Rowan Williams

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Rowan Williams has had a significant influence on the wider community beyond them faith sector of C&C supporters.

To this day his most telling utterance remains this all-time classic, "those who think that Contraction & Convergence is utopian, simply haven't looked honestly at the alternatives."

A manageable first step relating particularly to carbon emissions, supported by a wide coalition of concerned parties, is of course the Contraction and Convergence proposals initially developed by the Global Commons Institute in London. This involves granting to each nation a notional 'entitlement to pollute' up to an agreed level that is credibly compatible with overall goals for managing and limiting atmospheric pollution. Those nations which exceed this level would have to pay pro rata charges on their excess emissions. The money thus raised would be put at the service of low emission nations or could presumably be ploughed back into poor but high-emission nations who would be, so to speak, in credit as to their entitlements, so as to assist them in ecologically sustainable development.

Such a model has the advantage that it seeks to intervene in what is presently a dangerously sterile situation. At the moment, some nations that are excessive but not wildly excessive polluters (mostly in Western Europe) have agreed levels of reduction under the Kyoto protocols, and are moving with reasonable expedition towards their targets; some developed nations that are excessive polluters have simply ignored Kyoto (the USA); some rapidly developing nations that are excessive polluters have also ignored Kyoto because they can see it only as a barrier to processes of economic growth already in hand (India and China). A charging regime universally agreed would address all these situations, allowing the first category to increase investment aid in sustainable ways, obliging the second to contribute realistically to meeting the global costs of its policies, and enabling the third to explore alternatives to heavy-polluting industrial development and to consider remedial policies. This scheme deals with only one of the enormous complex of interlocking environmental challenges; but it offers a model which may be transferable of how international regimes may be constructed and implemented.

If Contraction and Convergence gained the explicit support of the UK government, this would be a significant step towards political plausibility for the programme, and it is well worth keeping the proposals in the public eye with this goal in mind.
Archbishop of Canterbury

"The vision of contraction and convergence as a response to climate change, which is described in this volume, is one that I support. I have also called upon our Church to undertake an ecological audit of some sort; information about how to do this can be found in Part Three. Such local, internal responses are vital if our voice as a Church is to have integrity."
Sharing God's Planet

BBC Reports on the Archbishop of Canterbury and the Church backing C&C

"Contraction and Convergence is a prime example of a UNFCCC-compliant Global Climate Change Framework. It is a rational formulation for reconciliation of 'Climate Justice without Vengeance'. Several ideas derived from C&C have surfaced since Kyoto with ideas that can be perhaps in various ways incorporated into C&C. However, there is an overwhelming need for an over-arching UNFCCC-compliant Framework that enables the globally competing interests of the over-consuming and the under-consuming to be reconciled with each other and with the objective of the UNFCCC in a non-random manner. We feel that C&C is the veteran and indeed the apex example of this and urge you to consider our request. At Kyoto in December 1997 and shortly before they withdrew from these negotiations, the USA stated, “C&C contains elements for the next agreement that we may ultimately all seek to engage in.” The adversarial reasons for their withdrawal then were in play again at COP-15: - C&C answers this in a unifying and constitutional way and the need for this answer becomes increasingly critical."

Letter to Chris Huhne with full signatory list here: -

Sir John Houghton
President, John Ray Initiative
The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres KCVO DD FSA
Bishop of London
Tim Livesey
The Archbishop of Canterbury's Secretary for Public Affairs

Along with Human Well-Being and Economic Decision-Making, we have to ask about “green taxes” that will check environmental irresponsibility and build up resources to address the ecological crises that menace us. The Contraction and Convergence proposals are among the best known and most structurally simple of these, and it would be a major step to hear some endorsement of them from a body such as this.
Faith and the Global Agenda: Values for the Post-Crisis Economy
ABC at World Economic Forum, DAVOS, Switzerland 2010

Resolution 32: - The Anglican Consultative Council notes the Statement to the Anglican Communion from the ACEN, and endorses its recommendation that all Anglicans be encouraged to: -

  1. recognise that global climatic change is real and that we are contributing to the despoiling of creation
  2. commend initiatives that address the moral transformation needed for environmentally sustainable economic practices such as the Contraction and Convergence process championed by the Archbishop of Canterbury
  3. understand that, for the sake of future generations and the good of God’s creation, those of us in the rich nations need to be ready to make sacrifices in the level of comfort and luxury we have come to enjoy
  4. expect mission, vision and value statements to contain commitment to environmental responsibility at all levels of church activity
  5. educate all church members about the Christian mandate to care for creation
    work on these issues ecumenically and with all faith communities and people of good will everywhere
  6. ensure that the voices of women, indigenous peoples and youth are heard
    press government, industry and civil society on the moral imperative of taking practical steps towards building sustainable communities.

