I am very happy to support the Global Commons Institute’s Contraction and Convergence Proposal to the UNFCCC.
The causes of climate change are varied and complex, and successful responses will probably be equally varied and complex. Contraction and Convergence is, as you note, “an enormous undertaking,” but I believe that it offers arguably the most fair way to proceed.
Without fairness, there will be no lasting solutions. Therefore, I happily support the C&C Proposal and the work of the GCI.
Dennis Patrick O'Hara, DC, ND, BA, MDiv, PhD
Associate Professor, Ethics and Eco-theology
Director, Elliott Allen Institute for Theology and Ecology
University of St. Michael's College
Associate Member, Graduate Faculty
Centre for Environment, University of Toronto
For the C&C approach to become operational, the signatories to the UNFCCC must agree on a safe concentration of atmospheric GHGs, the proportional allocation of this limited capacity based on national populations, the fair assessment of current levels of emissions, targets for contraction of those national emissions that exceed allocations4 and the concurrent temporary increase in emissions for those countries which have not utilized their full allocation – an enormous undertaking that has thus far been elusive.
Nevertheless, the proponents of the C&C approach argue that it can provide an equitable and just response to the climate change challenge that can win the support of the developing world since it both protects their ability to develop and obligates the developed world to reduce its excess emissions (Global Commons Institute 2008).
They further argue that the date of convergence should be realized as soon as possible since the most vulnerable and least responsible for climate change are currently bearing a disproportionate and unjust burden created by those who have utilized more than their fair share of the atmospheric commons, and justice demands that this be resolved as soon as possible.
Ethical Response to Climate Change
Dennis Patrick O’Hara and Alan Abelsohn