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Please cite this page as:
Chen D. B, J. Cloud, and J. van der Beek (2016). Global 4C – Monetary and Market Policy for Climate Change Mitigation. www.global4c.org
“All religions, arts and sciences are branches of the same tree.”
Out of My Later Years: The Scientist, Philosopher, and Man Portrayed Through His Own Words (1950)
Problem & Solution
The global carbon reward and parallel currency for financing climate mitigation are not discussed in the mainstream narrative on climate change. This project presents a new policy narrative, and inspiration derives from the idea that it will be possible to divert wealth from the global economy directly into low-carbon projects with the deployment of a parallel currency that is a Central Bank Digital Currency (CBDC). The financial mechanism is described in terms of the Global 4C Risk Mitigation Policy (Global 4C).
The global carbon reward is to be issued directly to market actors using a CBDC. Under the Global 4C policy, these CBDC’s are called Complementary Currencies for Climate Change (4C). The 4C’s are the newly proposed economic instrument, however the name is generic, and as private citizens we suggest some other more culturally interesting names for registration in ISO4217—such as the Solar Dollar (SOL).
We hope that economists, policy makers and informed citizens will take the time to consider the new market hypothesis for the Risk Cost of Carbon (RCC) and the Global 4C Risk Mitigation Policy. Important is that the new policy will promote local decision-making by market participants, and it is designed to create minimal bureaucracy for governments and central banks.
This policy discussion is directed at central banks, because it is a combined monetary-and-market policy. Central banks will be required to trade 4C currencies to fulfil their policy role, however most of the administration will be managed by a new institution that can handle the contract administration and scientific assessments, including the measurement, reporting and verification (MRV) of carbon amounts.
A major advantage of Global 4C is that it can resolve macroeconomic problems that carbon taxes cannot address. For example, society will need to find a way to pay for Carbon Dioxide Removal (CDR) in the future. Also, the international carbon market may be over-supplied with carbon offsets resulting in low carbon prices. A list of the key benefits of the Global 4C policy are:
* ability to set specific temperature guarantees based on probabilities and carbon budgets
* ability to be negotiated independent of carbon taxes and as a complement to the Paris Agreement
* creates a global carbon price through foreign currency markets
* prices climate risk directly into the global financial system
* provides a negative feedback on dirty economic growth
* addresses the international free-rider problem with international climate insurance
* mobilises market actors with a profit motive for climate mitigation
* mobilises private finance with a profit motive based on currency trading
* provides long-term finance for low-carbon projects, R&D and leveraging of debt finance
* communicates climate systemic risk with currency/rewards
* addresses Jevons effect
* provides an alternative to fractional reserve banking and debt-based currency
Some background to the problem—the market failure in greenhouse emissions—is provided below. The video and the graphic are reproduced from a report by Shell. The report is an interpretation of alternative future scenarios of energy usage. Following the report by Shell, is an interview with Prof. Timothy Garrett, who developed a model of future global carbon dioxide emissions.
Shell has undertaken an analysis for future global primary energy and grouped their results into scenarios called Mountains and Oceans. Mountains represent a future with institutional decisions, market-pricing, planned cities, abundant gas, and CCS. Oceans represents a less orderly future with market pricing, less predictable events, and more competing interests. Both scenarios show that future emissions are likely to far exceed those levels that could keep the climate system below 2ºC of global warming (see graph).
Professor Timothy Garrett