Contraction and Convergence
The concept of Cap, Contraction and Convergence as a replacement to the Kyoto agreement, has been recently gaining ground. The idea here is that the limits to carbon emissions need to be capped at 350-450 parts per million, currently considered to produce a raise in world temperatures above pre-industrial levels of between 1 to 2 degrees Celsius. It is currently believed that further increases would bring about major positive feedbacks (the burning of forests and the loss of carbon from soils and oceans) which currently limit greenhouse gas emissions, and would lead to a run-away global warming similar to the Eocene period, during which there was no ice at the poles. To sustain this figure, it is proposed that on equity grounds, all people should be allocated an equal carbon footprint (currently about 2 tonnes per person, which by 2050 could fall to 1.5 tonnes per person through population increase). World per capita carbon emissions, currently in excess of 4 tonnes per person needs to contract to those levels, if these targets are to be met. As a result, in the name of global and inter-generational equity, policies needing to be instituted need to converge, over a fixed period towards this figure for every country. A trading regime, whereby which countries in excess of these figures (from example the USA at 20 tonnes per capita, purchase carbon credits from a country using less than its allocation (e.g. Kenya at 1.3 tonnes per capita), is considered by many as the best way of solving this problem. For example the Contract and Converge strategy has now been adopted by India, China and many African countries as the basis for future negotiations. The UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution said in 2000 “the UK should be prepared to accept the contraction and convergence principle is the basis for international agreement on greenhouse gas emissions”.
Action on Climate Change
Absolute Astronomy [Seattle USA]

Contraction and Convergence
Contraction and convergence is a concept that refers to a long-term strategy for reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is a process where overall GHG emissions are reduced (contraction) while emissions reductions from the Global South would be less aggressive than those of the Global North through per capita allocation, so as to enable development in the Global South as well as flexibility for a transition from carbon-based energy sources to renewable energy sources. This proposal has gained support from a number of policy participants with a particular sensitivity to issues of climate justice and equality. Eventually, all emissions entitlements would converge at an equal per capita emissions level, dependent upon particular geography and political economy.
The Boulder Stand

Medact promotes the right to health and peaceful existence worldwide through campaigning, research and advocacy on health as it relates to conflict, the environment and poverty. Activities included opposition to renewal of the UK Trident weapons system, including a joint report with Greenpeace: “Britain’s New Nuclear Weapons, Illegal, Indiscriminate and Catastrophic for Health;  a submission to the House of Commons Defence Committee; a visit by former Co-President of the IPPNW and member of the Russian Duma Dr Sergey Kolesnikov to the All-Party Group on Non-proliferation and Global Security and officials from the FCO and MoD. Medact organised a health professionals day at the Faslane nuclear submarine base as part of the Faslane 365 campaign. Working closely with the British Medical Journal Carbon Council Medact has promoted contraction and convergence as the model to address climate change in a sustainable way. Medact has been involved in Campaign against Climate Change and Stop Climate Chaos events and in the publications of the Working Group on Climate Change and Development, raising awareness of the health impacts and how health professionals can respond. Medact has lobbied decision makers on the limitations and dangers of using nuclear power as part of the response to global warming, as summarised in our submission to the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee.

At the end of the day, a large (idealistic) part of me wonders whether a revamped international agreement that included automatic transfer mechanisms, such as Contraction and Convergence would be a better pathway forward given that it would eliminate so much of the bureaucracy, petty backroom-dealing, and lengthy, laborious negotiations. Although, getting political negotiators to agree to Contraction and Convergence would probably require lengthy and laborious negotiations, not to mention a likely necessary shift in power dynamics among the U.S., China and India.
Climate Dialogue

Jo Abbess picks on the C&C dimension of COP-17 in Durban, on her prolific and focused web-site. The article was commissioned by Damian Carrington of the Guardian but refused by him with no reasons given. Jo Abbess' web-site - Energy Change for Climate Control - has a wealth of analysis and comment related to 'Keeping the Climate Stable'.
Jo Abbess

If there are ‘safe’ emissions levels, if we can think clearly about the planet’s sinks as common resources to be divided up equally, then it follows pretty sharply that everyone on the planet has an equal right to emit within those safe limits. Perhaps you think in terms of a greenhouse budget, that some maximum concentration of greenhouses gasses in the atmosphere is acceptable, and we must divvy up the shares that remain equally, and take care to stay under that limit.  (Here’s Peter Singer, arguing for a ‘fair deal on climate change’; you can read more details in ‘One Atmosphere’ in his book, One World.) Whichever of these lines you choose to take, given the enormous levels of emission per capita in the West, it’s been argued on almost all sides that the West has an obligation to reign in its consumption, bringing it down and in line with others whose use of the planet’s common resources is less reckless. This, anyway, is part of the thinking behind such things as the contraction and convergence model, advocated with gusto by Aubrey Meyer and the Global Commons Institute and endorsed by a very large number of people and organizations, as a means to stabilize greenhouse gas emissions equitably. The idea is that some safe global emissions ceiling is set, everyone has an equal right to emit greenhouse gasses beneath that ceiling, and countries get emissions budgets based on population. High per capita emissions in the developed world contract, leaving room for the developing world to develop its way out of poverty, while levels converge beneath some safe threshold and, together, wind down and avoid the worst of climate change. The plan has many supporters – these quotations are from the Global Commons Institute’s website.
James Garvey
Enlightened Reason

The Durban summit could be looked back on as a success if the negotiations on a treaty outlined in the talks are implemented. So what could this include? Contraction and Convergence This is the idea proposed by Meyer (2000) that the largest emitters of greenhouse gases contract the level of pollution towards an agreed per capita emissions total. For example, the US CO2 emissions/person are 10 times that of China. As a global community, we need to try and keep the amount emitted per person the same. Therefore, every country has to contract their emissions, some more than others. For the developed world, this means a low-carbon economy is a serious alternative. This agreement should be open and transparent and include the developing world in order to invoke the concept.
The Ocean Engine

The economists are at the point where they may possibly incorporate our economic suggestions just like they have incorporated out contraction and convergence model in their equity thinking since 1989. That all the equity models will be stuck for just as long as the utility models is obvious: there is no solution other than making all humans sequester more GHGs than they personally emit, and for that each human being has to be given the SOCIAL AND ECONOMIC WHERWITHAL INCLUDING THE BASIC INCOME GRANT and the GRAM SANBA AND TOWN WARD COMMITTEE CONSENSUS FORA to do their fair share of CARE WORK FOR THE MAINTENANCE OF LIFE.  The system creates jobs that save the planet, as we know. As we have been saying all along: equity and survival are inextricably linked. 
Climate Himalaya
Green Party of India

減量責任的再思考:CCPI中所提出的『目標績效比較』一項上,是基於『共同但有差異的責任』,採用類似『縮減與收斂(Contraction and Convergence)』的方法,在抑制增溫2度的狀況下,估算出各國的減量責任。進而分析若要達到此目標時,各國應遵循的理想減量路徑。其在將該國當前的排放趨勢,與此理想減量路徑相比較,並依兩者之間的落差,作為評分依據。而在此原則下,台灣的減量責任是等同於已開發國家,當前已無排碳量增加的空間。(6)但目前的減量目標以及政策的規劃,在未來五年間,排碳量仍預估會成長。此舉均將使台灣的氣候政策績效,持續於後端班中徘徊。
Low Carbon Blog CHINA TIMES

Een nieuwe morele dimensie
Is het niet eerlijker om uit te gaan van een rechtvaardige gelijke verdeling van de hulpbronnen die er nog zijn? Dit is de basis van het Contraction and Convergence-model. In dit model mochten de ontwikkelde landen vanaf 2000 niet méér uitstoten dan daarvoor, terwijl de minder ontwikkelde landen tot 2030 de ruimte kregen, zodat hun economische ontwikkeling niet in de knop gebroken zou worden en levensomstandigheden van de bevolking nog konden verbeteren. Voorstanders van dit model zijn er al jaren onder alle gezindten: Jan Pronk al in 2000, recent de premier van India en ook Merkel en Sarkozy.
Sargasso at COP-17


Strong international climate change protocols, Contraction & Convergence, a moratorium on biodiesal production, Oil Depletion Protocol. rethinking economic growth, biodiversity prtoection, a realistically high price on carbon.

