Hi Aubrey

I would like to add my endorsement of carbon contraction and convergence as the only fair way that we can globally deal with the threat of climate change and peak oil. The developed countries must take responsibility for their past emissions and support emerging economies to reduce their dependence on fossil fuels, whilst understanding that they may need to increase emissions in the short term.

I have been a big fan of your approach since hearing you at De Montfort University in the late 90's - Good Luck! And if I can help....


Helen Chadwick | Sustainability Consultant
1989 Fellow of the Royal Meteorological Society (FRMetS)
2011 Associate of the Royal Town Planning Institute (RTPI)
2010 Trustee for Groundwork Leicester and Leicestershire (GWLL)
2011 STEM Ambassador

Hi Helen

I remember you were one of the 250 people who co-signed this letter to the Independent way back in December 1999.
This was before COP-6 in the Hague in 2000. How time flies.

Letter for your co-signature
originally from GCI to the UK's Independent newspaper, published 24th December 1999):

Dear Sir

The debts that the wealthy countries have recently forgiven their poorer neighbours are as nothing in comparison with the amount that these countries already owe the rest of the world for the increased global warming they have caused and are still causing. Inevitably there are links between this and the rising frequency and severity of storms, floods, droughts and the damages these are causing in many places across the world.

While debts worth roughly $3 billion have just been conditionally written off by the UK, the cost of the infra-structural damage done by the recent floods in Venezuela alone has been put at $10 billion. In addition, tens of thousands of lives have been lost there. Is anybody brave enough to put a monetary value on these?

Moreover, the greenhouse gases the energy-intensive countries have discharged into the atmosphere in the past two centuries will stay potentially even beyond the new century, causing death and destruction year after year. The debt relief, on the other hand, is a one-off event. Fifty-six countries were affected by severe floods and at least 45 by drought during 1998, the most recent year for which figures are available.  In China, the worst floods for 44 years displaced 56 million people in the Yangtze basin and destroyed almost five per cent of the country's output for the year, for which climate change was one of the causes. In Bangladesh, an unusually long and severe monsoon flooded two-thirds of the country for over a month and left 21 million people homeless. 

Paul Epstein of Harvard Medical School has estimated that in the first eleven months of 1998, weather-related losses totaled $89 billion and that 32,000 people died and 300 million were displaced from their homes. This was more than the total losses experienced throughout the 1980s, he said.  The rate of destruction will accelerate because greenhouse gases are still being added to the atmosphere at perhaps five times the rate that natural systems can remove them. By 2050, annual losses could theoretically amount to anywhere between 12 per cent and 130 per cent of the gross world product. In other words, more than the total amount the world produces that year could be destroyed and life as we know it could collapse. For the industrialized countries, the damage could be anywhere between 0.6 per cent and 17 per cent of their annual output, and for the rest of the world, between 25 per cent and 250 per cent. 

Michael Meacher, the UK Environment Minister, has recognised this. He recently told the Royal Geological Society that, "the future of our planet, our civilisation and our survival as a human species... may well depend on [our responding to the climate crisis by] fusing the disciplines of politics and science within a single coherent system."  "Contraction and Convergence" is such a system. As Sir John Houghton, Chair of the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) recently told the British Association for the Advancement of Science, global greenhouse emissions need to be reduced by at least 60% in less than a hundred years.

When governments agree to be bound by such a target, the diminishing amount of carbon dioxide and the other greenhouse gases that the world could release while staying within the target can be calculated for each year in the coming century. This is the contraction part of the process.

The convergence part is that each year's tranche of this global emissions budget gets shared out among the nations of the world in a way which ensures that every country converges on the same allocation per inhabitant by, say, 2030, the date Sir John suggested. Countries unable to manage within their allocations would, within limits, be able to buy the unused parts of the allocations of other, more frugal, countries.

Sales of unused allocations would give the countries of the South the income to purchase or develop zero-emission ways of meeting their needs. The countries of the North would benefit from the export markets this restructuring would create. And the whole world would benefit by the slowing the rate at which damage was being done.  Because "Contraction and Convergence" provides an effective, equitable and efficient framework within which governments can work to avert climate change, even some progressive fossil fuel producers have now begun to demonstrate a positive interest in the concept. Consequently, as Jubilee 2000 and Seattle have shown, governments and powerful interests are helped to change by coherent coordinated pressure from civil society.