Anglican Communion Environmental Network [ACEN]

we encourage all Anglicans to:

  1. recognise that global climatic change is real and that we are contributing to the despoiling of creation.
  2. commend initiatives that address the moral transformation needed for environmentally sustainable economic practices such as the Contraction and Convergence process championed by the Archbishop of Canterburyii.
  3. understand that, for the sake of future generations and the good of God’s creation, those of us in the rich nations need to be ready to make sacrifices in the level of comfort and luxury we have come to enjoy.
  4. expect mission, vision and value statements to contain commitment to environmental responsibility at all levels of church activity.
  5. educate all church members about the Christian mandate to care for creation.
  6. work on these issues ecumenically and with all faith communities and people of good will everywhere.
  7. ensure that the voices of women, indigenous peoples and youth are heard.
  8. press government, industry and civil society on the moral imperative of taking practical steps towards building sustainable communities.

Report of the Anglican Communion
Covenant Design Group Meeting Nassau January 2007

Aubrey Meyer’s visionary Contraction and Convergence proposition (you can read more on this in  Meyer’s ‘The Case for Contraction and Convergence,’ in  David Cromwell and  Mark Levene, eds., Surviving Climate Change, The Struggle to Avert Global Catastrophe, London: Pluto Press, 2007, pp. 29-56),  is not only at fundament about piku’ah nefesh, it also in its insistence on an time-ordered reconciliation of all humanity by way of equal carbon entitlement is nothing less than eschatological in its vision of a world community which has arrived at its ethical end-goal. But Meyer’s proposition, of course, does not openly speak in these prophetic terms. Utterly grounded in the climate science, its purpose is to find a practical framework by which yearly, incremental carbon reduction can be brought to safe-limits. And its method is social justice. While all humanity will converge to a common carbon point, it will be the rich countries who will have to do almost the entirety of the ‘contraction’ to meet the overall targets, and in the process  –  through the tradability of entitlements – enabling the poor and disadvantaged the investment not only for clean sustainable technologies but a belated meeting of their fundamental right to wellbeing. A Jewish community which takes to its soul this ideal of and makes of it a goal of practical implementation is one which is truly fulfilling its time-honoured purpose. It would also in the process be helping to break an actual log-jam. Contraction and Convergence has been much theorised but what is arguably needed now is visible evidence that it can be made to work in a Western environment where the ‘sacrifice’ has to be made. Normative Judaism through its historic orthopraxy is particular suited to this exercise. Traditionally Jews lived by a very tight code of rules and observations governing every aspect of conduct and behaviour in their daily lives. Large numbers of the religious still do so. Re-orientating these guidelines to a template governing a sustainable life-style would not as an idea be that revolutionary. In the sense that it would actually involve a thorough-going programme of transition to low-energy living it would be as far-reaching as could be conceivably imagined. 
Can Jews help to stop Climate Change?

The Responses We Propose 

We see hope and rejoice in progress made. We heard at our meeting that:

  • The Kyoto Protocol is now legally binding in 128 nations
  • Many provinces, dioceses and parishes within the Anglican Communion are actively pursuing actions towards environmental sustainability
  • Task forces within the Anglican Communion are addressing inter-related issues, such as trade and poverty, and women’s issues
  • Parishes in some provinces have begun to use programs to help them reduce the environmental footprint of their activities (Eco-congregations/ Footprint Files, etc). 
In the light of these hopeful signs, we encourage all Anglicans to:
  • recognise that global climatic change is real and that we are contributing to the despoiling of creation
  • commend initiatives that address the moral transformation needed for environmentally sustainable economic practices such as the Contraction and Convergence process championed by the Archbishop of Canterbury [ii] 
  • understand that, for the sake of future generations and the good of God’s creation, those of us in the rich nations need to be ready to make sacrifices in the level of comfort and luxury we have come to enjoy
  • expect mission, vision and value statements to contain commitment to environmental responsibility at all levels of church activity
  • educate all church members about the Christian mandate to care for creation
  • work on these issues ecumenically and with all faith communities and people of good will everywhere
  • ensure that the voices of women, indigenous peoples and youth are heard
  • press government, industry and civil society on the moral imperative of taking practical steps towards building sustainable communities. 