Strong climate change legislation, Tradable Energy Quotas, a national food security strategy, devolution of of powers to local communities, support for the relocalisation of industry. Transition initiatives, Energy Descent Plans, Climate Friendly Communities, Community Supported Agriculture, land trusts, credits unions, locally owned energy supply companies.

One of the four approaches stood out to me. The strategy in question was proposed by India, China and the Group of 77 and has been endorsed by France, Switzerland and the European Union; it is called the “Per-capita” strategy by Roberts and Parks. This approach is embodied in the emissions management model called “Contraction and Convergence” developed by the Global Commons Institute and it was introduced by the Indian government in 1995. The concept is very simple. First, a maximum acceptable atmospheric CO2 concentration is calculated. Then, it is divided by the number of the people in the world. So each person has an allocated amount of emissions, so each country is responsible to stay below the allocated amount of their entire population. Seems fair, right? I thought so. It made perfect sense to me, each person gets an equal share of the pie and no one can complain.
This won't be easy folks
Dickinson to Durban

 One campaigner was quoted as saying, “It is probably too late to do anything actually worth the effort, but we should at least have a pop at the problem, for our own self-respect, if not for our kids. If we don’t get 'Contraction and Convergence' adopted and implemented very soon indeed, it’s definitely all over bar the shouting, wailing and gnashing of teeth.”
Pending Ecological Debacle

John Ashton is right to say we need to at least "commit to commit" to tackle climate change (Guardian Comment, 15 November). The trouble is, most countries have done so but failed to spell out what that commitment means. This has allowed some to shrug off the idea that the global Contraction and Convergence framework is required, on the grounds that a grindingly slow step-by-step approach is what ensures buy-in. What this approach actually secures is a series of witheringly small advances in the face of an alarming acceleration of the problem. This is hailed by those involved as a success, in the pretence that action is being taken. Politicians can point to minute triumphs – for their negotiating positions, if nothing else – and life goes on, business as usual. The Poznan UN climate change summit, a year before Copenhagen and a year into the credit crunch, saw minister after minister hailing the green revolution response to climate change as our economy's saviour. Now it is clear they didn't believe a word of it.
Colin Challen Former chair, all-party parliamentary climate change group, Scarborough
Patrick Henry Press News & Hopenhagen 2009 World Bad News and All the Latest

In a recent mailing, Arran wrote: - Just wanted to encourage you to read Jane Davidson's article … I really appreciate the way it represents sustainable development. … I like the way it starts off by talking about "quality of life and community wellbeing" rather than economic growth with a bit of resource conservation, the way it describes "the concept of 'needs', in particular the essential needs of the world's poor, to which overriding priority should be given" and mentions the vision of Wales "using only its fair share of the earth's resources so that its ecological footprint is reduced to the global average availability of resources". That's a long way from the language of Whitehall, and clearly embraces the contraction end of contraction and convergence which often gets forgotten. Hopefully it's a reflection of the wider discourse used in political circles in Wales, but even if not it certainly encourages the reclaiming of the term sustainable development. Yes, hopefully it is.
The Sustainability in Higher Education Developers Group [SHED]
SHED is a network of several hundred educators across the UK whose teaching involves sustainability issues. It is convened by the Environmental Association for Universities and Colleges and the Higher Education Academy.

A wonderful beginning can be the ratification and speedy implementation in the Kyoto Protocol, which ought to be superseded by the “contraction and convergence” idea proposed by the Global Commons Institute in London, allocating equal per-person emissions rights inside all of the world’s nations.
Cairo Egypt

Respecting Ecological Limits. Establishing clear resource and environmental limits and integrating these limits into both economic functioning and social functioning is essential. Imposing clearly defined resource/emissions caps. The contraction and convergence model developed for climate‐related emissions should be applied more generally. Effective mechanism to impose declining caps and sustainable yields for respectively non‐renewable and renewable resources should be set in place. Fiscal Reform for sustainability.
Carnegie UK Sustainable Development Commission Scotland

A concise introduction to Contraction and Convergence (C&C) for anyone who might be unfamiliar with this concept. Rather than explain C&C to you myself, I am going to refer you as quickly as possible to some very helpful film clips and animations from the Global Commons Institute and the C&C Foundation

In my opinion, C&C is a principle that every climate activist should be familiar with. If we are going to spend the next ten-to-forty years together successfully advancing the most important global justice movement in the history of the world, we need to start cutting our teeth on C&C now.
Jonathan Maxson - Permavegan, Maine USA

Climate change poses the greatest threat that humanity has ever faced. Yet global carbon emissions from human activity continue to rise, despite repeated warnings from scientists that they must start to fall within the next decade and years of negotiations at the UN.
There are two key questions: -

  1. Can global carbon emissions be cut fast enough to prevent runaway global warming without an international deal that binds all nations to meet targets based on scientific data rather than short-term national and economic interests?
  2. Do you, on behalf of your business or organization - and your family - believe that the world is on course to avoid runaway climate change?

If your answer was ‘no’ to either, please make time to learn about Contraction & Convergence (C&C).
C&C Foundation

Occupy London has a special relationship with Occupy Wall Street, it does. But our story is different from their story - our Occupation should span the EU and all the people of all the countries that need our aid.  Our Occupation is born from Madrid and Tahrir Square and even more ancient rebellions and has a different sort of feeling, our Occupation for reasons unknown to us now finds the Church of England a powerful ally. The Occupation will only be successful if we enter into this new relationship with the Church of England and even the Corporation of the City of London with love and understanding.  We are in this together and we can work for the common good together. Somehow we must make new friends and build new bonds.  The Occupation is not the people at the camp, it is all of us.  If it is just the people at the camp, it is some kind of "them" who may be dismissed, who may succeed or fail without us.  But if we don't want them to fail, and I don't think any of us do, then we must consider them as us.  We all want more justice.  We all want the ills of the earth to be cured.  We don't want our loved ones to die violent deaths.  We want people not to suffer for lack of life's basic necessities.  We all want our governments to be sacred spaces full of extraordinary people devoted to service and not personal gain.  And all of us in our hearts would like to leave the world better for our children, not worse.  We can continue that work to meet these needs, or we can watch those other people get cold this winter. And you know what, the Corporation of the City of London actually already backs what some people think is ingenious environmental reform - It's called Contraction and Convergence - and they gave an award to Aubrey Meyer about this. St. Paul's is also doing all that work about the City anyway.  We can agree on things and work together.  But for that we need our churches and governments know that we would like to support the Occupation.  
Liberty and Owain

Moving towards a Shadow C&C Regime
This paper does not outline the precise mechanics of how a Shadow Contraction & Convergence Regime (SCCR) would operate. The first step towards a detailed proposal would be the appointment of a Commission or Task Force to consider all the ramifications of the SCCR. What is being proposed at this stage are some principles which we believe should become ingrained in the global effort to tackle climate change . . . In the light of the watering down of ambition to secure in the short to medium term anyway a binding, global agreement, then the question truly is ‘what next?’ for those who campaign for an effective and sufficient internationally binding framework? Is it now passé to call for increased efforts towards this goal, or should our approach be segmented and scattered amongst the various discrete elements of tackling climate change which are deemed politically acceptable? In one sense, there is no choice. Despite the acknowledgement of the necessity of a global framework (a pre-condition, as we have seen of climate change legislation) the political domain still behaves as if it obeys laws which operate primarily to suit local circumstances, be they cultural, social, economic or ecological – and the last category has politically and historically always been last in line. But the matter cannot be laid to rest, pending the outcome of ‘thousands’ of smaller deals and ‘luck.’ At the very least there is an audit and scrutiny function to be had, informed by Contraction and Convergence. This leads to a practical proposal. The proposal recognises that GCI has made enormous headway in turning C&C into the ‘lingua franca’ of the climate change negotiations (Prof. Sir David King’s words) but that when faced with political objections, further progress towards a full C&C framework has stalled. Whilst efforts to promote C&C – through debate, evidence and campaigns – should not stop, this proposal makes the case for a network of audit and scrutiny in a SCCR.
Shadow C&C proposal

