Transactions Tax
CIVICUS World Assembly 2011
- Opinion -
Notes on the American Plutocracy, the Financial Economy and the Wrecking of the Real Economy
- Press Coverage -
Press Room

 



News

Encouraging Debate About Sustainability Nation-Wide

More than 3,000 students have taken part - 3 more events planned

 

In 2010 the Global Marshall Plan Foundation, along with five other supporting organisations, launched the nationwide project "University Program: Eco-Social Market Economy and Sustainability." Since then, 8 successful and inspiring events have been held and 4 of these events were organised thanks to local Global Marshall Plan Groups.

The six organizations that first initiated this project - the Doktoranden-Netzwerk Nachhaltiges Wirtschaften (DNNW), the German Association of the Club of Rome (DGCoR), the Global Marshall Plan Foundation, the Research Institute for the circulation of Knowledge in Ulm (FAW / n), the Eco-Social Market Economy Forum and the Eco-Social Forum Germany (OESF) -  have reached more than 3,000 students and future decision makers through the organization of University Day events. 

When organizing and designing an event, students are encouraged to work together with the official organizers to devise the program and individual modules and to contribute any other innovative ideas they may have.
These events present information in a variety of ways including: lectures, workshops, panel discussions, information stands, consumer city tours and film screenings. You can see past examples here in the online version of the 2010 University Day year book (German).

The Global Marshall Plan Foundation hosts one of the three project offices and is more than happy to offer help and advice. The project office overs advise and support with the organization of University Day's and can also provide expert lecturers. If you or your local Global Marshall Plan group are interested in holding a University Day event, please contact Gisela Wohlfahrt from the Global Marshall Plan project office at hochschultage@globalmarshallplan.org.

The next University Day event, organized by supporters of the Global Marshall Plan Initiative, will take place on the 12th of November 2011 at Schweinfurt University in Germany. Everyone is welcome to attend this event. Experienced executives, professors and specialists will provide expert information on how everyone can take social responsibility, and make a contribution to achieving a world in balance. Read more here (German).

In the next few months University Days will be held on:

19.10. at the University of Halle, 11-12.11. at the LMU in Munich, 12.11. at the University of Schweinfurt, from 25-27.11 at the TU Dresden and at 03.12. at the University of Ulm.

 More events are planned for 2012. For more information please visit www.hochschultage.org.

 

 

Dennis L. Meadow's simulation game "Stratagem"

The Global Marshall Plan Foundation offers information for interested parties

Dennis L. Meadows is an American economist and professor, who in 1972 was a co-author of the study entitled "Limits to Growth" which was commissioned by the Club of Rome. In this study he systematically considered varying future scenarios. The key conclusions were: "If the current increase in world population, industrialization,,etc., continues as it has, we will reach the world's absolute growth limit within the next 100 years." (P. 17)

Over the years Meadows has developed a range of simulation games and methods designed to encourage people to think about these theories. One of the more complex simulation games is "Stratagem":

"Stratagem" simulates a country's economy in a simplified form. Each player takes on a role as a "Minister" and makes important decisions within their jurisdiction. A computer program then analyses the decisions based on past situations and insights.


The goal of “Stratagem” is to reach a stable, sustainable, highly productive society. A common outcome experienced by players is stagnation, when growth in the population offsets all gains in the economy.

Participants learn how to make decisions within a team and the game also raises awareness about the consequences of varying economic decisions.

Employees from the Global Marshall Plan were trained as "Stratagem-moderators" by Professor Meadows in a
CLUB OF ROME European Support Centre training session. If you are interested you are welcome to call the Global Marshall Plan Foundation for further information about the simulation game.

Here you can see a short statement by Dennis Meadows:

 

 

(Picture Source: European Support Centre CLUB OF ROME)

 


 

- Background Information -

 

 

 

 

New Study "Who Owns Economic Education?"

The influence of trade associations and big business on economics classes in schools

 

Businesses and trade associations should not be allowed to act as the sole representatives of the economy. Activists from the union, environmental organisations and consumer associations also have critical insight and contributions to make. In the spirit of democracy all actors should have the right to contribute to education programs about the economy. It is the responsibility of politicians and civil society to ensure that the content of educational programs about the economy isn’t left purely in the hands of big business conglomerates. 