Anglican Diocese of Auckland New Zealand

On Monday, the Archbishop of Canterbury endorsed "contraction and convergence," the plan of the Global Commons Institute to confront climate change by allotting to every human being an equal right and quota to emit carbon dioxide. Dr. Rowan Williams said the viability of the human species is threatened by our "offences against the environment," which are menacing the possibility of maintaining any viable notion of universal justice in the short term, and the survival of the species in the long run. He said the emergence of "fortress societies" and "the most vicious kind of global conflict" would be among the consequences of failing to confront the tough choices that the natural order is now posing to humanity.
United For Peace
Pierce County Tacoma Seattle Washington State USA

In 48 points or “better steps”, German philosopher and envrionmental ethicist Konrad Ott continues "Kronolid’s struggle with the ethical implications of climate change by elaborating basic foundations on existing and necessary policies for climate change. The short sections are consistently formulated as “ethical claims” and the reader should approach these slowly and with concentration, so that the subsequent steps are converted into one single walk and path. At the core of the author’s argument lies the climate-ethics concept of “Contraction and Convergence”. This argument provokes a constructive debate, and it presumes to to support a concept that has been regarded as “Utopian a decade ago but has now entered the political stage. What might it contribute to international climate policy in a nondistant future?
Religion and Dangerous Environmental Change
Sigurd Bergmann Dieter Gerten [Eds]

Assuming an equal right to the Earth's atmosphere, broadly speaking it is possible to envisage different development paths for North and South. All countries are expected in the long run, to converge upon a similar level of fossil energy- use per capita. The North will contract, while the South will expand towards a convergence with the North. Over-users will have to come down from their present level, while under-users are permitted to raise their present level, albeit at a gradient that is much less steep than the one industrial countries went through historically, levelling off at the point of convergence. However, the convergence of North and South on equal emission levels cannot be achieved at the expense of contraction, i.e., the transition to globally sustainable levels of emissions. Once again, sustainability gives rise to equity. Indeed, the vision of 'contraction and convergence' combines ecology and equity most elegantly; it starts with the insight that the global environmental space is finite, and attempts to fairly share its permissible use among all world citizens, taking into account the future generations as well.
Pontifical Academy of Sciences
Interactions between Global Change and Human Health
From The Offices of Vatican City

Global Justice - HMG must embrace the concept of Contraction and Convergence as the most effective and fair global solution to the problem of climate change and that other policies for a low carbon emissions economy should be set within this wider framework.
Prosperity with a Purpose - Exploring the Ethics of Affluence
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

Aspiration for global justice – a bias in favour of the weakest
The aspiration for global justice and special attention for the poor and for those generations who are not yet born are core values of Catholic social teaching. The contraction and convergence approach to the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions is one option for achieving more global justice through an emission allotment and trading scheme, and a minimum requirement in the light of these values. Contraction relates to the need to reduce the total amount of anthropogenic emissions in order to protect the climate. Convergence relates to
the distribution of these outputs. In order to achieve an equitable allocation of emission rights, it is often suggested that each human being in the world should gradually receive the same emission rights: based on their current per capita emissions, fewer emission rights will gradually be allocated to the industrial countries, while the developing countries will increasingly be granted more emission rights until each country achieves the same per capita rights by 2050.
Secretariat of the Commission of the Bishops’ Conferences of the European Community
A Report to the Bishops of COMECE

He supports the efforts of people like Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute in London, whose carbon emissions model Contraction and convergence [C&C], could become the basis for international agreement and political consensus.
Soul Purpose
David Bailey

An ideal for cutting carbon emissions for instance, is a per head allocation globally. This allows low-level developing nations a time of grace to grow. Meanwhile overdeveloped nations, having created the problem of GlobalWarming during two hundred years of industrialisation, take the burden. Initially the burden of reducing carbon emissions suffiently to achieve the aim, while rare of growth of carbon emissions for low-level developing nations would be controllably and increasingly reduced to a turning point which would then approach coincidence with rhe reducing levels of those in the developed countries. Then when equality in emissions has been reached all will continue that decrease together. This is “Contraction and Convergence” C&C, fostered for years by Aubrey Meyer, Director of The Global Commons Institute. Ideally all earm’s resources could be shared in rhis way. Contracting and Converging Compassionately. C & C = COMPASSION
Christian Yoga
Harry Holloway