The green economy must contribute to the goals of sustainability. The overarching goal of the green economy should be defined in the context of a fair and socially just economic system that meets the needs of all people within the ecological carrying capacity of the planet. The green economy needs to be a new economy, with new models, mindsets and metrics based on a systems approach. Issues such as poverty, climate change, soil erosion, and the loss of biodiversity are emergent properties of unsustainable consumption and production patterns. In order to address the root causes of these symptoms, a holistic—or systems—approach to problem solving is necessary. The green economy must be an economy that moves away from the destructive economic expansion paradigm (at least in rich countries where per capita eco-footprints are above sustainable levels) to one that recognizes ecological limits and that enables people to meet their basic needs, along a global framework of ‘contraction and convergence’. We must transform the nature of our impact on the world’s ecological systems. This will mean using innovation to shift from linear patterns - that consume resources and produce wastes – to cyclical patterns where our actions contribute to ecological and social resilience. This will involve reshaping our identity and recognizing humanity’s potential to support our planet and ensure that it thrives.
One Earth - Rio+20

Carrying Capacity and Ecological Limits - Living within the carrying capacity of the Earth, recognition of the achievement of basic needs and livelihoods ork of contraction and convergence guaranteeing geopolitical stability.
Earth Partners Foundation and Stakeholder Forum - Rio+20

A green economy calls us to:

  1. Make sustainability a political priority
  2. Think in terms of systems, and act on the high leverage points (structures and mindsets)
  3. Develop a bold, new economic vision that plans for the long term and provides for future generations
  4. Live within safe ecological margins, and redefine our relationship to the natural world and to each other
  5. Address unjust disparities of wealth and income
  6. Prioritize meeting the needs of the world’s poor (in both high- and low-income countries) while simultaneously reducing the unsustainable Ecological Footprint of the world’s rich along a global framework of ‘contraction and convergence’
  7. Redefine prosperity in more than simply economic and consumptive terms, and adopt new measures of progress and wellbeing
  8. Recognize that a country cannot “go at it alone”, and that reciprocity and cooperation is a key pillar of global wellbeing

Canadian Earth Summit Coalition - Input to Rio+20

"We all know that a deal will be made regardless of who is on agrees to its terms or not, but then the question of enforcement comes into play. In December the deal that is yet to be struck. It should encompass the contraction and convergence theory with no alterations or modifications. The more the deal is amended to suit everyone the less of an impact it will have, but then again another Kyoto protocol scenario is at hand."
Happy Koti Khambule is a fourth year law student at the University of Johannesburg. He has a special passion for the environment which has led him to participate in numerous projects and programmes. He is an Ashoka Youth Venture, a British Council “Global Change Maker”, a British Council mentor, a Junior Achievement alumni and a former Student in Free Enterprise student, and currently a Project90 Gauteng clubs Co-ordinator. He has been involved in instituting projects within his local communities in Johannesburg and Soweto aimed at addressing climate change awareness and environmental issues to primary school pupils, youth and adults. The projects aimed to instill as sense of climate change and environmental awareness and to actively deal with issues affecting the community. He enjoys a variety of team sports and outdoor sport activities, music and games.
Happy Khambule, South Africa

So the challenge is to replicate conditions for lower birthrates in poorest nations quickly, without also replicating the much higher per capita environmental footprint and greenhouse gas emissions of the rich world. That means focusing on women's rights and social justice, and on providing welfare, social security, pensions and healthcare. Cuba shows it's possible. Cubans have higher life expectancy, better education and healthcare than the US without the huge ecological footprint of Americans. Perhaps the best framework for this shift is known as Contraction and Convergence. Formulated by The Global Commons Institute, it envisages rich nations reducing consumption with poorer nations still allowed to grow until all reach the same, sustainable level. That means the rich nations giving up the mirage of endless economic growth and moving to a Steady State economy  where we focus more within ecological limits, and a move away from economic expansion, especially in developed nations, under a global framewon how to provide a good life for all without the need for growth.
Seven billion and counting: how women's rights and social justice can save the planet

Defining and sharing a world's emissions budget equitably
A second concept of entitlements emerges out of the concept of 'contraction and convergence' promoted by the Global Commons Institute in London and endorsed by Global Legislators Organisation for a Balanced Environment (GLOBE). Under this concept, the world needs to agree on the upper limit of atmospheric concentration of carbon dioxide that would be considered acceptable and by which year this concentration can be reached. These decisions would then determine the total amount of carbon dioxide - the global budget - which can be emitted by all nations on Earth. This entire budget can be distributed equitably to all people on Earth which would then provide each country with its total budget. This national budget can then be distributed over the entire period during which the agreed atmospheric concentration is expected to be reached. If during a particular year, a country does not use its budget, then it would have the right to trade its unused budget.
Adressing the challenge of Climate Change - how poor nations can help to save the world
Anil AGARWAL, Director Centre for Science and the Environment Delhi Indida

Climate change requires two possibly conflicting actions. Carbon emissions must be reduced to avoid the worst outcome of climate change. Poor countries need rapid economic development so that no country, community, or individual is too poor to adapt to climate change. The concept of contraction and convergence, developed by the Global Commons Institute, considers the need to pursue both these actions simultaneous. Contraction and convergence reduce overall carbon emissions to a sustainable level but do so according to an equal share of emissions per person globally. Industrialised countries would dramatically reduce their emissions whilst developing countries would increase theirs to allow for, and stimulate, development and poverty reduction.
Contraction and Convergence

Contraction and convergence is a concept that refers to a long-term strategy for reducing global greenhouse gas (GHG) emissions. This is a process where overall GHG emissions are reduced (contraction) while emissions reductions from the Global South would be less aggressive than those of the Global North through per capita allocation, so as to enable development in the Global South as well as flexibility for a transition from carbon-based energy sources to renewable energy sources. This proposal has gained support from a number of policy participants with a particular sensitivity to issues of climate justice and equality. Eventually, all emissions entitlements would converge at an equal per capita emissions level, dependent upon particular geography and political economy.
The Boulder Stand

Measures to mitigate climate change

  1. use of renewable energy instead of coal-fired power
  2. use fewer greenhouse gas emissions from vehicles, such as hybrid vehicles
  3. financial measures to reduce emissions of greenhouse gases, environmental taxes, emissions trading, etc.
  4. save energy and increase the electrical / electronic products' energy efficiency
  5. carbon neutral plan (Carbon Neutralization)
  6. Contraction and Convergence

Climate Change Hong Kong

Sea level rise is more predictable. We know that some pacific island nations will be destroyed. But the more wrenching impact will come from the inundation of large parts of Bangladesh which is a very low-lying area. Their population of 100 million people could be decimated. Other parts of the world have specific vulnerabilities of monumental proportions. The indifference of the developed world in dealing with this issue shows the moral bankruptcy of the capitalist economic ideology which guides the dominant nations. Tim Flannery (The Weather Makers) claims that economists took the view that doing anything serious about climate change was too expensive to be worthwhile. This amounts to ‘the effective murder of members of the world’s poorer populations.’ [Meyer] According to Flannery civilization itself comes under threat: “With the impacts of extreme weather events, rising seas and storm surges, extreme cold or heat, water deprivation or flood, or even disease… cities will likewise begin to die…and by destroying our cities bring about the end of civilization."
Prout Journal

'The whole idea of contraction and convergence came from a violinist.
It's a superb example of how the arts has put a great idea on the international stage.'