During the Initiatives annual meeting members from the local Global Marshall Plan group in Hamburg highlighted the reality that as a consequence of the significant influence of the business sector, students receive a one-sided education about the economy. In a recent study entitled “Who owns economic education?” many concerning points are raised. 
This network study, which was written by the Initiative to promote the need for better economic education (iböb), elucidates the engagement that business associations and corporate foundations have with economic education in German schools (where the study was carried out). As the study shows these actors, who are also loosely connected lobbyists, have built a well-funded political education network. 


Trade associations and corporations are determining the structure of events, curriculum and also teacher training programs. This influence reaches far and has an impact for students all around the country. These events and materials have lead to a one-sided economic education, which reflects the interests of the private business sector and the economic position of liberal-conservative politics.

Within the current education structure of Germany, there is little to no room for independent thinking or judgment. It is extremely difficult to find alternative approaches that provide a broader picture of the different facets of the economy. How does it work in other countries?

Can you help to provide positive alternatives for economic education? Perhaps you can investigate how the educational materials at schools near you are prepared and raise the issue of economic education at the next parent night. You could also read the study (German) and discuss the findings with the teachers. 

Alternatively you can take action within the education system yourself. Some local Global Marshall Plan groups have already been active and working to raise awareness in German schools. You can learn more about their activities on the Smenos platform online(German). There you can learn about their experiences and outcomes which will then help guide your own ideas and actions. 

You can download the complete study here

Picture source: lobbycontrol.de
 

 

September 27 was "Earth Overshoot Day"

Humanity surpassed nature's budget for the year

According to calculations made by the Global Footprint Network, this year's "Earth Overshoot Day" was September 27, 2011. This day marks the point in the year when humanity has used up all the ecological services that the planet is sustainably able to provide in one year and helps conceptualize the degree to which we are over-budget in our use of nature. After approximately nine months, we have already demanded a level of ecological services – from the production of food and raw materials to the filtering of our carbon dioxide emissions— equivalent to what the planet can provide for all of 2011. From an ecological standpoint, we have already spent our annual salary, with a quarter of the year still to go.

President of the Global Footprint Network, Dr. Mathis Wackernagel links the current crises in the rise of food prices and the crippling effects of climate change to the serious depletion of resources that humanity has practised in the past. If we keep on living beyond our means, using up more resources than nature can provide, we will not be able to maintain our current lifestyles for long. The Global Footprint Network calculates the "Earth Overshoot Day" every year and has seen that this day is coming earlier and earlier each year. The network’s preliminary calculations for 2011 showed that we are now using resources at such a rate that we would need 1.2 to 1.5 planets to sustainably support our lifestyle. Of course it is not possible to determine with 100 per cent accuracy the exact moment when we would have busted our budget. Hence, "Earth Overshoot Day" is intended as an estimate and a symbolic event, rather than as an exact date.

 

This year's "Earth Overshoot Day" coincides with the UN's projection that the world population will reach 7 billion in late October 2011. This raises the question as to how the world will deal with the increasing needs of a growing population while resources continue to be further depleted. Dr. Juan Carlos Morales, Global Footprint Network Director of Research and Standards says that it is possible for everyone on earth to have a good life, but not with the resource-intensive development and growth models used so far. New ideas and models have to be applied that will limit demand on ecological assets and maintain the resources that we still have for future generations. Despite the global economic crisis, demand for resources continues to growing, although this growth is slower than in the years prior to 2008. Now is the time for a new approach – we need to move away from treating resources as though they are limitless and start using them as prudently and carefully as we do our financial reserves. The Global Footprint Network and its partners work on solutions to close the ecological budget gap and provide for a prosperous future in the face of challenging resource trends.

Click here for more information.

(Bildquelle: Global Footprint Network)

 

The Encyclopedia of Life

Raising awareness about life on earth

 

It is a central belief of the Global Marshall Plan Initiative that knowledge is power, and that it is critical that awareness be raised throughout society. The Encyclopedia of Life (EOL) also shares this vision and believes that everyone should have access to current information about the creatures and organisms living on our earth. Since the official public launch in February 2008 the EOL has been providing an ever growing platform offering extensive information about all things biological.

The initial goal of the EOL was to offer a web page for every species on earth and with 35 million pages of scanned literature, they are well on their way.  The EOL sources its information from museums, learned societies, expert scientists and other trusted sources from around the world. Content for the website is continually being approved and reviewed by more than 700 curators and staff from contributing institutions all around the world. The five original EOL cornerstone institutions included the Field Museum, Harvard University, the Marine Biological Laboratory, Missouri Botanical Garden and the Smithsonian Institution. 

