Monthly Archives: January 2008

Dr. Yunus @ St. James’s, Piccadilly, Sat. Feb 16, 2.30pm

Nobel Peace Prize winner Dr. Muhammad Yunus will speak at St. James’s Church, 197 Piccadilly, London on Saturday, February 16th at 2.30pm. His latest book Creating a World without Poverty – Social Business and the Future of Capitalism was recently published in the US and the UK and is already on position 18 of the New York Times bestseller list.

After having been invited to the World Economic Forum in Davos, Dr. Yunus comes to London for a series of engagements. At St. James’s his talk will be responded to by distinguished Londoners, including:

Aubrey Meyer, promoter of Contraction & Convergence, a global, equal-rights-based framework for the arrest of greenhouse gas emissions.

To book your ticket (£6, conc. £4) please visit BeTheChange.

May the Press Release also find the right echoes.

Green Credit is for Governments anywhere what microcredit is for women in Bangladesh: Credit without Collateral.

That’s the Yunus shift of paradigms at quite a few institutional levels.

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Our Response to the Environmental Inquiry

‘Green Credit’ for ‘Green Growth’

Financing Adaptation to Climate Change on Local, Regional and National Levels

in the Post-Kyoto Context

A. Introduction

1. This document is a response to the inquiry of the Environmental Audit Committee regarding ‘Post-Kyoto: The International Context for Progress on Climate Change’ – published on January 8, 2008.

2. Limits to Growth was published by the Club of Rome in 1972 and examined five variables: world population, industrialization, pollution, food production and resource depletion. Beyond the Limits was published in 1993 and Limits to Growth: The 30-Year Update came out in 2004.

3. The Growth Dilemma is one of the chapters in the latest book Creating a World without Poverty – Social Business and the Future of Capitalism by economics professor Dr. Muhammad Yunus. He received the Nobel Peace prize in 2006 for creating the Grameen Bank which has reversed conventional banking practice by removing the need for collateral.

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Environmental Audit Committee Inquiry

Environmental Audit Committee

Select Committee Announcement

For Immediate Release

8 January 2008

NEW INQUIRY

Post-Kyoto: The International Context for Progress on Climate Change

The Environmental Audit Committee (EAC) is today launching an Inquiry into the international context of negotiations for the next commitment phase of the Kyoto Protocol.

This Inquiry follows the December 2007 UN Climate Change Conference in Bali, Indonesia, which formally agreed a roadmap for negotiations on the next Kyoto commitment period starting in 2012. Although the agreed roadmap contains some welcome features including a recognition that all developed countries have to make deep cuts and that more has to be done to help developing countries to adapt to climate change, there are concerns that the agreement lacked clear goals or timetables. It is likely that negotiations leading to the eventual agreement of a framework that will help us to avoid dangerous climate change are going to be challenging.

The Committee will explore key issues raised by the Bali roadmap including adaptation funds, reducing deforestation and the transfer of technologies. We will consider what “common but differentiated responsibilities” will actually mean in relation to the commitments required. As part of the Inquiry the Committee will in particular focus on the EU, China and Australia to explore how these key parties are likely to respond both to the roadmap negotiations and to climate change mitigation and adaptation more widely.

The Committee invites organisations and members of the public to submit memoranda setting out their views on these issues. Some specific subjects on which the Committee would welcome comments are set out below, although respondents are free to comment on any issues which they consider relevant:

1. Is the Kyoto Protocol still a relevant and effective mechanism? How successful was the Bali conference? Does the roadmap contain all that is needed to lead to a post-Kyoto agreement that adequately addresses the climate change challenge? Will the roadmap focus on implementation issues or will it come to an agreement on a stabilisation level? How do we ensure that no key parties are left out of the process?

2. What needs to be done between now and Potznan? Emissions from international aviation and shipping were not included in the Bali roadmap. Why did this happen and what can be done to address these emissions?

Emission reduction frameworks

3. How can ‘common but differentiated responsibilities’ be decided in such a way that ensures the engagement of all parties? How can equity concerns regarding the allocation of mitigation targets and historical responsibility for climate change emissions be reconciled?

4. How might an agreement be reached with emerging economies to ensure that their emissions trajectories move into line with the need to reduce global emissions? How might developing countries’ need to expand their economies be reconciled with controls on emissions?

