Overview: Enabling Measures

Five Enabling Measures: Outline of Contributions

Enabling Measures (EM) are broad indirect measures that are required to activate the proposed twenty Platform for Survival policies. In this sense they are unlike the twenty planks that are designed to directly address five existential threats. The EM are, therefore, more complex and less precise in their formulation. They may describe clear policy change, but they are also inevitably about large-scale framework adjustments and structural shifts.

For example, whereas plank #9 calls on all states to “adopt norms and procedures for the production, recovery, and recycling of materials”, the related enabling measures could include #21, financial institutional support for a recycling transition, #22, civil society involvement in stimulating and monitoring governments, #23, cities and provincial/state level articulation and implementation of policy, and #24, activist shareholders pressing for changes to corporate standards. There are even broader security implications that relate through EM#25, including a durable global survival ethic.

Not every policy proposal among the core twenty (#1-#20) contemplates collective transformation at the “enabling” level (#21-#25), but the latter are integrally linked with each other and all the existential threats. Global change will require both a practical and philosophical shift in governance and public attitudes. Similarly, publics will affect and be impacted by governments.

The five enabling measures cover wide swaths of categories and were developed to collect and integrate dozens of individual proposed “measures” into coherent groups. This effort was not without some controversy, but the logic of the resulting “five” is worth thinking deeply about. They are, paraphrased, covering these constituencies: Sustainable finance; civil society influence; sub-national governance; investment decision-making; and security. All have bottom up and top down relevance and implications, but citizens must encourage (by voting, through activism and advocacy) and governments must act (on their own, by leading, and in cooperation with others at the local, regional and global levels.)
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Author: Robin Collins

11 thoughts on “Overview: Enabling Measures

  1. Polar bears symbolize the problem — our world is heating up, and Canada is both a leading cause because of the Tar Sands and a leading victim since our temperatures are rising the fastest. We have to organize to change government priorities — we need a Green New Deal, and we need it fast!

  2. Announcement of event:
    Launching the preparation of the World Social Forum of Convergence of Transformative Economies, Barcelona 2019 & 2020.

    As announced in the World Social Forum of Salvador de Bahia (read March 2018 article), we have committed to starting a process of convergence, between all initiatives, movements and ways of understanding the economy that share the common goal of transforming the existing economic system, from local to international levels.
    Some of these processes of convergence have already been taking place for a long time, locally and internationally; we now need to bring our strength, the common solutions and the existing practices together to build the inclusive agenda and jointly face today’s main challenges.

    • Feminist and Gender perspective Economies
    • Agroecological and the Food Sovereignty
    • Natural, Urban and Digital Commons
    • Social Solidarity Economy, Cooperativism, and Fair Trade
    • Ethical and Solidarity Finances


  3. Fossil Free: Divestment
    What is fossil fuel divestment?

    Divestment is the opposite of an investment – it simply means getting rid of stocks, bonds, or investment funds that are unethical or morally ambiguous.
    While each campaign is independently run and may bring different emphases and asks depending on their local context, the majority of campaigns are asking institutions to:
    Immediately freeze any new investment in fossil fuel companies;
    Divest from direct ownership and any commingled funds that include fossil fuel public equities and corporate bonds within 5 years
    End their fossil fuels sponsorship
    Most campaigns use this list of the top 200 fossil fuel companies by reserves while others are asking institutions to divest entirely from fossil fuels.


  4. Security Dialogue Journal
    “The Concept of Common Security”

    The basic idea of common security is that no country can obtain security, in the long run, simply by taking unilateral decisions about its own military forces. This is because security depends also on the actions and reactions of potential adversaries. Security has to be found in common with those adversaries. In the words of the Palme Commission’s report, “States can no longer seek security at each other’s expense; it can be obtained only through cooperative undertakings.”


  5. Xavier Vives 14 February 2017. Vox

    “A rationale for the Tobin tax”
    Tobin taxes on financial markets, such as the EU Financial Transactions Tax, are regularly under consideration. This column argues that a rationale for a Tobin tax exists even in competitive and informationally efficient markets when traders have private information and they condition on prices. In this situation traders overreact to private information, and a transactions tax may offset this externality.


    1. I think there’s a shift towards using the Tobin proposal as a template for a variety of sin taxes to generate revenue. In the end the goal is to shift funds from the wealthiest; it is a redistribution project. Remember that Tobin’s goal was not revenue generation but calming speculation. This is pointed out in the plank essay.

  6. Naomi Fowler for Tax justice network. On June 26, 2019
    “The Corporate Tax Haven Index: solving the world’s broken tax system in our monthly podcast, the Taxcast”

    In this month’s June 2019 podcast we look at the new Corporate Tax Haven Index released by the Tax Justice Network. What does it tell us about the global economy and the international tax system? And how can we fix it? We also look at how India is pushing the G20 into action on global tax rules – if they don’t act it will implement its own rules.


  7. Eva Joly Published on Friday, June 21, 2019. by
    Common Dreams
    ”There Is No Green Revolution Without Tax Justice”

    T here is a direct link between environmental degradation and tax evasion. Take illegal fishing or logging, for example. The income from this trafficking is clearly not invested in savings banks; it is hidden in tax havens.

    On May 31, in Paris, 129 countries agreed on the need to change global tax rules and prevent multinationals from declaring their profits – and associated taxes – wherever they want. In other words, they decided that multinationals should be considered as single entities – which they are in reality, rather than a myriad of so-called independent subsidiaries, as they claim.


  8. Jean Dreze. shares Jan. 21, 2017. NDTV in India

    “Universal Basic Income For India Suddenly Trendy. Look Out”

    I have liked the idea of UBI for a long time. In countries (like Finland) that can afford a generous UBI and also have first-rate public services, it has two attractive features. First, UBI is a fool-proof way of safeguarding the right to dignified living. Second, it gives people the option to live without working (or rather, without doing paid work) if they are willing to settle for a simple life. And why not?

    As far as India today is concerned, however, UBI proposals strike me as a case of premature articulation.
    Incidentally, India already has one of the closest things that any country has by way of UBI, though it is not quite universal and the transfers are in kind, not cash: the Public Distribution System (PDS). There is no plausible scenario whereby the Indian government would retain the PDS along with a cash-based UBI scheme.


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