On the 5th of September this year a new and improved version of the EOL was released.  The new edition was designed in response to suggestions and requests made by the users and contributors themselves, thus making this online database even more user friendly than before. The website also now supports contributions from, and interaction between its users.

The EOL currently provides information on more than 700,000 species of animals, plants, fungi, bacteria and protists from 176 reputable content providers. This informative and inspiring site is constantly expanding and is most definitely worth a visit.

Picture Source: Pinus Strobus, Saturnia pavonia, Zanclus Cornutus, Fungi


 

 

- Plant-for-the-Planet -

 

 

 

 

Dear Wangari, your Legacy Will Live on in the Young Generation

We children of the world will fulfil your vision

You were such an inspiring personality. You will continue to live in thousands of children. We children will fulfil your vision!
You will be proud of us while looking down to earth!
Felix



Every person who has ever achieved anything has been knocked down many times. But all of them picked themselves up and kept going, and that is what I have always tried to do.

You cannot protect the environment unless you empower people, you inform them, and you help them understand that these resources are their own, that they must protect them.
Wangari Maathai




Teaserphoto: Deutsche Welle

 

 

National Conference and Camp for Youth & Children "Let's Take Care of Egypt"

From 11-14 September in Hurghada, at the Red Sea in Eastern Egypt, children presented Plant-for-the-Planet and planted trees

 

The Regional Camp for Youth & Children "Let's Take Care of Egypt" was held in Sindbad Aqua Park Hotel from 11-14 September in Hurghada at the border of the Red Sea. In collaboration with Egypt's Ministry of Environment and Ministry of Tourism, 300 youth and children from all Egypt attended the conference to learn about the environment and climate crisis.

The participants listened to four students from Plant-for-the-Planet who explained the climate crisis in Arabic and English and how to become active now. They listened to a "Stop talking. Start planting." song and planted 350 tree in Hurghada city to support the International Year of Forests.

They signed the following declaration:

OUR COMMITMENTS

We, the delegates of 2011 Let's Take Care of Egypt Children's Conference on the Environment, held in Hurgada, Egypt from 10 to 13 September 2011, have committed to undertake the following:

ENERGY
•    Reduce our reliance on cars by walking, using bicycles and public transport more often. 
•    Encourage children and adults to car-pool.
•    Turn off lights when not in use.
•    Switch off appliances and entertainment systems at the mains, and not leave on standby modes.
•    Support and campaign for the use of renewable energy.
•    Encourage the use of energy-saving bulbs or globes.
•    Reduce the need for indoor heating by dressing up warmly.


WATER
•    Take shorter showers to reduce water usage.
•    Close all taps properly to minimize water wastage.
•    Not dump any material or waste into rivers and oceans.
•    Participate in Beach and River Clean-up campaigns.
•    Reuse water.
•    Use more recycled water
•    Where possible, use cold water instead of heated water


BIODIVERSITY
•    Plant a tree on every birthday.
•    Encourage and teach others not to over-fish, over-hunt and over-eat.
•    Reduce deforestation through campaigns, education and tree planting initiatives.
•    Help preserve endangered species of plants and animals.
•    Participate in environmental awareness campaigns in our school, community and in our region.

SUSTAINABLE PRODUCTION AND CONSUMPTION
•    Eat local and organic food, whenever possible.
•    Minimize use of plastic bags and paper.
•    Buy Fair Trade* Products.
•    Reduce consumption, e.g. eat less, re-use, and only buy when really necessary.
 

 

 

 

- Current Issues -

 

 

 

 

European Financial Transactions Tax

President of the EU-Commission, Barroso, presents the proposal

 

One of the 5 key goals of the Global Marshall Plan Initiative is to establish a fair and neutral means for raising funds for the implementation of constructive development and environemntal policies and also to counteract the strain of global transactions. The implementation of an EU-wide financial transactions tax (FTT), which was discussed earlier this year in the July newsletter, is looking more and more promising.

After lengthy discussions and a great deal of pressure from civil society, Attac and other social movements, the president of the EU-Commission, Barroso, finally drafted a bill on the 28.09.2011 for the introduction of a European Financial Transactions Tax.

 

"A number of suggestions from civil society have been incorporated in the design of the FTT and these points will be maintained as the proposal continues to be reworked" said Peter Wahl, representative of the development organisation Weed which is in the the steering group for the campaign for "tax against poverty."

