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It gives me great pleasure to endorse Global Commons Institute's Contraction & Convergence (C&C) framework for submission to UNFCCC. Our window of opportunity to act decisively against climate change gets narrower and narrower with every passing year, as greenhouse gas emissions continue unabated. Predictions under the Business As Usual scenario indicate an alarming 4 deg C to 6 deg C temperature rise by the end of the century. This condemns future generations to severe environmental, social, economic and political stress.
C&C is really the only framework at a strategic level to come to a fair and equitable consensus on how nations can collectively contract emissions rapidly and scientifically. C&C charts an elegant pathway for the world to converge to a very low and common per capita emissions that will be critical for the quality of life we bequeath to our children and their descendants.
Many thanks for your efforts over the last twenty years too. I hope the tipping point has come, not for Planet Earth's climate systems, but for humanity's ability to come together speedily for urgent action.
I will certainly help spread the word as best as I can! How can the public support this?
Time and again, activists have said that there is real power in petitions. It's time again to support one that strikes at the heart of the climate change debate - a fair and scientific framework that enables nations to act together to 'contract' their emissions and 'converge' to a low per capita one to keep the planet within a safe temperature rise.
Please send an email to Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute, supporting the "CONTRACTION & CONVERGENCE" framework to be submitted to the UNFCCC. It doesn't have to be as long as my letter below, even a one-liner will do. Please see further links and explanations on the threads here.
Contraction & Convergence: An urgent global imperative to tackle Climate Change
by Bhavani Prakash
Why have the past climate negotiations including the one at Copenhagen in December 2009 been inadequate to deal with the serious climate crisis facing the planet? What is the model that allows for an equitable transition to a zero carbon future – probably the only model that will ensure climate justice and keep the planet from disastrous temperature rises? How can we urge the new UK government to embrace this model as ordinary citizens of the world – so that it benefits all developed AND developing nations?
With the worst of the financial crisis behind us, the engines of economic growth have begun to hum again. From a carbon emissions point of view, we have much cause for concern as there is a direct correlation between GDP and GHG emissions. (See diagram on the right).
We have not yet made that shift to where economic growth comes with low carbon emissions. On the contrary, we are causing climate change at a faster rate than we are mitigating it. How can we manage future emissions in a way that economies, human societies and ecosystems are not blown apart due to the growth paradigm  to which we as an economy driven world are addicted – of infinite growth in a planet of finite resources?
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Interview with Green Collar Asia By Bhavani Prakash
"Contraction & Convergence as a pragmatic framework to solve Climate Change"
In 1992 the world agreed a Climate Change Convention at the UN. Its objective is to halt the rising concentration of Greenhouse Gas [GHG] in the atmosphere at a level that is low enough not to trigger dangerous rates of climate change. By 1995 the Convention had been ratified by a sufficient number of Governments to bring it into force and a process of International negotiations began to control and reduce the GHG emissions from the human economy that were responsible for this rise of concentrations in the global atmosphere.
Climate scientists now see a 2 degree C temperature rise above pre-industrial levels as a ‘safe’ upper limit. GHG concentrations have risen 40% above preindustrial levels and need to stop rising below 60% to keep within that 2 degree temperature limit. To achieve that, global GHG emissions need to fall to near zero within about the next forty years.
To accelerate to this greener future with abundant jobs in emissions-free renewable energy, clean transport and infrastructure, sustainable agriculture and oceans, a global climate deal on GHG emissions control is an essential pre-condition and now urgently needed. The Contraction & Convergence [C&C] model discussed here offers a framework for such a global climate deal.
Attempts over the last seventeen years at arriving at a climate deal during the COP climate change summits have been ‘guesswork’ and a ‘patchwork’, with various countries coming up with emission reduction numbers which are mostly expedient to their economic interests, rather than meeting the objective of the Convention and the collective good of humanity.
Nations need to sit down together to agree jointly how much carbon emissions need to contract overall to stay within the total budget of emissions that is required to stabilise concentrations at a safe level, and decide how each nation’s or region’s share of that budget can be determined in a manner that is rational and fair. C&C then proposes that within the overall contraction that is required, all nations or regions converge to a uniform per capita emission figure. This creates shares of the budget as either ‘entitlements’ to emit or actual emissions. The key negotiation under C&C is the rate at which the over-consumers and under-consumers need to converge.
With this framework accepted as the basis of the process from now on, guesswork is superseded and the likelihood that planet will remain within the carbon budget is considerably increased.
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