John Vidal
Ashden Theatres Trust Conference

Contraction and Convergence [C&C] is a practical suggestion to reduce global carbon emissions over thetime scale required to prevent catastrophic climate change.
Climate and Health Council
An extensive network of Doctors and Health Professionals

Cut Your Carbon is a sister company of ech2o which specialises in low carbon training for schools using the Cut the Carbon board game, carbon credit cards, balloons and dinosaurs. The training is fun and informative and enables pupils and teachers to become more carbon literate. The Cut Your Carbon game explores the connection between global warming, CO2 and lifestyle choices and introduces the concept of an annual carbon allowance, a vital tool in changing behaviour. Participants learn through playing the game, group work and guided teaching, how to reduce their carbon footprint towards the level of global equality proposed by the Global Commons Institute's Contraction and Convergence Model. This model, supported by the IPCC (International Panel on Climate Control) and Governments across the world, proposes that citizens of the industrialised nations need to cut their CO2emissions on average by 80% to 90% from current levels whilst people in the developing nations increase theirs, until a global per capita level of 1 tonne of CO2 emissions per year is reached. Cut Your Carbon has been played extensively throughout the UK in schools, colleges, youth clubs and at community events. We have also played it in schools in India, Pakistan and New Zealand. Cut Your Carbon won one of UnLtd's five Green Living awards at Glastonbury in 2008.
Cut Your Carbon

Perspectives on Development
The Kyoto Protocol, the only global agreement we have on climate change, runs out very soon (2012).  At the moment the UN have no plans to extend this and no plans to replace it.  So by 2012 we will be back at stage zero- no global agreement.  Despite its flaws, it’s all we’ve got.  It’s flawed but at least it’s something – and its heart’s in the right place (like an emphasis on developed nations to cut their emissions): we love the Kyoto Protocol, but true love needs commitment.  We want the UN countries to extend it until we have a replacement, until we have a fair, ambitious and binding agreement. Many developing countries (rightly so) claim that it is their right to develop – to secure, protect and improve the lives of their citizens. It’s hard to disagree there. The problem is many developing nations don’t know how to develop other than to copy those who have gone before them (i.e. the developed world) and have an industrial revolution. On the other hand, some nations won’t be able to develop at all because they’ll be so riddled with natural disasters or they’ll be underwater entirely (as with some island states). Of course, the developed world doesn’t want that because it means increasing emissions, which would mean to make up for the increases in developing world emissions, the developed world would have to cut their emissions by even more. So again we reach a stalemate. And until the developed world shares ideas and technologies with the developing world so that they can have a new, clean industrial revolution, or everyone signs up to contraction and convergence, that stalemate won’t be resolved.
Barriers to a Post_Kyoto Agreement
UK Youth at the UN

"Stop the blame game! Countries must move away from national interests and have a global view - a globally equitable rate of contraction and convergence that correlates to the 2°C rise path as mentioned in the IPCC AR4."
International Youth Forum
Shanghai Declaration on Climate Finance 2010

Star attraction was Dave Hampton, The Carbon Coach - an expert consultant in personal and corporate carbon reduction targets. He regularly demonstrates to audiences of all ages the scale and significance of our personal carbon emissions with the help of some specially designed purple helium-filled balloons. Unfazed by a gaggle of overenthusiastic schoolchildren, Mr. Hampton patiently explained ‘Contraction and Convergence’ and the significance of their participation in the shoot. Contraction and convergence (C&C) is a proposed strategy for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. Conceived by the Global Commons Institute in the early 1990’s, the Contraction and Convergence strategy consists of reducing overall emissions of greenhouse gases to a safe level, ’Contraction’, where the global emissions are reduced because every country brings emissions per capita to a level which is equal for all countries, ’Convergence’. It is intended to form the basis of an international agreement which will reduce carbon emissions to avoid climate change."There is something deeply unifying and healing about C&C, if we can let it into our hearts."
C&C is Beautiful Dave Hampton

The agenda was set by a man called Aubrey Meyer, a powerfully built South African with a ponytail, dressed in white T-shirt and baggy trousers, who is in charge of something called the Global Commons Institute. With the aid of some snappy computer graphics, Mr Meyer expounded in his deep melodious voice his doctrine of Contraction and Convergence, which he invented. In essence, this envisages an international agreement on a global limit to the emissions of greenhouse gases, under which the richer nations would accelerate their reductions until they and the developing countries came together and every one of God's children would have the same, safe share. Time limitations inhibited Mr Meyer from being specific about how this coming together might be achieved. 'Intelligence' was the way, he said gnomically, admitting in the same breath that this sometimes appeared to be in short supply. By that he clearly meant politicians, who ' with one shining exception ' lacked the vision and the courage to do what had to be done. By good luck the shining exception happened to be sitting immediately to Mr Meyer's left, nodding agreement with his every word. This was the planet's saviour, Mr Michael Meacher.
Tom Fort at St James's, Piccadilly
The Spectator

Contraction and Convergence

The report recognises that climate change poses major threats to developing countries including serious risks of catastrophic and irreversible climate and ecosystem disruption. Whilst the Bank authors propose shifting to more energy efficient buildings, forms of transport etc., they duck the vital debates on global institutional arrangements and approaches to achieve this. Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute commented "the Bank and the WDR 2003 are to be commended for recognising the seriousness of the problems". However "they should be more explicit that it is impossible to solve such problems with random market-based activity. They should help foster understanding of the need for a constitutional basis for solving the problem on the basis of precaution, prevention and equity, as required by the UN climate treaty. Contraction and Convergence is logically the only way of resolving this set of problems".
Bretton Woods Project

Assuming potential problems could be overcome, Contraction and Convergence offers a stunningly simple way of applying the same environmental standards to all. At the same time it would clearly demand more action from some than others. If it where applied on a worldwide scale and each government where given a quota based on their country's population, there could also be major advantages to international development such as poor countries being able to generate income by selling spare carbon credits to those in rich countries.
Should a global climate agreement hold the US to a higher
environmental standard than the rest of the world?

The CO2 reduction needed by the UK by 2050 in order to keep the global temperature rise to 2 degrees C if all countries sign up to Contraction and Convergence proposal for carbon emissions.
More info from the Global Commons Institute

Sheffield Campaign Against Climate Change

"Policies such as Contraction & Convergence to solve global warming also require simultaneous implementation. As far as any future regulation of transnational corporations is concerned, surely it is difficult to see how any significant regulation could possibly be implemented on any basis other than globally and simultaneously."
SIMPOL - Simultaneous Policy

Limits on the world’s resources are paralleled by limits on the planet´s ability to absorb waste, or by-products such as greenhouse gases. The more developed countries grow and increase their emissions, the less space there is for developing countries to increase their own emissions, something which must occur to pull billions of the world´s poor out of poverty. The so-called ‘contraction and convergence’ concept, where global emissions of carbon dioxide first shrink and then converge on a broadly even level of per capita emissions, is still the stated strategy within the international climate change negotiations, even if it is actively resisted by many parties. But both these aims become virtually impossible if Northern economies insist on growing. Given the clear link between growth, resource use and emissions, contraction and convergence must mean more than just carbon emissions – it must relates to economic activity as well.
Growing Problems on the road to recovery
International Institute for Environment and Development [IIED]

Sökresultat för ‘contraction and convergence’ Minskning & Utjämning
Principen bakom Minskning och utjämning är enkel: Alla människor har lika stor rätt till atmosfären. Därför kan inte den nuvarande ordningen där rika länder släpper ut upp till hundra gånger mer än fattiga länder fortgå. Tvärtom måste utsläppen snabbt sjunka och samtidigt jämnas ut mellan världens länder. Tanken bakom M&U (Contraction & Convergence på engelska) är att skapa ett ramverk som säkert och snabbt tvingar ner utsläppen på ett rättvist sätt, samtidigt som stora ekonomiska resurser förs över från rika länder till fattiga. Bakom M&U-modellen ligger Aubrey Meyer på Global Commons Institute i Storbritannien. Principerna bakom modellen har ett ökande stöd både inom organisationer som arbetar med klimatfrågan och bland politiker och regeringar. Utanför Storbritannien är det framför allt Afrika som förespråkar M&U, men även Tysklands förbundskansler Angela Merkel har uttryckt sitt stöd för principerna bakom M&U.
Arbertarens Klimatblogge

