The World Balance Sheet will be a while in development. That’s because for almost everyone it is a new idea. They’re not sure how it’s going to work and what the impacts will be. At this stage in its gestation, what’s more important than producing numbers to go in it is agreeing principles by which it will be operated.
One of the first principles is that there will be some asset classes for which asset ownership is strictly defined and transfer or conversion in or out of each of those classes is not allowed. An example is the asset class of “Global Commons”. These are assets such as the air we breathe and the sunlight that falls on the ground. We all share in the benefits of these, and in turn we are part of the ecosystems by which the air and energy (together with other materials and inputs) are converted for other organisms to access and in turn those other organisms convert them back into breathable air, food and so on. In a sense nobody owns these Global Commons, or we all do because we all share them, as necessities of life.
There will be some other asset classes on the World Balance Sheet which can be owned by individuals or other entities, bought and sold, converted into other assets etc, providing the World Balance Sheet as a whole, in aggregate and by asset class, is not compromised by such transactions.
The Planetary CFO - working towards a sustainable World Balance Sheet.