Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations

"Break gridlock on global challenges or risk an unstable future"

A diverse group of highly respected global leaders has called for a radical shake-up in politics and business to deliver progress on climate change, reduce economic inequality, improve corporate practices and address the chronic burden of disease. Now for the Long Term, published on 16 October by the Oxford Martin School at the University of Oxford, is the product of a year long process of research and debate undertaken by a group of eminent leaders on the successes and failures in addressing global challenges over recent decades.

Chaired by Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization, the Commission comprises Michelle Bachelet, Lionel Barber, Professor Roland Berger, Professor Ian Goldin, Arianna Huffington, Dr Mo Ibrahim, Luiz Felipe Lampreia, Minister Liu He, Professor Kishore Mahbubani, Minister Trevor Manuel, Julia Marton-Lefèvre, Minister Nandan Nilekani, Lord Patten, Baron Piot, Lord Rees, Professor Amartya Sen, Lord Stern and Jean-Claude Trichet.

Their recommendations include:

  • Create a C20-C30-C40 Coalition to counteract climate change; a new coalition made up of G20 countries, 30 companies, and 40 cities. The coalition could accelerate action on climate change, with measurable targets for initiatives that include energy-efficient buildings, faster market penetration of efficient vehicles and tracking emissions.
  • Establish a Voluntary Taxation and Regulatory Exchange to address tax abuse and avoidance and harmonise company taxation arrangements, promote information sharing, enhance transparency and governance.
  • Establish sunset clauses for publicly funded international institutions to ensure regular reviews of accomplishments and mandates to ensure they are fit for 21st century purpose.
  • Introduce CyberEx, a new early warning platform, aimed at promoting a better understanding of common cyber threats, identifying preventative measures, and minimising future attacks for the shared benefit of government, corporate and individual interests.
  • Remove perverse subsidies on hydrocarbons and agriculture, and redirect support to the poor.
  • Fight non-communicable diseases with a new action focused, city-based network, “Fit Cities” which would involve food, beverage and alcohol providers, in collaboration with public health and city authorities, as well as civil society, to reduce the burden on health systems.
  • End discrimination against future generations by revising discounting methods and adjusting them to take account of the uncertainties, risks and ethical implications for the long term.
  • Set up Worldstat, a specialist agency charged with undertaking quality control on global statistics, assessing domestic practices, regulating misuse and improving data collection.
  • Invest in Younger Generations: Social protection measures such as conditional cash transfer programmes should be used to break the intergenerational cycle of poverty, whilst youth guarantees would help reduce ‘scars’ of long-term unemployment and disconnection.

Pascal Lamy said:

“The ability to address today’s global challenges is undermined by the absence of a collective vision for society. We urge leaders to establish shared global values to protect the prospects for future generations.”

Professor Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School and Vice-Chair of the Commission said:

“Failure to address long-term issues exposes current generations to unacceptable instability and risk; it threatens our ability to build a sustainable, inclusive and resilient future for all. The Oxford Martin Commission analyses the issues, examines the lessons from past successes and failures, proposes a set of principles to overcome deep political and cultural divides, and provides practical recommendations for action on critical challenges.”

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Seminar Series: Now for the Long Term
Join us to explore the themes and challenges raised in the Commission report, with seminars from Professor Ian Goldin, Will Hutton, Sir John Beddington and Lord Rees.

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