Adaptation and technology

5. Is there adequate support for developing countries to adapt to climate change? Should there be binding targets for funding and how could these be decided? How will funding for climate change mitigation or adaptation interact with existing aid budgets? Will such funding contribute to wider sustainable development goals?

6. Is there effective international coordination on technology R&D? How might technology transfer to developed countries be improved? How does technology transfer interact with international trade rules? How effectively do Government technology programmes, such as the Energy Technologies Institute, lead to technology development and transfer to developing countries? How effective are UK Government measures to assist developing countries to reduce emissions?

7. Is the Asia-Pacific partnership a complement or a rival to the Kyoto Protocol? How is it likely to develop and what is it likely to achieve?

Mechanisms

8. How might mechanisms to tackle emissions from deforestation be developed? How can we ensure that such mechanisms contribute to wider sustainable development aims? Will such mechanisms deal with the need to ensure the protection of indigenous people, land use rights and governance? How might forest degradation be dealt with? Are additional mechanisms required to enable the creation of carbon sinks?

9. Are the Clean Development and Joint Implementation Mechanisms functioning effectively? How might they be improved? How might they better be used in relation to forestry or other land use emission reduction projects? Should CDM and JI projects play a greater role in sustainable development more widely? To what extent should credits such as those from the CDM and JI be permitted to be used in emissions trading schemes, or contribute to emissions reduction targets?

10. What action is the Government taking to prepare for and accelerate the linking of the EU Emissions Trading Scheme with other trading schemes? Is a new institutional or regulatory framework required to enable their development and coordination? How might schemes be linked where they have different emission caps? Might the EUETS be undermined by linking with other schemes?

Written evidence should be sent to the Committee by Friday 25 January 2008. Evidence sessions are likely to start on 19 February 2008.

For printing purposes we require written submissions via e-mail to eacom@parliament.uk in Word format. We are unable to accept PDFs except for supporting documentation already in the public domain which will not be printed by us. Although we no longer require a hard copy, it is your responsibility to check that we have received your submission if no email acknowledgement has been received by you. A brief guidance note on the preparation and submission of evidence is available on the Committee’s web pages. For more information on this inquiry, please call 020-7219-1378.

FURTHER INFORMATION:

1. Membership:

Chairman: Mr Tim Yeo, MP

Mr Gregory Barker MP Mr Nick Hurd MP Mrs Linda Riordan MP
Mr Martin Caton MP Mr Mark Lazarowicz MP Mr Graham Stuart MP
Mr Colin Challen MP Ian Liddell-Grainger MP Jo Swinson MP
Mr David Chaytor MP Shahid Malik MP Dr Desmond Turner MP
Martin Horwood MP Mr Ian Pearson MP* Joan Walley MP

* The Minister for the Environment has ex-officio membership of the Committee in like manner to the Financial Secretary’s membership of the Committee of Public Accounts.

2. More information on the Committee’s reports can be found on the Committee website at: http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/environmental_audit_committee.cfm

Media Enquiries: Laura Kibby, 020 7219 0718 or via email: kibbyl@parliament.uk

Specific Committee Information: Details of all the Committee’s press releases and inquiries, together with its Reports, oral evidence and other publications, are available on the Committee’s Internet home page, which can be found at:

Committee Website: http://www.parliament.uk/parliamentary_committees/environmental_audit_committee.cfm

Watch committees and parliamentary debates online: www.parliamentlive.tv

Publications / Reports / Reference Material: Copies of all select committee reports are available from the Parliamentary Bookshop (12 Bridge St, Westminster, 020 7219 3890) or the Stationery Office (0845 7023474). Committee reports, press releases, evidence transcripts, Bills; research papers, a directory of MPs, plus Hansard (from 8am daily) and much more, can be found on www.parliament.uk


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Grameen Foundation Giving Challenge

Here’s an interesting way of combining ‘competition’ with social networking on Facebook.

Shayan Alam posted an announcement to the cause Grameen Foundation Giving Challenge.

—————-
Subject: DONATE TODAY!

We have until Noon PST on Thursday January 24th to participate in the Donor Day. Also check out our press release on grameenfoundation.org!
—————-

To view or reply to the announcement, follow the link below:
http://apps.facebook.com/causes/posts/show/24401?h=fbenap&m=1843


This email was sent by Causes.
To disable emails or to remove this application, go to http://www.facebook.com/editapps.php?app_id=2318966938.