Contraction and Convergence
Environmental Space Use of natural resources  Level of welfare
Industrial countries Ceiling (= overconsumption)
Developing countries Floor (= dignity life line)

There are no military solutions to climate change Moreover, whatever the unresolved arguments are about where
humanity has come from - 'creationist' versus 'evolutionist' - the mtionale for an inclusive, full-term, framework-based-market of Contraction and Convergence (C&C) is fundamental to the future intelligent design of the means and
ends of avoiding dangerous climate change So, do we have or lack the judgement and the resolve to organize this effort? This challenge faces the UN: we me at the Eleventh Conference of the Parties to the United Nations
Framework Convention to prevent dangerous Climate Change (UNFCCC), yet climate change is still accelerating
dangerously. The key messages in this document are: -
An Urgent Message to the World
Stakeholder Forum COP11 2005

Contraction & Convergence or 'C&C'
"Minimising manmade climate change is almost certainly the biggest challenge faced by humans. Some  impacts are happening right now (often in parts of the world least equipped to deal with them) because of  greenhouse gases already released into the atmosphere. We have to act quickly and decisively to avoid really dangerous climate effects. Developed by Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute, the Contraction and Convergence (C&C) model is a widely accepted global framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions (GHGs) to safe levels in a socially just way. The model provides a global ‘carbon budget’ with annual reduction targets for CO2 emissions, based on levels considered safe to avert dangerous climate change. Once in the atmosphere, GHGs can take up to 200 years to decay, so to stay within safe levels we'll have to continue to reduce, or ‘contract’ emissions year-on-year, to near zero by around 2080."
Fair Shares, Fair Choice
A campaign from Charity Sustainability South West for individuals, organisations, businesses and community groups who support the principle of ‘A globally fair and safe carbon share for everyone.’

The Society’s Board unanimously agreed that the ‘Contraction and Convergence’ framework provides an important step forward in helping all sectors of community, business and government to understand how we can move forward together, on a global scale, to tackle climate change. John Brady, Chair of the Society welcomed this approach and said, “On behalf of the Society for the Environment I am proud to endorse the ‘Contraction and Convergence’ framework which will be important in helping us to work towards a sustainable and equitable future, not just for the UK but communities and economies worldwide.”
Society for the Environment
1. Arboricultural Association (AA)
2. Chartered Institute of Building (CIOB)
3. Chartered Institution of Wastes Management (CIWM)
4. Chartered Institution of Water and Environmental Management (CIWEM)
5. Institute of Agricultural Management (IAgrM)
6. Institute of Ecology and Environmental Management (IEEM)
7. Institute of Environmental Management and Assessment (IEMA)
8. Institute of Fisheries Management (IFM)
9. Institute of Professional Soil Scientists (IPSS) (associate member)
10. Institution of Agricultural Engineers (IAgrE)
11. Institution of Chemical Engineers (IChemE)
12. Institution of Civil Engineers (ICE)
13. Institution of Environmental Sciences (IES)
14. Institution of Water Officers (IWO)
15. Landscape Institute (LI)
16. Royal Institution of Chartered Surveyors (RICS)
17. Royal Meteorological Society (RMetS)

The result is a sobering call for quick and decisive moves to electrify the transport systemretrofit buildings for top energy efficiency, and invest in a renewables-powered electricity grid with a strong role for local energy production. The centerpiece of the plan is an international "contraction and convergence" strategy which transitions the nations of the world to an equitable global per-capita carbon emissions cap. 
Post Carbon Cities

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?

"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

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.

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

Facing up to the need for fair shares is also a prerequisite for managing global commons such as the atmosphere. Policymakers have spent two decades studiously ignoring the central question of how to share out a safe global carbon budget between 193 countries – with policy options that could provide the answer, such as Contraction and Convergence, left on the shelf for someone else's term of office. As a result of this failure to face up to the hard issues, greenhouse gas concentrations continue to climb higher every year.

Common Dreams

Global Commons Institute (GCI) Aubrey Meyer of London’s GCI has been working for over a decade to put contraction and convergence onto the international agenda. And come what may, there’s an irreducible truth here at the end of the day, any fair global climate regime will have to result in contraction and convergence.

But what about the problem of China's emissions?
China's emissions are growing rapidly as the country develops, but the Chinese government is seriously concerned about the devastating effect climate change would have. Its measures reduced the amount of energy used to produce each unit of GDP by 47 per cent between 1990 and 2005, but is this enough? China needs to develop and believes that most of the action to tackle climate change must be taken by the rich countries that have overwhelmingly caused it. On this basis, it would only join an international deal if the United States did so too.
Can this circle be squared?
Absolutely. Providing the biggest polluters cooperate, a new global agreement on much deeper cuts is not just possible but likely. Time, however, is desperately short. The best evidence suggests that, if dangerous climate change is to be avoided, worldwide emissions must start to fall within a decade, which would involve making a deal in the next year or two. Over the longer term, the best and fairest solution ­ dubbed "contraction and convergence" ­ would entitle everyone on the planet to the same share of a safe level of emissions and would apportion them to each country appropriately.
HSBC The Big Debate
The Independent June 2007

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.

The fairest goal is widely seen as a per-capita allocation, where everyone in the world is given the same cap on personal greenhouse gas emissions. Developing nations favor an approach, known as "contraction and convergence," that would bring rich countries' per capita emissions down while increasing the allowance for everyone else.
The Daily Climate

One of the four approaches stood out to me. The strategy in question was proposed by India, China and the Group of 77 and has been endorsed by France, Switzerland and the European Union; it is called the “Per-capita” strategy by Roberts and Parks. This approach is embodied in the emissions management model called “Contraction and Convergence”developed by the Global Commons Institute and it was introduced by the Indian government in 1995.


The concept is very simple. First, a maximum acceptable atmospheric CO2 concentration is calculated. Then, it is divided by the number of the people in the world. So each person has an allocated amount of emissions, so each country is responsible to stay below the allocated amount of their entire population. Seems fair, right? I thought so. It made perfect sense to me, each person gets an equal share of the pie and no one can complain.
Climate Change Africa Mosaic

GCI is the mother-site of contraction and convergence and the best starting point to get involved and to defend C&C on its behalf.
Marée Montante
Enquête sur le réchauffement de la planète

Developing countries are still waiting for that. Indeed the most solid plank of the US critique has been scepticism that the other rich countries would honour their commitments. Of course, if the US were willing to negotiate targets, and developing countries abandoned their view that the US must be amongst the leaders and were willing to negotiate targets for themselves, it would be a great step forward for the global environment. One of the options for nation-states to negotiate over could then indeed be something like “contraction and convergence
The Politics of Climate Change

It may already be too late to avert extinction for Earth Life. There just is a small chance that a major economic collapse might win a breathing space for Earth to recover. Debt forgiveness will not help that, but debt renunciation by those Nations that have had debt foisted onto them by Dictators looting their countries resources to profit foreign Capital might well cause a very healthy economic correction. There must be "Contraction and Convergence". 
Indy Media Ireland

There is one simple concept that shows us the way forward, allowing the world's poor to develop without dooming us all. It is called Contraction and Convergence (C&C), and it was invented by the Global Commons Institute. The inventors of C&C point out that we already know that the level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere needed to stay below a C20 rise, the point of no return. They call this amount of greenhouse gas emissions the world's "carbon budget". The only fair way to divide out the world's carbon budget is to allocate an equal amount to each living human being. So under C&C, each country would be given a budget based on their population per head. There are then two stages. First, the rich countries would have to buy the right to their far higher emissions from the poor - in the process compensating the poor for the warming we have already caused. Second, the poor countries would gradually increase their emissions while the rich whittled them down, until we eventually converged in the middle. The stance of the rich world at the moment - we emitted millions of tons while developing, but you had better not - is simply an insult, certain to fail. C&C is the only framework that could conceivably persuade the Chinese people to limit their emissions over time - and thereby save the world from runaway warming.
Johann Hari
The future of the Earth depends on China

