Center for Governance and Sustainability

at the University of Massachusetts Boston

Options for the Future

The WEF taskforce proposals for managing economic globalization addressed six key categories :

• Carbon-market development (e.g. carbon capture  and low carbon growth); 
• Ocean related economic  development (e.g. fisheries and the Law of the Sea convention);
• Labor training and protection (e.g. education and labor market support mechanisms);
• Legal mechanisms (e.g. licensing and trade);
• Enhancement of comparative economic and social data (e.g. benchmarking, and risk assessment); and
• Improvements in selected key economic sectors (e.g. transportation, internet, and extractive industries).

The recommendations of the GRI for economic governance are in the following specialized reports:

• Energy
o Global Agenda Council on Sustainable Energy
o International Partnership for Energy Efficiency Cooperation
o Global Agenda Council on Energy Security
o Low-Carbon Prosperity Task Force on Adaptation 
o Low-Carbon Prosperity Task Force on Avoided Deforestation and Land Use Change 
o Low-Carbon Prosperity Task Force on Energy Efficiency 
o Low-Carbon Prosperity Task Force on Accelerating Investment: Developing Countries 
o Low-Carbon Prosperity Task Force on Accelerating Investment: Low-Carbon Technologies 
o Low-Carbon Prosperity Task Force on Market Mechanisms 
o Low-Carbon Prosperity Task Force on Standards and Metrics 

• Trade
o Global Agenda Council on Trade

• Mining and Metals
o Global Agenda Council on the Future of Mining and Metals

• Transportation
o  Global Agenda Council on the Future of Transportation

• Internet
o Global Agenda Council on the Future of the Internet

• Licensing issues
o Young Global Leader Global Responsibility Licensing Task Force

The debates on climate governance have raised a number of important issues including how to use environmental rule-making to shift the current high greenhouse gas-based economy to a low carbon one; how to incorporate financial institutions, the nation-state, and UN in making joint investment decisions (e.g. Clean Development Mechanism and Fast-start Climate Finance); and how to use carbon price signals to support the expansion of the alternative energy sectors.

Internet governance debates include issues on access to bandwidth and domain names in developing countries; the role of the open source non-profit community in the decision making of ICANN; 1  and the relative roles of the state and the private sector in managing the evolution of the internet. The governance debates on patents and licensing include the enforcement rights of patent holders for medicines and medical devices in poorer regions of the world; the use of patents and national ownership of biodiversity; and the costs of patented products and services in narrow specialized markets.

Among the economic governance issues that WEF does not address are (a) definitions for global market concentration and proposals on managing market concentration; (b) the reduction of tax avoidance from transfer pricing and the use of tax-haven shopping; (c) multi-stakeholder arrangements for the economic management of the world’s manufacturing and service sectors; (d) common registration, global reporting standards, common rules for supervising multinational economic activities; (e) multilateral and bilateral investment treaties to strength nation-states and domestic civil societies in managing international capital, debt, and service sectors; (f) multi-stakeholder mechanisms to better align the finance and productive sectors of the world’s economies; and (g) a better structure for North-South economic relations.  


Related Ideas: Climate Funds; Education; Emissions; Expanding Labor; Favor SustainabilityFisheries; Food Redesign; Law of the Sea; Migration; Risk Management; Trading Regime; Water Stress

The Readers' Guide welcomes commentary – critical or otherwise – of the analysis above as well as the identification of related issues and case studies.


Commenting is not available in this channel entry.