 

"For the finance lobby this would mean total defeat", said Peter Wahl. "Our proposal to raise the tax in the respective countries, will also be incorporated. In doing so the means of escape from this tax are made much more difficult: The only option to avoid it would be a complete relocation of corporate headquarters, which in most cases would prove more expensive than staying and paying the tax. The range of financial products have also been praised by the campaign."

The campaign, however, is dissapointed with the proposed tax rate of just 0.01 percent for derivatives, which are especially destabilising for the market. As a result the revenue raised by the tax would be given away and the moderation of the venture would be constrained. Likewise improvements in the foreign exchange (forex) would be made difficult. 

There are still many hurdles to be faced before the proposal becomes an official and binding EU-law. Governments of the EU member countries are now asked to make a commitment to further regulate the financial markets. In Germany, this especially concerns Chancellor Merkel and Minister for Finance, Schäuble. The other coalition party within the German government, the Free Democrats (FDP), announced that it would boycott the European Financial Transactions Tax if Britain decided to stay out of it. In order for the tax to be passed, it is crucial that as many countries as possible adopt the tax, even those outside of Europe. Should Britain still decide to boycott the tax, it could only be introduced nationally within the member states and not EU-wide. Such local financial transactions taxes already exist, ironically in cities such as Hong Kong and London.

In order to convince as many countries as possible to adopt the tax, it could be proposed that tax revenues be put towards positive causes, like for example to protect the climate or fight against poverty. A number of NGOs have already demanded such an outcome. However on this topic especially, the EU-Commission and the governments of the member countries have yet to demonstrate a clear position.

To learn more about this topic, you can access the central documents under the following links:

(Picture source: ad-hoc-news.de, manager-magazin.de)

 

 

CIVICUS World Assembly 2011

Civil Society and Global Decision-Making: Doing it Better

 

From the 10th to the 12th of September the 10th "CIVICUS World Assembly" was held in Montreal, Canada.

As the name indicates, the "CIVICUS World Assembly" is an international event that was organised by the renowned human and democratic rights organisation "Civicus World Alliance for Citizen Participation".  The aim of this Assembly is to bring together as many interest groups as possible i.e. civil society members, donors, governments and businesses. These groups then discuss important world issues with the goal of coming to valuable conclusions. The World Assembly's greatest strength is its ability to bring varied sectors, that normally wouldn’t collaborate, together and then support them to develop plans aimed at strengthening civil space. The major goal of the Assembly is to support international communication and find common solutions to build a more just world.

The Global Marshall Plan Foundation team, Peter Hesse and further supporters of the Global Marshall Plan took part in the Assembly in 2008, when the 8th conference was held in Glasgow, Scotland. The Assembly was a great opportunity to extend the global network and to meet interesting and visionary people from all over the world.

The first CIVICUS World Assembly was held in 1995 in Mexico City. The following assemblies were then held every two years, until 2006 when the decision was made in Glasgow that the assemblies should be held annually. In 2006 a new decision was also made about the location. Owing to the long and involved process required to organize such an event, it was also decided that Assemblies should be held in the same location for three consecutive years. This change would allow the focus to remain more on the development of the content, themes, and sub-themes, and hopefully increase participation levels.

The 2011 World Assembly in Montreal builds on the exciting theme “Acting Together for a Just World” by focussing on "Civil Society and Global Decision-Making: Doing it Better."

The 2011 meeting was structured with four main themes:

1. Development Effectiveness

2. Climate Justice

3. Connecting People Through Technology

4. Civil Society and Democratic Space

To gain insight into how an Assembly is organised, click here. Here you will see a pdf showing the development and the results of the topic "Quebec – without borders!" which was part of the first theme. Or just click here to get the report of the last CIVICUS meeting in 2011.

For more information about the "CIVICUS World Assembly 2011" click here.

 

 

- Opinion -

 

 

 

 

Notes on the American Plutocracy, the Financial Economy and the Wrecking of the Real Economy

An Essay by Zeki Ergas

 

Francis Fukuyama, in The End of History and the Last Man, a famous book, published in the 1992, argued that the evolution of humanity's sociocultural History had come to an end because there was nothing beyond the Western liberal democracy which was the final and perfect form of government and social organization. That conclusion, of course, had more than a little to do with the collapse of the Soviet Union in 1989 which was interpreted as a great victory of liberalism, the market economy and capitalism over communism and its manifold failures. Close to twenty years later, that claim has turned out to be grotesquely wrong, including by its author for several essential reasons, of which I will mention four that are crucial:

1. For the last three years at least, the Western world suffers from an acute economic and financial crisis. The economic and financial recession continues to deepen that threatens to become a full-fledged depression, not unlike the Great Depression that shook the world in 1929-39, and which ended 'thanks' to the Second World War.