At the world level, contraction and convergence in carbon emissions could be promoted, moving to uniform world per capita emissions, with cutbacks far deeper in the rich countries with large per capita carbon footprints. The problem is that very powerful forces are strongly opposed to these measures. Hence, such reforms remain at best limited, allowed a marginal existence only insofar as they do not interfere with the basic accumulation drive of the system.
Mother Pelican

Such aims must be reached through an equitable global climate regime that continues the efforts of the Kyoto Protocol under the umbrella of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). At the heart of this regime could be a cap-and-trade philosophy, which stems from the concept of climate justice and has been termed contraction and convergence. The idea is to put a cap on total global emissions and continually reduce the global cap over the years (until 2050, for example) until the cap level is reduced to a targeted sustainable threshold. This means that global greenhouse gas emissions – from industrial production and consumption to land, sea and air traffic – would decrease substantially over the long term (contraction). Emission allocation would start from the status quo and gradually reach an equal per-capita basis (convergence). In practical terms, this means that the per-capita emissions of industrialized countries, which are comparatively much higher at present, will be decreased significantly, while most developing countries may initially increase their per-capita emissions.
Frithjof Finkbeiner, International Coordinator, Global Marshall Plan Initiative, Chairman, Global Marshall Plan, Foundation, Member Club of Rome. James B. Quilligan, Coordinator, Global Marshall Plan, Initiative-USA, Director, Centre for Global Negotiations/Brand 21 Forum

There are many ways of looking at our ecological or carbon footprint. If you are looking at carbon footprints you could start by thinking about C02 Contraction and Convergence – C&C calculates that given we have a global population of seven billion. If you divide that up each person can emit up to two tonnes of CO2 a year. At that rate our planet could sustain it. But the problem is that our population is rising and so then that fi gure would have to be reduced still further. Right now the average person in the UK is responsible for 12 tonnes. They have less than 1% of the world’s population but produce 2.3% of the world’s carbon emissions. In order to try and reduce these numbers, we need to think about how much CO2 our activities produce. We can do that by changing the amount of energy we waste on a daily basis through the energy we consume in our homes, transportation, leisure, overconsumption and waste. All of these make up our ecological footprints and their impact on the world.
Peace Child International

A system in which emission rights are allocated pro rata the status quo (in other words big polluters get more rights to pollute than small polluters) is called “grandfathering” . It has the advantage that it takes account of the practical reality that pollution patterns do not change overnight. It is however not simple to provide an ethical basis for such an arrangement. Regarding an eventual allocation of emission rights to countries, there is at present some support for grandfathering or some variant thereof in the developed world but almost none in the developing countries. This is understandable, especially given that almost any other system is likely to lead to a substantial transfer of resources from the former to the latter. A regime advocated often in the developing countries is an equal per capita allocation of pollution rights. It has the advantage of being fair at least on the face of it. What makes this regime particularly attractive is its simplicity. Such a regime would lead to a massive transfer of resources from the developed world to the developing world and is unlikely to find much support in the developed world. The theory of contraction and convergence is presently widely advocated as perhaps the most elegant of those based on an equal per capita allocation as described above. It has however been heavily criticised by developed nations with high per capita emissions as it would implicitly mean either a heavy investment in renewables or an expensive purchase of emission rights in order to comply. It can be expected that the emissions trading market will be much larger under a contraction and convergence regime than under a grandfathering regime. For an in-depth discussion of the subject see Ashton and Wang in the Pew Centre report "Beyond Kyoto: Advancing the international effort against climate change" at , page 61-84
CDM Africa

Atmospheric concentration targets of different greenhouse gases could be agreed upon to be reached by an agreed year, keeping in mind that the targetted concentration does not threaten to seriously destabilise the global climate, and then the global emissions budget that would allow humanity to reach that concentration target could be equally distributed among all nations on the basis of equal per capita entitlements. Such a ‘contraction and convergence’ strategy would again hurt industrialised countries economically if the principle of equal per capita entitlements was implemented immediately. However, once the principle is accepted, the national entitlements can be steadily phased in towards a convergence point of equal per capita entitlements over successive commitment periods. At the same time the targetted atmospheric concentration could be kept subject to review based on latest scientific information available.
Anil Agarwal Sunita Narain
Centre for Science and Environment

The average Zambian emits 0.19 tonnes of CO2 per year while the figure for Britain is 9.4 tonnes (US Department of Energy’s Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Center, 2003). This is FIFTY times as much. Present global emissions per annum are estimated at about 8GT Carbon (IPCC) which equates to 30 GT of CO2 which is 30 000 MT. So in other words the USA is responsible for about 20% of all emissions, the UK for about 2% and Zambia for 0.006%! This places it 184th out of 211 countries in the world. The most credible model of cutting greenhouse gas emissions is that of contraction and convergence. This is where rich countries reduce their emissions to a target, say 1 tonne per person, while poor countries are allowed to increase theirs to this level. If the world decides to tackle climate change in this way, Zambia will be allowed to increase its emissions by 5 times.
Positively ZAMBIA

The only practicable and equitable solution to climate change is the Global Common Institute's framework proposal, Contraction and Convergence. A key element is the trading of carbon- emission rights. Carbon-profligate countries will have to buy unused allocations from more carbon-thrifty ones, such as those in Africa. Tony Blair and the Commission for Africa mistakenly believe that more road building will enable Africa's economy to prosper. However, reducing transport costs will, as the commission acknowledges, greatly increase traffic volumes, thereby worsening climate change. And Africa will experience some of its most severe impacts. Contraction and Convergence changes the direction of policy from aid for road building to payments to the poor of Africa for their unused carbon rations. This process will enable the African economy to develop, but in a uniquely African way. The affluent west can and should repay some of the wealth it has stolen from Africa. Funding for healthcare, HIV prevention, education and security is urgently needed. But Africa does not need the crumbs from the white man's carbon banquet to build more roads.
Friends of ETHIOPIA

Contraction and Convergence (C&C) is a solution to climate change, proposed by the Global Commons Institute. The present Kyoto Protocol is seen as an imperfect solution to the problems of global warming and climate change. It does not place a limit on global carbon emissions nor does it include every country. C&C has received support because it takes into account both problems not considered in the Kyoto Protocol. Contraction refers to the contraction of global carbon emissions to a concentration that allows ecological survival. Above that maximum concentration, the effects of global warming would cause damages that could threaten the survival of humans and other species. The concentration must first be determined and it may range from 450 to 550 parts per million (ppm). Convergence refers to the distribution of carbon emissions equally among all the countries (developed and developing) on a per capital basis. Since the maximum allowable carbon concentration in the atmosphere has been determined in the Contraction phase, the amount of carbon emissions per person can be worked out. The developed countries are likely to exceed their allowable entitlement amounts while the developing countries will underutilise their entitlements. This will allow countries to trade their excess entitlements with those who have exceeded theirs. Read more details about C&C at the Global Commons Institute website.
Asia Greens

Budget for zero carbon - From national climate change policy to local zero carbon refurbishment strategies, all levels of government can play a part in decarbonising their economies. All nations should adopt carbon budgets similar to the UK, with annual targets that correspond with the latest science from the IPCC according to the principles of contraction and convergence. Local governments can develop zero carbon strategies for their local area, integrating plans for new buildings with zero carbon refurbishment of existing homes, offices, factories and more. The One Planet initiative adopts the principle of Contraction and Convergence which means that countries with high per capita emissions will have to reduce their emissions much more rapidly than countries that currently have low per capita emissions. The end result being that per capita emissions from each country will converge at a more equitable level and the global total of emissions will contract. BioRegional will work with partners to agree community specific trajectories. For example, for communities in developing countries a suitable trajectory will have to take into account whether the development is targeted at residents with high impact lifestyles or very low income residents with very low carbon emissions.
What you can do as Government