Yours sincerely

  1. Aubrey Meyer - Global Commons Institute (GCI)
  2. Richard Douthwaite - Author of the Growth Illusion, Ireland
  3. Mayer Hillman - Senior Fellow Emeritus Policy Studies Institute, UK
  4. Titus Alexander - Chair Westminster UNA/Charter 99
  5. Tom Spencer - Secretary General GLOBE Council
  6. David Chaytor MP, Chair GLOBE UK All Party Group.
  7. Andrew Simms - Global Economy Programme, New Economics Foundation
  8. Annikki Hird - Student Cincinnati Ohio USA
  9. George Monbiot - Journalist UK
  10. J N von Glahn - Chairman, Solar Hydrogen Energy Group
  11. Nick Robins - Director, Sustainable Markets Group IIED
  12. John Whitelegg - Eco-Logica Ltd
  13. Nicholas Hildyard - The Corner House, UK
  14. Helen N Mendoza - Haribon Foundation and SOLJUSPAX, Philippines
  15. Sam Ferrer - Green Forum Philippines
  16. Ramon Sales Jnr. - Philippine Rural Reconstruction Movement
  17. Larry Lohmann - The Corner House, UK
  18. Daniel M. Kammen - Associate Professor of Energy and Society, Director,
  19. Renewable and Appropriate Energy Laboratory (RAEL) Energy and Resources Group
  20. (ERG) University of California Berkeley, USA
  21. Hans Taselaar - Association for North-South Campaigns, Programme Manager ESD,
  22. Netherlands
  23. Anil Agarwal - Director Centre for Science and Environment, New Delhi, India
  24. Dr Frances MacGuire - Climate Change Policy Coordinator Friends of the Earth
  25. (England Wales and Northern Ireland)
  26. Matthias Duwe - Student, SOAS, London, UK
  27. Krista Kim - Student, UC Berkeley, CA US
  28. Agus Sari - Executive Director Pelangi, Indonesia
  29. Patrick Boase - Chairperson, Letslink, Scotland
  30. Joerg Haas - Germany
  31. Tony Cooper - MA DipStat MBCS CEng GCI
  32. Thomas Ruddy - Chairperson and editor "Computers and Climate"
  33. Paul Burstow - UK
  34. Mark Lynas - Co-ordinator, Corporate Watch, UK
  35. Philippe Pernstich - Global Commons Institute
  36. Rohan D'Souza - Yale University, USA
  37. Boudewijn Wegerif - Project Leader, Monetary Studies Programme
  38. Jyoti Parikh - Senior Professor Indira Gandhi Institute of Development
  39. Research, India; National Project Coordinator, Capacity Building Project,
  40. UNDP; Chairperson, Environmental Economics Research Committee EMCaB; Worldbank
  41. Aniko Boehler - Chairperson, Senso Experience & Projects
  42. Marc van der Valk - Barataria, Netherlands
  43. Charlotte Pulver - UK
  44. Charlotte Rees - UK
  45. Paul Ekins - Forum for the Future, UK
  46. Lara Marsh - Tourism Concern UK
  47. Angie Zelter - Reforest the Earth, UK
  48. Peter Doran - Foyle Basin Council (Local AGenda 21 Derry)
  49. Paul Swann - Global Resource Bank
  50. Adam Purple - Zentences
  51. Martin Piers Dunkerton - Director Paradise Films UK
  52. Alan Sloan - GRB Ecology Department UK
  53. John Thomas - Energy Spokesperson Calderdale Green Party UK
  54. Rick Ostrander - Relax for Survival USA
  55. Christopher Harris - US
  56. Carol Brouillet - Founder- Who's Counting Project, CA US
  57. John Pozzi - Acting Manager Global Resource Bank
  58. Icydor Mohabier - Georgia State University US
  59. Christopher Harris - US
  60. David Thomas - UK
  61. Christopher Keene - Globalisation Campaigner/Green Party of England and Wales
  62. Piet Beukes - Industrial Missionar, ICIM South Africa
  63. John Devaney - International Co-ordinator, Green Party of England and Wales
  64. Jama Ghedi, Abdi - Msc&MA - Gawan Environmental Centre, Somali NGOs
  65. Julie Lewis - Centre for Participation, New Economics Foundation