The leading model for distributing emissions rights between nations on a per-capita basis is the proposed international framework called Contraction and Convergence. Formulated in the U.K. by the Global Commons Institute, it recognizes that because the emissions cuts required by developed nations are so deep, convergence to per-capita emissions rights is only possible over time.
Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy
Shaping a Sustainable World - Alan Marshall

Speaking out in support of encompassing global concepts such as Contraction and Convergence, challenging materialistic lifestyle choices, exploring ways how we can turn and become an eco-just society, taking side with the worst affected groups in overseas countries and also with the worst affected groups here at home, helping them to secure their livelihoods in the face of climate change in liberation-style theology - adapted to Climate Change.
Castle Street Methodist Church

1. There is a problem
Global climate change is a global problem.

2. There is a cause of the problem
Systemically driven over-consumption and inequality are the cause of the problem.

3. The problem can be overcome
A global solution is needed to overcome the problem.

4. There is a way to overcome the problem
A global framework for "Contraction and Convergence" based on: -

One: - Precaution Global contraction of carbon emissions
Two: - Equity Convergence to equal shares per head
Three: - Efficiency Global trading of shares ease transition to
Four: - Prosperity with zero-emissions life-style and techniques
Tao says: - “from 1 comes 2, from 2 comes 3 & from 3 come the 10,000 things.”

Climate Change in the Light of
the Four Noble Truths of Buddhism

Some 40 publications appearing in 1999 and 2000 address climate change ethics, including Page’s 1999) journal article ‘Intergenerational justice and climate change’ and Wesley & Peterson’s (1999) journal article ‘The ethics of burden-sharing in the global greenhouse.’ Contraction and convergence: the global solution to climate change, by Meyer (2000), offered an ethically based framework to reduce global greenhouse gas emissions that would lead to equal per capita emissions rights at some agreed future ‘convergence’ date. His idea has gained interest among many nations and is often referred to in international climate negotiations.
Roles of religion and ethics in addressing climate change - Paula J. Posas
The ESEP Essay Contest Winner in Philosophy/Religious Studies

"Looking towards the upcoming negotiations on the second commitment period, the Contraction and Convergence Model is an important contribution. It corresponds to the initial vision of the Convention that demands the reduction of CO2 emissions of industrialized countries and leaves space for the development of developing countries. It presents a starting point for deliberations and negotiations directed to finding a justice-based global approach to climate change."
World Council of Churches

Rt Revd John Oliver, the Bishop of Hereford, began his presentation saying his aim was to convert the Congress to support the idea of ‘contraction and convergence’. This theory has already considerable support but he was frustrated that so few people know about it. Contraction and convergence is an interim policy framework for implementing emission reduction which meets the US demands that the two thirds world joins and the two thirds world demand for equitable treatment. Contraction involves the world agreeing to contract the amount of emissions over to a specified amount. Convergence involves every country being given a certain number of permits to pollute, according to population size. Countries with spare permits to pollute can sell them to other, more polluting countries through emissions trading.. The Bishop emphasized the need for action now, as insurers calculate that by 2065 the cost of environmental damage will exceed the world’s GDP.
The Anglican Communion

Public Policies based on the Concept of Enough
Enough has important philosophical and reflective aspects, but it is also at the heart of many concrete proposals and frameworks for making the changes we need, in order to live well in the future. Such proposals include ‘Contraction and Convergence’ based on the idea of a fair distribution of carbon-emission quotas to all citizens of the globe.
Jesuit Centre for Faith and Justice

Contraction and Convergence I WAS TREMENDOUSLY EXCITED when I first read about Contraction and Convergence (C&C) in the Independent in May last year. Until then, I felt only despair about climate change. I could see the problem, see the solution – drastic reduction of energy consumption, and also see that it isn‟t happening. Depending on individual and corporate awareness and conscience is clearly not going to save the planet. But Contraction and Convergence, the idea of Aubrey Meyer, founder and director of the Global Commons Institute, is a simple, equitable and comprehensive global solution.
Blessed are the Environmentalists

