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This proposal would use adjustable import tariffs to encourage responsible action toward both human and natural resources across the globe.



This proposal would use adjustable import tariffs to encourage responsible action toward both human and natural resources across the globe, while simultaneously leveling the international playing field for workers and manufacturing companies. 

This proposal connects real world economic incentive to practices of sustainability.  It would hopefully create an environment in which many well-intentioned ideas could find financial backing, and flourish. 

Bruce Kinzinger, MIT class of '84, MD, University of Kentucky, class of '89


First, establish goals:

1. Identify measurable business practices that are consistent with long term ecological sustainability for each company. 
2. Identify standards that define respectful treatment of workers which would be measurable in each company. 
3. Identify measurable standards for how men, women, children, and the elderly are treated as citizens in each country. 

Measurability is paramount. Subjective measures are subject to manipulation. 



Because we are are looking for business organizations to adopt and be rewarded for more responsible interaction with human and natural resources. 

We realize that meeting higher standards in these areas can increase short term production costs. Much of business and human nature is driven by immediacy.  But finding sustainability clearly increases quality of our lives long term, as long as assessment and implementation are not onerous. 

This proposal recognizes both our lofty human desire for long term sustainability, and balances it with acknowledging our day to day tendency to be more shortsighted and profit-driven. 


 We could measure  each company regarding goals 1 and 2. Second, measure each country re: measure 3. This is a role that could be performed periodically under  UN oversight.   There would need to be mechanisms to promote impartiality. Those companies or countries that refuse evaluation, i.e., refuse transparency, would receive  poor scores. 

What effect would this measurement have?  Realizing that attention to the "bottom line" is necessary for business survival in a global marketplace, only by connecting independent assessments of these measures with the bottom line will there be measurable impact. Doing the right thing would not just be a PR slogan, but a real concern even in businesses where the bottom line is the only matter of importance. 


Participation is not required, but countries could chose to structure internal tax structures and levy import taxes in accordance with these measures. Hopefully the concept would be self supporting in countries where the population is educated enough, and is free enough to insist upon it.  The result would not be protectionism, but allowing for workers and companies that are meeting a higher standard to compete more effectively. 

In the long term, improvements in these scores would open new markets to a business and or country. Ultimately, a healthier, more sustainable world would start to emerge. 

Perhaps a business showing significant improvement would be eligible for greater national tax incentives,too. Improvement is the goal, after all. 



Please use the template below as a general guide in preparing your proposal.

Executive summary

Overview of the proposal: what it hopes to achieve, the proposed actions and anticipated outcomes, mechanisms by which the actions can be achieved, what distinguishes this proposal from others.


Individuals and/or organizations that played a key role in developing this proposal and their respective contributions.


Description of the actions proposed and their anticipated outcomes.
You will want to refer to the emission and land use target you have chosen using the Actions & Impacts tab.
In addition, you will want to outline the mechanisms by which the world as a whole can transition to the green economy or to an alternative vision of the future you would propose instead.

Why: Rationale for the proposal

Explanation for why these actions and outcomes are desirable.

How: Feasibility of proposal

Explanation of how the proposed actions will be achieved. Teams are encouraged, but not required, to include such issues as:

  • Overall global economic and environmental governance framework
  • Mechanisms for financing required investments
  • Role of new energy technologies and technology transfer
  • Political, educational, or media interventions that can facilitate the transition

If more detailed models or spreadsheets are useful in demonstrating your proposal’s feasibility, please send them to, and they will be reviewed and linked to your proposal.
Teams are also encouraged to note regional/national proposals that are complementary to their global proposal.

Vision of the future under this proposal

Creative depictions what life will be like later in the century if the proposal were to be adopted, using such media as videos, images, or narratives.