  66. Juliet Nickels - UK
  67. Dr Caroline Lucas MEP - Member of European Parliament, Green Party
  68. Dr David Cromwell - Oceanographer, UK, author "Private Planet"
  69. Colin Price - Professor of Environmental and Forestry Economics, University
  70. of Wales, Bangor
  71. Patrick McCully - International Rivers Network Berkeley, California USA
  72. Samantha Berry - Post-graduate student (PhD)
  73. Caspar Davis - Victoria, BC Canada
  74. David J. Weston - Monetary Reform Group UK
  75. Joseph Mishan - Stort Valley FOE local group
  76. Ryan Hunter - Center for Environmental Public Advocacy, Slovak Republic
  77. Dr. Elizabeth Cullen - Irish Doctors Environmental Association
  78. Tom Athanasiou - Writer, USA
  79. Jamie Douglas Page - UK
  80. Rosli Omar - SOS Selangor, Malaysia
  81. Michal Kravcik - People and Water, Slovak Republic
  82. Daphne Thuvesson - Trees and People Forum, Editor/Forests Trees & People
  83. Newsletter,  SLU Kontakt Swedish Uni. Agricultural Sciences
  84. Chris Lang - Germany
  85. Sarmila Shrestha - Executive Secretary, Women Acting Together for Change
  86. Narayan Kaji Shrestha - Volunteer, Women Acting Together for Change
  87. Wong Meng-chuo - Co-ordinator, IDEAL Malaysia
  88. Amanda Maia Montague - international spiritual activist
  89. Soumya Sarkar - Principal Staff Writer, The Financial Express
  90. Sujata Kaushic - Editor Wastelands News, SPWD, New Delhi, India
  91. Xiu Juan Liu - student Department of Geography University of Sydney, Australia
  92. Ross Gelbspan - Author 'The Heat Is On' and Pulitzer Prize-winning journalist
  93. Barry Coates - Director, World Development Movement UK
  94. Aubrey Manning - UK
  95. Andy Thorburn - Composer, Pianist and seed potato inspector, Scotland
  96. Mike Read - Mike Read Associates, Australia
  97. Shalmali Guttal - Focus on the Global South, Chulalongkorn University,
  98. Bangkok THAILAND
  99. Jennie Richmond - Policy Officer Christian Aid
  100. Lavinia Andrei - Co-ordinator Climate Action Network Central and Eastern
  101. Europe (Romania)
  102. Dr. Ing. Joachim Nitsch - DLR, German Aerospace Center; 'System Analysis and
  103. Technology Assessment'
  104. Karla Schoeters - Co-ordinator Climate Network Europe
  105. Sibylle Frey - Researcher UK
  106. Dr Ben Matthews - Global Commons Institute
  107. Wolfgang Sachs - Wuppertal Institite Germany, IPCC TAR WG3 Lead Author
  108. Bernd Brouns - University of Lüneburg Germany
  109. Jindra Cekan, PhD - American Red Cross, Washington DC USA
  110. Rohan D'Souza - postdoctoral Fellow, Agrarian Studies Program Yale University
  111. John Tuxill - School of Forestry and Environmental Studies, Yale University
  112. Olav Hohmeyer - Prof. Dr. University of Flensburg
  113. Grant Harper - Victoria, Australia
  114. Frances Fox - Asst. Manager, Global Resource Bank
  115. Ernst von Weizsaecker, MP (SPD) - President, Wuppertal Institute for Climate,
  116. Environment & Energy, Germany
  117. Marci Gerulis- Graduate Student, Boston, Massachusetts, USA
  118. András Lukcas - President Clean Air Action Group, Budapest, Hungary
  119. Srisuwan Kuankachorn - Director, Project for Ecological Recovery, Bangkok,
  120. Thailand
  121. Devinder Sharma - journalist and author New Delhi, India
  122. Ryan Fortune - journalist, Cape Times, Cape Town, South Africa
  123. Emer O Siochru - Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability (FEASTA)
  124. Ireland
  125. Anne Ryan - National University of Ireland, Maynooth