Beginning of the discussion of long-term goals of the United Kingdom, the 22nd Report “Energy-The Changing Climate” of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution was published in the year 2000 (RCEP) . Here, as in the international treaty aimed at targets, carbon dioxide (CO2) included a stabilization at 550ppm concentration, to realize that the British 'CO2' from the current 60% by 2050 emissions, 2100 to have been needed an 80% reduction. As can be seen from here, at the time 'CO2' only “to target, and reference year”. In fact, the European Union (EU) provides, in Council of the June 1996 and kept to less than 2 degree temperature rise since the industrialization goals of the policy of global warming, so that 'CO2' and less than 550ppm concentration has decided that, this is also in line with the above 550 ppm the RCEP report. Notable here is the basis for calculation of the rate of reduction in the UK to achieve this level. RCEP report cites the principle the “contraction and convergence” as the basis. This is all people have the right to emit the same amount of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere (GHG) . Thus, in the long-term international agreement the allocation of emission rights to countries there is most feasible, based on per capita emissions, and justice is to beserved. However, at present too large because the difference in per capita emissions, if the idea of ​​convergence will be going through this adjustment period of 10 years. On that basis, the UK’s 2050 emissions as satisfying the two conditions of equal per capita emissions in 2050 and stabilize at 550ppm, which was down 60 percent at present. Suppose if there is no significant innovation, which may say about the proposed drastic cuts in living standards directly related to the British people. Energy White Paper issued in February 2003 (“Our energy future - creating a low carbon economy”) government accepts the recommendations of the RCEP, “currently 60% reduction by 2050” with the goal. This made it possible to have strong political leadership of Prime Minister Tony Blair at the time. Then, IPCC 2007 (Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change) report was published the fourth, 550ppm CO2 according to which two incompatible became apparent that the goal of stabilizing the temperature rise within 2 degrees. Under such circumstances, the new policy has emerged as the “80% reduction by 2050” goal.

The Contraction and Convergence approach to global climate policy would work by defining a global stabilization target for greenhouse gas concentrations, and then sharing out the resulting global carbon budget on the basis of convergence to equal per capita entitlements to by some negotiated date. Entitlements would be tradable, allowing countries to sell unused allowances providing low income countries, with their low per capita emissions, with a major new source of finance for development.
Resource Scarcity, Fair Shares and Development
Sudan Vision - Alula Berhe Kidani

In Massachusetts Institute of Technology there has been a project on Environmental Politics and Policy which mainly deals with the trading off political, economic, and social interests and values. This project has attempted to improve the capacity to devise prominent technical solutions by understanding the environmental policy-making. There are different policy instruments that are used by the governments to implement their environmental policies. The market based instruments including taxes, tax exemptions, tradable permits and the economic incentives have been proved to be very effective in compliance with the environmental policy. Though in the Environmental policy and politics arena, the present reliance with the market based framework is controversial and there are many arguments looking for a overarching approach is becoming posted by the prominent environmentalists. For instance the energy consumption in the absence of fossil fuels may be increased by the energy efficiency methods. Aubrey Meyer appeals for a framework based market of contraction and convergence where the ideas like Cap and Share and Sky Trust proposals come into play.
Class of One
Seattle USA

The campaign, which is great for both scientific and based on the principle that Everyone should have equal rights in the weather. That is the principle of “contraction and convergence (decreasing and converges to)” means that countries need to discuss it on a regular basis to limit the ceiling of the level of carbon in the oxide in the atmosphere, according to the scientific assessment at the time. I will agree to reduce emissions to reach the goal. Emission levels at the same time, the country’s rich and poor will gradually adjust to equal treatment.
The atmosphere here is it?
Thai Climate Justice

A world government can establish global justice based on the principle of contraction and convergence; it was developed during the Kyoto negotiations on fair global use of fossil fuels. This principle is a good guide to full spectrum global justice, if applied to all factors that cause damage to the ecosystem. We need contraction and conversion of consumption rates, and contraction and convergence of birth rates, contraction of inappropriate technology and convergence to appropriate technology world wide. It is the world government’s responsibility to steer the process of change in the global commons through legislation and regulations. By imposing fines on illegal environmental actions, taxes on undesirable processes and by giving financial incentives to desirable processes of change governments contribute to the protection of the global commons. All factors that contribute to humankind’s ecological footprint need to be managed. Population management is a politically sensitive issue, as procreation next to life itself, is seen instinctively and legally as a fundamental human right. Any interference by government is seen as an injustice. However, given the present state of the world, it has become a necessity. In fairness to all, contraction and convergence of birth rates for all nations to a globally sustainable level is the solution recommended for the population question. The rate of consumption of resources and services is a major factor in human impact on the environment. A regulation of consumption has become a necessity. Again contraction and convergence in the resource and services consumption is recommended as a solution, which is fair to all.
Council on Global Issues

The future of personal carbon credits
Imagine paying your electric bill twice. Once you would pay with money, and the second time with personal carbon credits. The pollution caused by using energy would be accounted for by a forest somewhere in Africa that has been designated to absorb your pollution. It is likely that this type of personal account will exist in the UK in the next few years. It is called Domestic Tradable Quotas and represents a personal quota to pollute. About 12,000 big companies and institutions already trade in carbon credits in Europe, regulated by the EU's Emissions Trading Scheme (ETS). The next stage is for individuals to be accountable for their personal carbon dioxide emissions. "In this system, individuals are literally stakeholders in the atmosphere," says Richard Starkey, a scientist at the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research, Umist to the UK's parliament. "One could get [people to] buy-in to the process of emissions reduction and even generate a sense of common purpose." Richard Starkey, along with his colleague Kevin Anderson, are working towards a working model. They propose the government sets an annual carbon budget that is broken down into carbon units (say 1 unit = 1 kg of CO2). The proportion of units is allocated equally and without charge to every citizen over 18, and the remaining units are auctioned to organisations. The Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution says "every human is entitled to release into the atmosphere the same quantity of greenhouse gases" and endorsed a policy of "contraction and convergence" under which nations gradually move towards sharing emissions. Much thought has been given to applying the per capita principle to the allocation of emissions between nations, but almost none to applying it within nations. The government has pledged that the UK will cut CO2 emissions by 60% by 2050 in its March 2007 Environmental Bill. Individuals will need to be accountable by name, if the UK will achieve its world record target. Reducing Carbon is now mainstream concern, and many people are making simple steps to reduce their pollution. It is very likely that legislation will be passed in the near future in the UK for a personal carbon credit system.
Go Carbon Free

Believes that a future regime should be based on common but differentiated responsibilities aiming at contraction and convergence as well as on continued and progressively greater emission reductions and the involvement of more countries in the reduction effort; emphasises that any targets for emission cuts should be based on recent science and aim to not exceed a global averae temperature increase of 2°C with reasonable certainty; further stresses that cost-effectiveness should be a characteristic of all measures considered and that, therefore, a long-term goal should be to develop a global carbon market, based on cap and trade; notes further that calculating cost-effectiveness must include the costs of inaction and the expected economic benefits from early action and innovation as well as from technological learning, which will drive down mitigation costs.
European Parliament

In 2003 the Executive of the UNFCCC said achieving the objective of the UNFCCC, “inevitably requires ‘Contraction and Convergence’ ”

Here are links to recent C&C related resources: -

  1. animation of sources and sinks behind the UK 'Climate Act' – Government shows 100% 'sink-efficiency' by 2050 and claims 50:50 odds for avoiding 2 degrees
  2. animation of C&C at COP-15 - this ends with suggested ‘alternatives’ to C&C  
  3. C&C letter to Chris Huhne from Colin Challen plus around 250 eminent others
  4. Chris Huhne’s reply plus reactions: -

Many of the people who signed Colin’s letter to Huhne have now written to Martin Rees calling for a C&C conference with the All Party Climate Change Group [APPCCG] and the Royal Society. Martin Rees has offered the RS as the venue and as a signatory to the letter has offered to speak at it, as have many others. 
Low Carbon Economy

