A Bretton Woods of low carbon
By Alfredo Sirkis
Recently, the conservative Time magazine chose as its cover story a striking critique of what it defined as the financialisation of contemporary capitalism. In other words, this means an economy where the financial capital fails to adequately supply the productive sector and circulates primarily in a world apart, one of the multiple forms of speculation. This situation contributes to the stagnation of the world economy, with mediocre growth and the constant risk of recession, despite low interest rates and inflation (Brazil is an extreme case: recession with inflation and high interest rates). Globally, financialisation contributes, among other factors, to the structural unemployment, poor growth, income concentration, indebtedness and public deficit, which have incited austerity measures that tend to generate vicious circles.
At the same time, climate change has become a major challenge for humanity in this century. Its consequences are already clearly visible: larger and more frequent floods and inundations; accelerated melting of glaciers at the poles and in mountain ranges; rising and acidification of oceans – which have come with the alarming scientific predictions of heat waves, droughts, forest fires, huge losses in agriculture and food production, repeated damage to urban health, transport and communications infrastructure, as well as new risks of new pests and diseases, migrations, tension and conflicts. The civil war in Syria was preceded by five years of drought, a collapse in agriculture and mass migration to urban peripheries.