  126. David O'Kelly - Foundation for the Economics of Sustainability (FEASTA)
  127. Ireland
  128. Youba Sokona - Executive Secretary for International Relations of ENDA-TM,
  129. Dakar, Senegal
  130. Jia Kangbai - Managing Editor, The Propgress Online, Sierra Leone
  131. James K. Boyce - Economics Dept University of Massachusetts, Amherst, USA
  132. Judit.Halasz - Green-Women, Hungary
  133. Dr.Saleemul Huq - Executive Director Bangladesh Centre for Advanced Studies
  134. Dr. Jean-Michel Parrouffe - Association Québécoise des Énergies Renouvelables
  135. Guy Dauncey - Author Victoria, Canada
  136. Dr. Alex Casella - Prof.& Director of Energy Studies, University of Illinois
  137. Michael R. Meuser - Clary Meuser Research Associates, Santa Cruz, CA USA
  138. Arthur H. Campeau Q.C. - Ambassador for Environment and Sustainable
  139. Development
  140. Professor Jack Dymond - Oregon State University
  141. Donald L. Anderson - Biologist,USA (Maine)
  142. Douglas G. Fox, Ph.D. - President, Fox & Associates, Former President, Air &
  143. Waste Management Association & Chief Scientist, USDA-Forest Service USA
  144. Clive Hamilton - Executive Director, The Australia Institute
  145. Emilio Sempris - Coordinator, National Climate Change Program (Panama)
  146. Michael Roth - Queensland Transport, Australia
  147. Carrie Sonneborn - Australian Cooperative Research Centre for Renewable
  148. Energy, Western Australia
  149. Ali Bos - Postgraduate student, Canberra, Australia
  150. Ilona Graenitz - Director, GLOBE Europe
  151. Sungnok Andy Choi - Student/The Graduate Institute of Peace Studies
  152. James Robertson - Prog. Mgr., Asia-Pacific Network for Global Change
  153. Research, Japan
  154. Thomas Bernheim - Expert Federal Planning Bureau, Belgium
  155. Julian Salt - Project Manager, Natural Perils, Loss Prevention Council UK
  156. Yves Bajard, D.Sc.- Secretary, National Centre for Sustainability, Victoria,
  157. BC, Canada
  158. Winona Alama - South Pacific Regional Environment Programme (SPREP)
  159. Fatu Tauafiafi - Information and Publications Officer, South Pacific Regional
  160. Environment Programme (SPREP)
  161. Maria Lourdes 'Pinky' Baylon - University of Cambridge UK
  162. Ying Shen - student of environmental chemistry Oklahoma City, US
  163. Susan Engelke - student Sacramento, California, US
  164. Pierre-Jean Arpin - France
  165. Dr. Muawia H. Shaddad - Sudanese Environment Conservation Society
  166. Christer Krokfors - University of Uppsala, Finland
  167. Jesus Ramos-Martin - MSc Ecological Economics Keele University, UK
  168. Lelei LeLaulu - Counterpart International
  169. John Vandenberg - Resource Planning & Development Commission, Tasmania, Aust.
  170. Pervinder Sandhu - ART
  171. Paul Gregory - Researcher
  172. Eleanor Chowns - Co-Ordinator GLOBE UK
  173. Jurgen Maier - Forum Umwelt & Entwicklung, Germany
  174. Grace Akumu - Executive Director Climate Network Africa
  175. Robert Engelman - Vice President for Research, Population Action International
  176. Tim O'Riordan - Associate Director, C-SERGE, UK
  177. Ted Trainer - Author 'Developed to Death', Austrialia
  178. Barry Budd - Australia
  179. Tim Lenton - Centre for Ecology and Hydrology, UK
  180. Tony Whittaker - retired solicitor, founder member Green Party
  181. Lesley Whittaker - writer, consultant and member of Devon County Council,
  182. founder member Green Party
  183. Freda Sanders - research psychologist and finance director, founder member