Contraction and Convergence
The basic ethical principle of Contraction & Convergence is “equal per capita emission allocation.” It reduces global greenhouse gas emissions so that atmospheric concentrations become stabilized at an agreed safe level (contraction) and distributes the permissible emissions under the contraction on an equal per capita basis globally for all countries (convergence). For more information on Contraction & Convergence
To run or download a presentation on Contraction & Convergence
Forum on Religion and Ecology at YALE

Contraction and Convergence - The only safe and equitable scheme for climate safety. Aubrey Meyer used this Contraction and Convergence presentation at the Operation Noah Launch in Coventry. More details and notes at Well worth downloading.
Operation Noah

The film An Inconvenient Truth could be mistaken for a Presidential commercial were it not for the evident integrity and earnestness of the protagonist, Al Gore. It is a very gentle, personal, relaxed, sensitive documentary, following Al Gore on his worldwide travels to give his high-tech Apple Mac Global Warming slideshow. He is a missionary in this work. He clearly has a deep conviction that people don't understand Climate Change, that Global Warming is threatening the whole of life on Earth, and that the burden is on his shoulders to explain it - as he puts it - person by person, family by family. Various events from his education, his work and life history have clearly influenced his commitment to environmental protection, and some of these are narrated in between "show time" scenes of the man, at work in front of a selection of different audiences. As I said to Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute, whom I happened to bump into at the train station the other evening, "I never realised Al Gore was such a great communicator.""Yes", said Aubrey, "He's good on explaining the problems, but he's a bit short on solutions." And it's true : the film dwells only very briefly on the "wedges" that could be implemented to halt Global Warming. It doesn't mention the international Climate negotiations held by the United Nations, and it doesn't talk about Contraction and Convergence, proposed by GCI as the framework for addressing Climate Change worldwide.
Interface - Where Christianity meets Culture

We do need to be aware just how damaging air travel is in terms of the build-up of CO2 concentrations in the upper atmosphere. We need to take a precautionary view in the light of what many believe to be a global disaster accelerating through the rest of this century. This is at best only capable of amelioration through drastic cuts in CO2 emissions by the developed nations in accordance with the contraction and convergence principles supported by General Synod and indeed now by an increasing number of international organisations and a substantial majority within the scientific community.
Ven Michael Fox Archdeacon of West Ham
Chair - Environmental Issues Group, Diocese of Chelmsford

There is in the long run no choice between this spiralling inequality (and the fortress societies it will create) and some realistic step to deal with our addictions. The Global Commons Institute, based in London, has in recent years been advancing a very sophisticated model for pushing us back towards some serious engagement with this matter of equality, through its proposed programme of ‘Contraction and Convergence’. This seeks to achieve fairly rapid and fairly substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions – but to do so in a way that foregrounds questions of equity between rich and poor nations. At the moment, rates of emission are fantastically uneven across the globe. In the first forty eight hours of 2004, an average American family would have been responsible for as much in the way of emissions as an average Tanzanian family over the entire year. So what is proposed is that each nation is treated as having the same limited ‘entitlement to pollute’ – an agreed level of carbon emission, compatible with goals for reducing and stabilising overall atmospheric pollution. Since, obviously, heavily industrialised, high-consumption nations will habitually be using a great deal more than their entitlement and poorer nations less, there should be a pro rata charge on the higher users. They would, as it were, be purchasing the pollution ‘credits’ of less prosperous countries. And this charge would be put at the service of sustainable development in poorer nations in accord with the Millennium Development Goals. This would be treated not as an aid issue but as a matter of trading and entitlement.
Something to think about
Newport Parish Isle of Wight

The film the Age of Stupid offers a good illustration of a contraction and convergence approach so that film-goers come away knowing that there are solutions on offer.
Creation Challenge CTBI

Church of England National Environment Campaign
Synod as carried - February 2005

That this Synod: -
1. commend Sharing God’s Planet as a contribution to Christian thinking and action on environmental issues;
challenge itself and all members of the Church of England to make care for creation, and repentance for its exploitation, fundamental to their faith, practice, and mission;
2. lead by example by promoting study on the scale and nature of lifestyle change necessary to achieve sustainability, and initiatives encouraging immediate action towards attaining it;
3. encourage parishes, diocesan and national Church organizations to carry out environmental audits and adopt specific and targeted measures to reduce consumption of non-renewable resources and ask the Mission and Public Affairs Council to report on outcomes achieved to the July 2008 group of sessions;
4. welcome Her Majesty’s Government’s prioritising of climate change in its chairing of the G8 and its forthcoming presidency of the European Union;
5. urge Her Majesty’s Government to provide sustained and adequate funding for research into, and development of, environmentally friendly sources of energy;
6. and in order to promote responsible use of God’s created resources and to reduce and stabilise global warming, commend to the consumers of material and energy, the approach of ‘contraction and convergence’;
7. and to the producers of material and energy systems, safe, secure and sustainable products and processes based on near-zero-carbon-emitting sources.

