Tuesday, April 22, 2008

Jeffery Sachs' letter to the next US president

I came across this on youtube. Jeffery Sachs, Director of Millennium Promise and one of the leading voices regarding global extreme poverty, reads a letter to the next president. He is speaking at some engagement with "State of the Planet '08 on the podium. He calls the letter: "Peace Through Sustainable Development"

He draws connections between US military actions, climate change, food insecurity, water scarcity and poverty. I have not heard anyone give such a direct speech about national security and poverty together before. He offers 10 suggestions to implement on Jan 21, 2009

1) End the Iraq war immediately
2) Announce the end of the Bush tax cuts in 2010
3) Send a climate envoy to China, India, the G77 countries and the European Union to open intensive negotiations on a climate agreement by the end of 2009
4) Hold a summit of dry land regions including Sudan, Isreal, Palestine, Saudi Arabia, Chad, Senegal, Niger, Somalia, Yemen, Afganistan, Mexico, Australia, Mali, Iraq, the north African countries, the mediterrainean Europe and and the US to launch a project to assess water risks, food insecurity, new engineering and climate hazards to the worlds dry lands
5) Call on congress to sign UN convention on the law of the sea and the UN convention on biological diversity
6) Triple public funding for R&D into sustainable energy systems to reach 10 million dollars/year in 2010
7) Embrace the Millennium Development Goals as the organizing principle for US foreign assistance. Double aid from $25 billion this year to $50 billion in FY2010 and reach 0.7% of GNP ($100,000 billion) by 2015.
8) Call on congress to eliminate subsidies on ethanol production immediately to reduce pressures on food prices and rationalize our approach to sustainable energy
9) Immediately re-establish US contribution to UN population fund. Revisit objectives of global plan on population development from 1994 (aim to stabilize world population by 2050 at 8 billion people or fewer thru rapid and voluntary reduction of fertility rates )
10) Establish a new dept for international sustainable development to oversee international efforts on climate change,poverty alleviation, biodiversity conservation

He estimates these plans would give net savings of over 200 billion per year to be used on other domestic programs and reduce the US deficit.

Part 1: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=xnsRzh15BnA&NR=1
Part 2: http://www.youtube.com/watch?v=6HoFQugyr-w&feature=related

1 comment:

Unknown said...

Thanks for finding this. If we can localize as well as globalize our struggles, we might regain our will for change.