I support wholeheartedly the GCI Contraction and Convergence Proposal to the UNFCCC.
Professor Edward Page
Warwick University

Contraction and Convergence’, is the now the DNA of the debate.

It has 3 main components: -

  1. each person on the planet is granted an equal right to emit carbon by virtue of their equal right to use the benefits provided by a shared atmosphere. This principle is treated as intrinsic to the architecture of the approach and not a longer-term aspiration as in the case of Kyoto Plus.
  2. a ‘global ceiling ‘ for greenhouse emissions is set based on a calculation of the amount the global environment can withstand without dangerous climate change taking place.
  3. each country is allocated a yearly ‘carbon emissions budget ‘ consistent with the global ceiling not being exceeded, and calculated according to each country’s population size relative to an agreed base year. The name of the approach comes from the notion that over time, it aims to bring about a stabilisation, and later a contraction, in global greenhouse emissions so that they stay below a safe level; and that, in the longer term, developed and developing countries will converge on a roughly equal level of per capita emissions.

Within this overall approach, a country that wants to emit more than its yearly quota must buy credits from countries that have spare capacity. The country selling the credits is then free to invest the receipts in activities enabling it to develop sustainably. An emissions mechanism is a key feature of all of the proposed successors to Kyoto, but in this version the trading zone covers the whole planet from the outset. The consequence is that Contraction and Convergence offers a unique mixture of equity and flexibility which does not seek a literal convergence in greenhouse emissions, but rather a convergence in the rights of all countries to make use of the atmospheric commons. Unlike a number of competing approaches, Contraction and Convergence, if fully implemented and complied with, could be expected to reduce the risks of dangerous climate change substantially, although it will not prevent many adverse impacts in the short to medium-term. It also has the merit that it adopts emissions targets based on scientific criteria for protecting inequalities between developing and developed countries, and between generations, relative to its rivals. It will also tend to improve, relative to rival approaches, the position of the worst off since research suggests strongly that very many of the worst off will be members of developing countries in a future world blighted by climate change. Finally, it will be attractive to those who wish to bring as many people as possible to the point where they have enough since the measures it will introduce will benefit many millions of people in developed and developing countries who lead, or will lead, lives lacking in what is needed for a decent life without bringing more than a very limited number of people below the sufficiency level."
"Contraction and Convergence - the Global Solution to Climate Change" -
Aubrey Meyer Green Books. C&C was pioneered by the Global Commons Institute
Climate Change, Justice and Future Generations
Edward Page

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