International perspective We live on a planet of finite size and resources: what I do in my own backyard (especially if it involves a patio heater and propane-fuelled barbecue!) has a global impact. Yet those who suffer most from the consequences of climate change had no say in my contributing activities. If the nations of the world could work together on equitable ways of reducing global warming - as indeed they have already come to scientific agreement, through the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change, on its reality and causes that would be an enormous step forward for the good of humankind, not only in the practical consequences but also in fostering co-operative behaviour in our global village. There are already successful models of international co-operation on environmental issues, such as the Montreal Protocol of 1987 which drastically reduced the emission of ozone-destroying substances. But even if not everyone joins in, that does not absolve us from the responsibility of playing our part in adopting sustainable lifestyles. More to the point, Christians in high-income countries can hardly claim to be loving their (global) neighbour when the consequences of their actions may lead to suffering and an increased probability of an early death elsewhere. To refuse to do so when the consequences of our actions are already clear is not only reckless but sinful. The high-income countries of the industrialised West have largely attained their standard of living through the profligate use of natural resources, and particularly of fossil fuels. Those countries can hardly deny the right of less industrialised nations such as China and India to pull themselves up to similar standards of living. Yet if the low-income countries simply emulate the industrialised nations in their use of fossil fuels, the problem of global warming will quickly escalate. One equitable solution which Christians could well endorse is to press for all nations to move towards a position where each is allowed to produce the same amount of polluting gases per capita. Such 'contraction and convergence' could in principle be achieved if there is the political will and international unity required to do so.
A Burning Issue
Christian Care for the Environment

In 1990 a small British institute called the Global Commons Institute presented an idea aimed at solving the global crisis resulting from climate change. They were interested in two issues, equity, between the various peoples of the world, and survival through the maintenance of the present planetary climate regime. Their proposal was called Contraction and Convergence (often given the acronym C&C). The concept assumes that there are limits to growth in fossil fuel consumption if a climate crisis is to be avoided. A typical scenario addressing the issue of survival under C&C would be to stabilise carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere at about 450 parts per million by volume. This compares with the present (unstable and still rising) level of atmospheric carbon dioxide of 360ppmv. This is not to claim that 450ppmv is not without serious risk, given that claims of detectable effects are made for the present levels of atmospheric carbon dioxide. If this level is accepted then the scientific community can be asked to estimate the annual world emission rate that would be sustainable (probably about 60% of the present emission rate, as the present emission rate would ultimately lead to much higher levels). Such a generous scenario however would still mean contraction in use by the developed world and restrictions on how much carbon dioxide could be released by developing countries in the future. Equity is addressed by proposing that future entitlements to emit carbon dioxide should be equalised globally on a per capita basis. That is, when fully in place, say in forty or fifty years time, each individual in the world would be entitled to emit the same amount of carbon dioxide measured on a national basis. This is the proposed convergence. It is hoped that this, more inclusive process, would break the present international stalemate that we see in Kyoto negotiations. The US refuses to ratify the Kyoto Protocol until major developing countries commit to curbing their gas emission and points out that developing countries will be responsible for more than half the emissions by 2020. On the other hand, the developing countries point out that emissions by developed countries are thirty times that of the developing world on a per capita basis and they now want their turn to use fossil fuels to aid their development, as the developed countries have done in the past. No wonder there is an impasse! Australia has also refused to sign the Protocol. Basically, the C&C system would provide the basis for a world carbon budget but, because the budget will not be big enough for all to do whatever they wish, carbon emission will need to be rationed on an equitable basis. There are three components to this. Firstly, the budget must be global; every country shares in the atmosphere and its absorptive capacity must be allocated so that no-one gains and no-one is deprived of their share. Secondly, the present situation, where allocations are generally proportional to wealth must be replaced. Thirdly, each person must be entitled to the same amount of greenhouse gas emissions (on a country basis). Studies during the World Wars showed that rationing only works if it is perceived as fair and it is claimed that the C&C system can be seen as fair. There are practical implications with this approach. Developing countries would have strong incentives to direct as much as possible of their development down non-fossil-fuel based energy pathways. As well the C&C mechanism would allow them to sell their unused annual emission entitlements to finance development without the need for massive debt-causing loans. At the same time developed countries would be able to purchase emission entitlements to gain time while they rebuild their infrastructures. While some European and developing countries have expressed varied levels of support for C&C as the basis for a long-term solution, it is early days in the process of exploring just how such a system would work. The Anglican Church, as well as the World Council of Churches, has expressed support for C&C and some of the many statements can be found at:
Love Power and Awareness
Anglican Diocese of Canberra and Goulburn