Towards a Sustainable Investment Network

As an application of my innovative forecasting method, the Sustainable Investment Network will be people and software that I dreamt up long ago with our then Chairman of the Forum for Stable Currencies Donald Martin.

We thought that the most empowering thing we could do would be to make people financially independent a la Robin Hood: making money by trading the stock market but, thanks to my completely unconventional approach, in such a superior way, that we can create a way of ‘multiplying’ small investments into major regular payments .

Since then, I’ve developed not only more demonstration software but also extensive tests and even profitable virtual trades. I’ve also met more ‘likeminded’ software developers. And I feel ’embedded’ in a YuNuSphere of net-workers who are all doing their very best to leave the world in a better state.

The People for the ‘Sustainable Investment Network’:

  • the Social Business

    • social business angels who underwrite the cost of programming
    • software developers who turn my prototype software and system designs into a newly integrated web application
    • ethical traders as ‘strategic co-developers’ with whom we can design the user interface and user requirements and who will be end users
    • ethical stock marketeers for we might as well turn Dr. Yunus’ idea for a ‘social business market exchange’ into action
  • the Web as a market place
    • on-line clients who save and invest and earmark what kind of returns they may want and by when
      • saving regularly – getting ROIs regularly or supporting social businesses or charities
      • investing in one-off deals – getting paid back with simple interest.

The Software as the basis for an ‘ethical trading system’:

  • Visual Data Intelligence is the prototype that demonstrates the forecasting method
  • http://www.3dmetrics.net is the first web application that downloaded market data from Yahoo and produced daily and weekly forecasts for customisable portfolios – currently under reconstruction
  • Many Excel books were used to measure the accuracy of the forecasts in terms of ‘numerical accuracy’ as well as ‘correctness of trend direction’.

Validation / Credentials / Trust Criteria:

  • the senior developer of a major hedge fund company got so excited about the forecasting demo that I gave him my Visual Basic source code. He rewrote it in C# and SQL, just focussing on the extrapolation algorithm.
    • I introduced him to a professor at the Mathematics, Computing and Communication Technology department of the London Metropolitan University and he assured him that my approach is unique
      • with this professor we got funding from the London Development Agency to develop a ‘multi-purpose station’ as a concrete application, since my generic algorithms are too abstract for too many people
    • he does not have any spare time any more and returned the code
      • the ‘forecasting engine’ which has many new ‘tweak parameters’ now is with a developer who would like to get back to paid work as a ‘woman returner’
    • he said that his employers would want to see that the system could make ‘trading decisions’
      • whilst testing the quality of forecasts, I developed 17 ‘trading measures’ as the basis for making buy, hold or sell decisions
    • one would-be manager of my company who gave me a UK portfolio for ‘virtual trading’ disappeared after ‘appalling behaviour’ as he called it; his argument was we need to produce ‘proof by profit’
      • he said that he had traded profitably but I never saw the evidence.

Given the framework that Creating a World without Poverty by Dr. Muhammad Yunus gives us, I trust that the time has come for the code and the network of users to become reality sooner rather than later.

Operation ‘Robin Hood’ is the name of the net-working game: outsmarting the people in institutions with the cleverness of software and the fundamental likemindedness of ‘we the people’.

The Role of the Treasury in 21st Century Britain

On Jan 15th I heard the Rt. Hon. Alistair Darling MP talk about the role of the Treasury in 21st Century Britain. At the Royal Society of the Arts, Commerce and Manufacture (RSA) a packed audience laughed when I offered copies of Dr. Yunus’ book for his staff. I took the Chancellor by his words: he wants to create cultural change, and sustainability will be at the heart of the next budget, he said.

Here’s what I shall send him as a first reading installment:

  1. a cover letter
  2. The Role of the Treasury in 21st Century Britain – Advocating the Use of the People’s Credit since 2002 – referring to
  3. Fantasy Island – Waking up to the incredible economic, political and social illusions of the Blair legacy – the sad state of 21st Century Britain
  4. Creating a World without Poverty – Social Business and the Future of Capitalism – the optimistic solution to the growth dilemma and the call for an enlightenment of capitalism.

Participating in the Entrepreneurial (R)evolution

Thanks to most remarkable Chris Macrae I was not only given a copy of the new book by Dr. Yunus but also participated in one day of the World Entrepreneurship Summit.

Hence I am now more confident than ever that my long cherished project of a ‘Towards a Sustainable Investment Network‘ will come true.

What a relief!