This solution relates to two stories in our COP27 anthology: The Carboni which is chapter 42 from Kim Stanley Robinson’s epic novel Ministry for the Future and Climate Gamers which mentions local currencies.
The Carboni is a play off Keynes’s suggest bancor, which didn’t get traction at the time, but is seeing a revival of interest e.g. see the article Why Not Bancor? Keynes’s Currency Plan as a Solution to Global Imbalances and video. Kim Stanley Robinson also based his ideas on Global Carbon Reward, a non-profit organisation. The Global Carbon Reward is a system-changing policy for funding climate mitigation together with healthy ecosystems, vibrant communities, and reliable clean energy. Their focus is on carrot and stick carbon pricing.
The idea was also informed by information from the Network for Greening the Financial System, which is a group of central banks and supervisors committed to sharing best practices, contributing to the development of climate –and environment– related risk management in the financial sector and mobilising mainstream finance to support the transition toward a sustainable economy.
Our experts have classified it as a ‘gamechanger’ meaning changes in the systemic conditions leading to different incentives/decision-making processes.
While the Carboni is mostly about harnessing the power of finance to mitigate against the climate crisis, local currencies provide resilience against financial shocks in the global system. Local currencies often spring up informally in cases of crisis and have been tried locally for example the Brixton pound. The idea is that you have a local currency that you can only spend within your region. This encourages people to buy locally, boosting local economies and reducing food (and other goods) miles. These work best when supported by local authorities, for example if council workers can be paid in local currency and pay local taxes in local currency. There are numerous versions, a key distinction is between those that are exchangeable with the national currency and those that aren’t. A good overview is https://centerforneweconomics.org/apply/local-currencies-program/local-currency-models/. Another good source of information about community currencies is People Powered Money by the New Economics Foundation.
Climate gamers also referred to the idea of time, goods and money becoming like interchangeable currencies. This can happen if you have local currencies, time banks and libraries of things. Some of the more visionary ideas are captured in the document Local Pay
Interested in progressing this solution further?
|Actions for policymakers||Local authorities support local currencies. Support organisations that campaign for green finance e.g. in the UK, see Green Finance Institute. GFI Hive’s mission is to increase private investment in nature restoration, nature-based solutions and nature-positive outcomes.|
|Actions for funding bodies||Increase private investment in nature restoration, nature-based solutions and nature-positive outcomes.|
|Actions for business||local businesses can work with local authorities and campaign for local currencies to boost local economies|
|Actions for public||Find your government representative or Member of Parliament and email them, whether you are in Australia; Canada; UK; USA or elsewhere.|
Social media campaigns & lobbying of governments.
Vote for ‘The Party of the Future’.