We often talk of the ‘global commons’ meaning for example air, oceans or Antarctica – by definition these are ‘commons’ to be shared. But more ‘commons’ need to be identified. For instance, there are respects in which Land should be treated as a resource to be shared or fish and other marine resources. Or, in order for international action regarding climate change to be pursued, how are allowable emissions from fossil fuel burning or from deforestation to be allocated? How do we as a world share these natural resources between us and especially between the very rich – like ourselves - and the very poor? A proposal by the Global Commons Institute is that emissions should first be allocated to everybody in the world equally per capita, then transfer of allocations being allowed through trading between nations. The logic and the basic equity of this proposal is in principle quite compelling – but is it achievable? Sustainability will never be achieved without a great deal more sharing. Sharing is an important Christian principle that needs to be worked out in practice. John the Baptist preached about sharing (Luke 3 v11), Jesus talked about sharing (Luke 12 v33), the early church were prepared to share everything (Acts 4 v32) and Paul advocated it (2 Cor 8 v13-15). The opposite of sharing - greed and covetousness - is condemned throughout 11 scripture. The sharing of knowledge and skills with those in the third world is also an important responsibility. These new attitudes are not just to provide guidance to policy makers in government or elsewhere. They need to be espoused by the public at large. Otherwise government will not possess the confidence to act. For the public to take them on board, the public have to under-stand them. To understand, they have to be informed. There is a great need for accurate and understandable information to be propagated about all aspects of sustainability. Christian churches could play a significant role in this.
Global Warming Climate Change and Sustainability
John Ray Initiative

Imagine a solution to climate change which would simultaneously tackle global poverty and inequality. Aubrey Meyer's 'Contraction and Convergence' proposal could be an answer to both. Contration and Convergence could play a major role in reducing climate change and in reducing the growing gap betwecn rich and poor. The idea that everyone has rights to air, a global commons given us by God, fits with the Quaker Testtmony to Equality. Could Quakers lead the way as we have in the past? What might that mean? Dare to imagine your PM building Contraction and Convergence into its Finance and Property Group, perhaps sending donations to poor countries to pay for all excess carbon emissions! How might Contraction and Convergence affect Friends House? Meeting for sufferings? We cannot continue with business as usual. Our Quaker testimonies to Simplicity, Equality, Sustainability and Peace provide us with a basis for action. Can Quakers lead the way in championing this as we did the abolition of the slave trade?
Quaker Magazine - The FRIEND

We have now come to constitute, he says, an almost solid mass of humanity. We are experiencing a phase of contraction and convergence. Teilhard calls the contemporary trend ‘Planetization’ the emergence of a global consciouness.
The Creative Christian
Adrian B Smith

With Contraction and Convergence [C&C], governments negotiate a convergence period to an equal per capita distribution of emissions entitlements globally.
OSHO World Magazine

The reality is that if we fail to address the consequences of global warming and don’t massively reduce carbon emissions over the next 30 years, the future of human civilization will be in doubt in 100 years time. To prevent this catastrophe we need world wide agreement on Contraction and Convergence. Contraction and Convergence means that we ask climate scientists to tell us how much carbon dioxide can be safely emitted globally. We then move over time to a per capita entitlement with the OECD countries having to massively reduce emissions. So that developing countries being able to grow but having access to new technologies do not emit as much CO2 in the course of their development as did Europe and North America. So it's clear even for those who are not convinced of the need for radical action for moral reasons, that as our climate and environmental problems become more serious, there is need for action in order to preserve human civilization. As Africa is the poorest continent with the least power in the international sytem, it would be the right place for Europe to start in constructing a more just and equitable world order in order to cope with the problemes that face the whole of humanity.
Africa and Europe: co-operation in a globalized word
Johannes Müller, Michael Reder, Scribani-European Jesuit Network