  184. Green Party
  185. Dr. Michael Benfield - ethicist, development consultant and investor, founder
  186. member Green Party
  187. Oras Tynkkynen - climate campaigner, Friends of the Earth Finland
  188. Prof David Crichton - Environmental Consultant to the Association of British
  189. of Insurers
  190. Teddy Goldsmith - Editor The Ecologist Special Issues
  191. Simon Retallack - Deputy Editor, The Ecologist Special Issues
  192. Ian Meredith - Canadian Association for the Club of Rome
  193. Peter Dinnage - London UK
  194. Jeremy Faull - Ecological Foundation, UK
  195. Alistair Neill Stewart - Student Canada
  196. Alina Averchenkova - PhD student, University of Bath, UK
  197. Lars Åke Karlgren - member of regional parliament Västra Götaland, Sweden
  198. Ferdinand - Researcher, Centre for Economic and Social Studies Environ.
  199. Kathrin Eggs - Germany
  200. Mrs Deirdre Balaam - UK
  201. Dr John Kilani - Environmental Adviser, Chamber of Mines of South Africa
  202. Jennie Sutton - Co-Chair "Baikal Environmental Wave" Irkutsk, Russia
  203. Javier Blasco - Information officer - Carrefour de Aragon (Spain)
  204. Alistair Neill Stewart - student, Canada
  205. Dilip Ahuja - ISRO Professor of Science & Technology Policy, National
  206. Institute of Advanced Studies, Indian Institute of Science
  207. Gerald Leach - Senior Research Fellow, Stockholm Environment Institute
  208. Prof Neil E. Harrison - Executive Director, The Sustainable Development
  209. Institute, University of Wyoming
  210. Robert L. Randall - President, The RainForest ReGeneration Institute,
  211. Washington, D.C. USA
  212. Brian Grant - Director, Geonomics Association of BC
  213. Paaniani K Laupepa -
  214. Reggie Norton - Association of Artists for Guatemala
  215. Dr Alberto di Fazio - Astrophysicist, Director Global Dynamics Institute Rome
  216. Lewis Cleverdon - interdependency researcher, GCI, UK
  217. Prof. Edita Stojic-Karanovic - President,International Forum "Danube -River
  218. of Cooperation"
  219. Alina Congreve - Local Gov campaigner Herts FoE
  220. Donna Andrews - Alternative Information and Development Centre (AIDC) South
  221. Africa
  222. Richard Sherman - Earthlife Africa Johannesburg
  223. Nick Drake - Southampton UK
  224. Miguel Castellon - President Nicaraguan Development Association
  225. Truls Gulowsen - environmental camapigner Norway
  226. Helena Paul - the GAIA Foundation London
  227. John Mead - Independent consultant
  228. Catherine Budgett-Meakin - Freelance consultant
  229. Richard Loxton-Barnard - UK
  230. Emily Shirley - Green Party UK
  231. Ulrich Duchrow - Kairos Europa
  232. William C.G. Burns - Co-Chair, American Society of International Law -
  233. Wildlife
  234. Richard Page - UK
  235. Dr. Lennart Olsson - Director of Centre for Environmental Studies, Lund,
  236. University, Sweden
  237. Alex Begg - UpStart Services Ltd
  238. John Dougill - London UK
  239. Richard Parish - Churchill Community School UK
  240. William J. Collis - Fisheries Scientist, Ecosystems Sciences, Bangladesh
  241. Danielle Morley - UNED Forum UK
  242. Michael Roy - Community Management Consultant, Bangladesh
  243. Richard J.T. Klein - Senior Research Associate, Potsdam Institute for Climate
  244. Impact Research, Germany
  245. Sarwat Chowdhury - Ph.D. candidate, University of Maryland, USA
  246. Helen Chadwick - IESD, De Montfort University UK
  247. Ritu Kumar - Director, TERI-Europe, London UK



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