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Report of Oxford Martin Commission launches in London

16 Oct 2013

Now for the Long Term, the report of the Oxford Martin Commission for Future Generations, launched this morning to a packed room at the Institution of Civil Engineers in London.

The report, published by the Oxford Martin School at Oxford University, is the product of a year long process of research and debate undertaken by a group of 19 eminent leaders on the successes and failures in addressing global challenges over recent decades. Now for the Long Term calls 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, and provides practical recommendations for action.

The launch saw Commission Chair Pascal Lamy, former Director-General of the World Trade Organization, joined by Vice-Chair Professor Ian Goldin, Director of the Oxford Martin School, and Commissioners Lord Stern, Dr Mo Ibrahim, Dr Roland Berger, Julia Marton-Lefèvre and Lord Rees for a discussion of the themes and implications of the report before questions were taken from the audience.

Mr Lamy said explained that what made Now for the Long Term different from other reports was that it contained practical, innovative recommendations for breaking gridlock. "We know a lot about the challenges," he said. "What's missing is not the knowledge, it's the action."

The report's recommendations include:

  • Creating 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.
  • Establishing a Voluntary Taxation and Regulatory Exchange to address tax abuse and avoidance and harmonise company taxation arrangements, promote information sharing, enhance transparency and governance.
  • Establishing sunset clauses for publicly funded international institutions to ensure regular reviews of accomplishments and mandates to ensure they are fit for 21st century purpose.
  • Introducing 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.
  • Removing 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.

In his closing remarks, Professor Goldin praised the work of the Commissioners and emphasised the importance of their diverse backgrounds. Calling for the public to engage with the report, he said: "Success also depends on you, and how you help to take the report forward."

The launch was webcast live and covered on Twitter with the hashtag #longtermnow; visit the launch blog to view the tweets and commentary. A video of the event will be available to view soon.