Anglican Communion Environmental Network
The Anglican Consultative Council notes thc Statement to thc Anglican Communion from the ACEN, and
endorses its recommendation that all Anglicans be encouraged to: -
[1] recognise that global climatic change is real and that we are contributing to the despoiling of creation
[2] commend initatives that address the moral transformation needed for environmentally sus tainable economic practices such as the Contraction and Convergence process championed by the Archbishop of Canterbury
[3] understand that for the sake of future generations and the good of God's creation, those of us in the rich nations need to be ready to make sacrifices in the level of comfort and luxury we have come to enjoy.
Living Communion: Anglican Consultative Council XIII, Nottingham
James Rosenthal

Before the Framework Convention, the Global Commons Institute in the United Kingdom presented a proposal using ‘Contraction’ (to a level of global GHG emissions) and ‘Convergence’ (so that each country converges on the same allocation per inhabitant by an agreed date), aimed at equality in emissions per capita. In this proposal, countries unable to manage within their shares would be able to buy the unused parts of the allocations of other countries. Proposals calling for Contraction and Convergence represent a way to implement per capita equality in the long run. Industrialized countries have nearly locked themselves into a fossil-based infrastructure that requires some lead time to dismantle, even disregarding resistance from power and oil companies. Factors other than population Size need to be taken into account, including geographical and climatic conditions, and intensity of the economy. Contraction in carbon emissions is nevertheless a path for industrialized nations to start down.
For Contraction and Convergence policies to be implemented, nations would need to agree to stay within safe limits of the climate system. A scientifically derived global carbon budget would be the upper limit for all combined emissions, and that budget would be divided among the countries of the world. Industrialized nations would start the contraction process with more of this global budget but would receive fewer and fewer allowances as time goes on. Industrializing nations would begin at a point of much lower levels of emissions but would in the process of development increase those emissions, receiving a larger share of the emissions budget. While the polluting nations would engage in a process of contraction, the developing nations would eventually converge with the industrialized nations at a point that is safely within the absorptive capacity of the atmosphere.
Wind, Sun, Soil Spirit - Biblical Ethics and Climate Change
Carol Robb

Contraction and Convergence, a model devised by Aubrey Meyer [see figure 7.3].
Christianity, Climate Change, and Sustainable Living
Nick Spencer Robert White Virginia Vrodlesky

"Nature, Space and the Sacred known as ‘Contraction and Convergence’ which was first advanced by Aubrey Meyer at the Global Commons Institute."
Nature, Space and the Sacred
P. M. Scott, M. Jansdotter Samuelsson, H. Bedford-Strohm, S. Bergmann

The same motion commended to consumers of material energy the approach of “Contraction and Convergence”.
The Church on Capitalism: Theology and the Market
Eve Poole

The slowly increasing acceptance of Contraction and Convergence which the Global Commons Institute put foward as a means of fairly apportioning global CO2 emissions rights on an equal per capita basis.
Green Spirituality: One Answer to Environmental Problems and World Poverty
Chris Philpott

Climate scientists have proposed a contraction and convergence approach in order to share out the impacts of climate change in a more equitable manner on a global scale. This approach adopts the following principles: -

The precautionary principle
The polluter-pays principle
The equity principle

Eco-Theology, Celia Deane-Drummond

Ways need to be found to achieve reductions that are both realistic and equitable - for instance a mechanism called ‘Contraction and Convergence’.
Creation in Crisis
Robert White

In a quite radical moral initiative, the WCC also called for “Contraction and Convergence” allowing each country and equal amount of emissions per head.”
A Greener Faith: Religious Environmentalism and Our Planet’s Future
Roger S. Gottlieb

A Musician's YANTRA
"So powerful is the C&C graphic presentation that it has been called a “yantra”, a term which Buddhists reserve for the most powerful provokers of thought and reflection among the earthly minds. Since Meyer has proved to be no mean marketing expert, he may think of finding a sponsor to make it into up-market dinner tables thus providing a basis for conservation among the influential. What is needed is someone serious, rich and fashionable to launch it on a social occasion. Maybe Bill Gates could leaven the launch of his softwares with something of charitable worth based on “Meyer’s yantra”."