2. In the days following the tenth anniversary of the September 11, 2001 attacks on the Twin Towers of the World Trade Center in New York, the rise of radical Islam is acknowledged to be a major force on the world's theater. That evolution had been, eight years earlier prophesied by Samuel B. Huntington's his book, Clash of Civilizations. In the post 9/11 world, in the United States and Western Europe, the two dominant factors of life are fear and security. Even more seriously, the Western civilization appears to have lost its bearings, to be uncertain about its direction, and doubtful about its ethical, moral and spiritual values.

3. The decline of America as a superpower, and the concomitant rise of China and of Brazil, Russia and India (the other three BRICs) as emerging economic superpowers has shifted the balance of power in the world. In that respect, I see the imbalance between the economic decline and the probable continuation of America's military superiority as particularly preoccupying.

4. The human civilization's inability to control technology is especially worrying. The tragedy of the Fukushima nuclear power station in Japan, destroyed by a massive earthquake and the tsunami that followed it, is a clear reminder of that frightening reality. As a result, Schopenhauer's pessimistic prophecy that humanity is doomed, condemned ultimately to destroying itself does not any longer appear as a crazy figment of his fertile imagination.

The enormous intellectual distance traveled by Francis Fukuyama in the close to twenty years between 1992 and 2011 can be seen in Left Out, a short essay he published in the Winter (January/February) 2011 issue of the American Interest, that deals with the subject of the American plutocracy (whose bibliography includes my short essay, American Plutocracy and the Need of a Second American Revolution, posted in the August 2011 Newsletter of the Global Marshall Plan Initiative). In that essay, Fukuyama answers the question of Is America a plutocracy? 'Yes' if plutocracy is defined as a 'disproportionate influence of the rich in American politics', and 'No', if plutocracy is defined as 'a direct rule by the rich'. The author goes on to explain that the rich achieve their 'disproportionate influence' in politics by using large amounts of money to lobby to achieve four major goals:

a- to fight against the regulation of the financial economy,
b- to keep taxes low,
c- to control political campaigns and
d- to lobby to allow lobbying to go on.

Official statistics indicate that the share of US income accruing to the top one per cent of American families rose from 9 per cent in 1978, to 23.5 per cent in 2007. That is not the whole story, however, because the share of the top one thousandth, and of the top one ten thousandth, grew even more rapidly. Moreover, as a recent study in the National Geographic indicates, a significant part of the American great fortunes remains hidden in tax havens, the most important of which is not, as commonly thought, Luxembourg, Switzerland or the Cayman Islands, but the United States itself! That because of the very lax disclosure rules that prevail in the State of Delaware. The US Treasury estimated that it loses about $ 100 billion a year in taxes every year. In these days of great debts and deficits, the ruthless campaign launched by the Internal Revenue Service (IRS) to recover the huge sums in overseas secret accounts is understandable. What is less so, and makes the American authorities vulnerable to accusations of hypocrisy and double standards, is their total silence about the enormous tax evasion and fraud situation that exists in their own country.

The main theoretical justification of plutocracy goes by the name of 'efficient market hypothesis', according to which the earnings of the plutocrats are justified by their contribution to the economy. For example, it is argued, if an investment banker makes a thousand times more than a plumber, that is so because he contributes a thousand times more to the society's total pool of wealth. That theoretical justification has turned out to be totally wrong. On the contrary, our investment banker, far from contributing proportionally to the nation's pool of wealth, has benefited, via funds from the public sector to save him from bankruptcy, from a scandalous transfer of wealth from the American middle class and the poor.

Notes on the Financial Economy

In a relatively distant past, economists could argue, with some justification, that the financial economy served a useful, and important, economic purpose or function: the mitigation of risk. Indeed, financial instruments such as options and futures were utilized to bring more certainty into the system, notably by reducing the price fluctuations of commodities and raw materials – wool, cotton, pork bellies, metals, and so on. Markets were thus stabilized , benefiting producers, as well as consumers.

Today, to a very large extent, that justification no longer applies, the financial economy having become an instrument of speculation that is destroying the real economy because funds that should have been invested in the real economy are being used to speculate in the financial economy. Hundreds billions of dollars that should have been invested in education and infrastructure, non-polluting industries, where they would have created millions of jobs, have been, and are being, used to speculate in the financial sector, and to save corrupt bankers and financiers.

Speculation, which can be defined as the art of making a fast buck, has replaced the mitigation of risk as the main activity of the financial economy. It has done that by creating a large number of complicated new instruments known as derivatives. Futures and options continue to operate in five big fields: interest rates, foreign exchange, credit, equity and commodities. But, for most contracts, there's no physical delivery of goods, it's just money exchanging hands. A typical new instrument is the Credit Default Swaps (CDS) that have been created, supposedly, as insurance policies against default or bankruptcy. In reality, they have increased risk, as shown by what happened to the A.I.G. (American International Group) during the sub-prime crisis. They lost 18 billion dollars. Obama decided to bail them out, arguing that their going under could take many others with them. 85 billion dollars of American taxpayers' money was put at their disposal. Why 85 billion dollars? Because they were afraid that, because of the leverage involved, there could be far more losses to come. That, fortunately, does not appear to have occurred. The bleeding seems to have been stopped. Leverage, in fact, has been the primary reason of why the financial consequences of the sub-prime crisis have become so catastrophic. It means that when you're buying a derivative, you don't have to put up all the money, but only a small percentage, say ten per cent. Thus, when the bubble burst, the amounts involved were huge, having multiplied ad infinitum largely in a kind of snowballing effect. The truth is, even today, nobody really knows the total debt of the American financial system. It could well be hundreds of trillions of dollars …

Notes on the Real Economy and Some Tentative Conclusions

It is the production of goods and services which creates jobs. At the present time, America needs innovative investments in economic and social infrastructure – public transportation, education, health, housing, good nutrition, renewable energies, and so on. Localizing the economy, and thus reducing the pollution and waste, would be an important part of the new real economy. To give but one example, it is difficult to see the economic rationale of Californian apples sent to South Africa for washing and polishing, and shipped back to California to be sold in supermarkets, except that the transportation costs are lower than the difference in labor costs between California and South Africa. But that doesn't make sense if one takes into consideration the hidden costs of pollution. Thus, the market no longer appears as the overall most efficient mechanism for many aspects of human activities that need to be protected and promoted. Let me mention a few such activities: the eradication of extreme poverty, the empowerment of women - who are 56 per cent of the world's population, produce more than 50 per cent of the goods and services, but receive about 10 percent of total income, the protection of indigenous languages and cultures. The corruption that goes hand in hand with the greedy search for profit must be brought to and end. Good government at the national and international level must be actively pursued.

Turning its legitimate function of mitigating risk into the largely illegitimate one of speculation, the plutocrats have used the financial economy as a tool to enrich themselves and to perpetuate their privileges. It has been suggested that the separation of investment banking (largely speculation) and commercial banking (real economy) would be a good way in the future to avoid financial disasters caused by rogue traders, the last of which was the UBS trader who lost $ 2.3 billion recently. However, he is not the first, and will not be the last. It is the system that is based on greed that is the true culprit. Thus, unless drastic reform is undertaken to truly scrap speculation, the financial economy will continue to wreak havoc in the real economy. It pains me to conclude that, given the present frame of mind of the American legislators, this is very unlikely to happen. Therefore, I cannot feel optimistic, as I close this short essay, about the future of the American real economy.


Zeki Ergas can be reached atzeki.ergas@netplus.ch

 

- Press Coverage -

 

 

 

 

Press Room

The Initiative in the media

 

Plant-for-the-Planet
 


Teaser image: Pixelio, Rainer Sturm

 




Events
 

Rio+20 - UN Conference on Sustainable Development

06/20/2012 - 06/22/2012
Rio de Janeiro, Brazil


taking place in June 2012

 


The Rio+20 Conference’s objectives are to
(a) secure renewed political commitment for sustainable development,
(b) assess the progress to date and the remaining gaps in the implementation of the outcomes of the major summits on sustainable development, and
(c) address new and emerging challenges.

The focus of the Conference will also include the following two themes:
(a) a green economy in the context of sustainable development and poverty eradication and
(b) the institutional framework for sustainable development.

This Conference will take place on 4 - 6 June 2012 in Rio de Janeiro, Brazil.

More information on the Rio+20 Conference can be found at
http://www.uncsd2012.org
http://www.earthsummit2012.org

 






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Global Marshall Plan Foundation
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The Global Marshall Plan Initiative works towards a worldwide Eco-Social Market Economy by the means of a Global Marshall Plan. Global Marshall Plan News is the means to inform all supporters about the latest developments.

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