Carbon emissions from the oxidation of organic fuel sources make up around 70% of the world’s greenhouse gases. These can now be accurately measured and attributed to the specific quantity of energy usage (ie, per unit of fuel, electricity, heating, cooling, etc) on a per capita basis. Individual carbon emissions, and hence energy use, are thus able to be given a value that can then be traded on an open market, like any other commodity. The proposal for individual carbon trading, first mooted by Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute in the United Kingdom in 1996 and expanded upon by others, stimulated interest in the development of a workable financial incentive system that provides equity and efficiency in reducing nonrenewable energy use and greenhouse gas emissions. It proposes this through a system of “Contraction and Convergence”, with annual contraction of global carbon emissions over a number of years to an agreed sustainable, safe level, and convergence towards equal per capita emissions globally through trade of emission rights between frugal energy users (usually the poor) and profligate emitters (usually the rich). An individual carbon trading system overcomes the huge deficiencies of current carbon offset systems, where trees are planted in the hope that they will “soak up” atmospheric carbon. Known by a number of names, perhaps the most current of which is TEQs (tradeable energy quotas), the scheme is based on the premise that about 40% of all energy use occurs at the individual and household levels. Hence, while a corporate “cap and trade” system for carbon emissions (now accepted by most {a few } governments) may help reduce greenhouse gases, if the demand for energy among consumers remains high, the marketplace will overcome price rises. For a personal carbon trading scheme, the plan is to allocate every individual an equal number of tradeable energy units per year, based on about 40% of a total budget (that includes both personal and corporate quotas) set by a central budgetary council. Each unit is equivalent to 1 kg of carbon released through energy usage.
Back to Basics

The first evening was a talk by Aubrey Meyer, originator of the Contraction and Convergence approach. As well as being an extraordinary climate change activist, he is also a concert violinist, and his talk featured some virtuouso playing as well as a passionate setting out of the case for Contraction and Convergence as a response to climate change. You can read a part of the interview I did with him earlier that day exploring the relationship between peak oil and climate change [here].
Transition Culture

Any fragmentation with lack of support for ratification from those apparently committed could mean the end of the Kyoto process. If that happens, environmentalists will be looking for some alternative to replace it. However, since the Kyoto plan never aimed to tackle the problem in enough depth there is always hope that something better may evolve to fill the vacuum. Maybe the next plan could be Contraction and Convergence.

The Global Commons Institute, U.K., has for long been campaigning for the Contraction and Convergence model by which the poor countries will be permitted to increase their per capita emissions while the rich reduce theirs, till an agreed date — say, year 2030 — and thereafter, all together will walk down the slope.
The Hindu

Contraction and Convergence (C&C) is a proposed global framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. Conceived by the Global Commons Institute in the early 1990's, the Contraction and Convergence strategy consists of reducing overall emissions of greenhouse gases to a safe level (Contraction) where the global emissions are reduced because every country brings emissions per capita to a level which is equal for all countries (Convergence). The Global Commons Institute was founded in the United Kingdom in 1990 by Aubrey Meyer and others to campaign for a fair way to tackle climate change. Contraction and Convergence is intended to form the basis of an international agreement which will reduce carbon emissions to avoid climate change. It is expressed as a simple mathematical formula. This formula can be used as a way for the world to stabilize carbon levels at any level. The supporters of Contraction and Convergence anticipate that future negotiations would focus solely on what that final level should be.
Transition United States

This DVD was produced on behalf of the UK House of Commons All Party Parliamentary Climate Change Group of MPs (APPCCG) by GCI and Tangent Films. It was distributed to all sitting UK MPs in 2007. It points to the disciplined approach we need to address climate change. Not an approach based on wishful thinking, but a rational framework which leads to the solution foreshadowed in the original 1990 United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC), and subsequently much ignored.

The UNFCCC called on all countries to recognise their equal but differentiated responsibilities to cut carbon emissions, and to recognise that the eventual equitable distribution of carbon rights had to be achieved. Over 180 countries signed up to the UNFCCC's aims, but have so far failed to deliver the action necessary to achieve them. Time is now running desperately short. We need to implement the framework known as Contraction & Convergence (C&C), as proposed by the Global Commons Institute (GCI), in order to prevent further delay or sub-standard measures which might fool us into believing that we're dealing with climate change, when we're not.

This DVD gives an explanation of C&C. Experts also explain why they support C&C and Aubrey Meyer, whose work in developing C&C has been recognised in awards from the Schumacher Society and the City of London. He presents a risk analysis to show how C&C can react to stabilise the amount of C02 in the atmosphere as natural carbon sinks begin to fail. For more information, please follow these links

Thanks to our contributors: Sir Crispin Tickell, Grace Akumu, Alex Evans, Prof. Bill McGuire, Chris Motters-head, Jon Snow, Prof. Michael Mainelli, Prof Paul Jowitt, Dr. Julian Salt, Mark Lynas, Jack Pringle, David Wasdel, Dr. Andrew Dlugolecki, Dr. Robin Stott, Angela Mawle, Lorna Walker, Jeffrey Newman, Fred Pearce, Dr. Joshua Wairoto.
Contraction and Convergence - An Incontestable Truth [1]
The Irreducible Response to Climate Change [2]
Transition Worcester

The Byrd-Hagel Resolution points the way forward. It accepts the need for “differentiated responsibilities” for all countries in the UNFCCC. It proposes that whilst retaining the same timeframes, the developed countries would accept emissions reduction commitments alongside the developing countries who would accept merely emissions limitation commitments. This means that, with permit “tradability”, there would be negative growth in the entitlements of developed countries alongside the controlled positive growth in the entitlements of developing countries. The structural result: the rich would be financing the clean development of the poor to save the planet. GCI clearly pointed out that this, by definition, was “contraction and convergence”, as there was simply no other conceivable way to organise this global scale solution. Led by the Africa group of nations at Kyoto in December 1997 and supported by India and China, this trade-equity swap in C&C was accepted by the US. In the heat of the negotiations for a global solution, the US accepted that the equitable pre-distribution of emissions permits created by C&C framework was the necessary reward demanded by the developing countries for global emissions trading.
The United States has it right on climate change - in theory
Open Democracy

I advocate an immediate cessation of all military conquest and imperialism by the US government and industrialized powers; an end to the war on terror. I advocate an immediate convening of political, economic, spiritual and scientific leaders from all nations to address the issue of Peak Oil and its immediate implications for economic collapse, massive famine and climate destruction (partially as a result of reversion to coal plants which accelerate global warming). This would, scientifically speaking, include immediate steps to arrive at a crash program – agreed to by all nations and in accordance with the highest spiritual and ethical principles – to stop global population growth and to arrive at the best possible and most ethical program of population reduction. It would also include arrival at a painful but absolutely necessary plan to implement a global program of “contraction and convergence” whereby consumption, rampant economic growth based on globalization, and corrupt economic practices is reversed in favor of a planned and executed program intended to reduce the size of a world economy which is inherently linked to the consumption of hydrocarbon energy. In stating this position I have made it clear that nothing of any real significance will be changed at all until a complete revision is made in the way money works on a global and local scale because it is financial activity and policy which will dictate how any objectives are implemented and paid for.
A Wake-up Call for Non-Violent Political Action
Mike Ruppert 911-strike.com

Die billikste benadering sou vir die klub wees om dieselfde toedelingsmetode te volg as wat voorgestaan is deur Contraction and Convergence, die toonaangewende voorstel vir ’n internasionale raamwerk om klimaatsverandering te beperk. C&C, ’n verstommend buigsame plan wat oor die afgelope twaalf jaar deur die Global Commons Institute in London ontwikkel is, gaan uit van die vertrekpunt dat almal ’n gelyke reg het om die atmosfeer as stortingsgebied vir sy of haar kweekhuisgasemissies te gebruik. Gevolglik, indien die klub C&C gebruik, sou dit die totale hoeveelheid kweekhuisgasse bereken wat in die atmosfeer vrygelaat kan word sonder om katastrofiese klimaatsverandering teweeg te bring. Hierdie hoeveelheid sou ’n omvattende perk plaas op die totale koolstofinhoud van die fossiel brandstowwe wat verbrand kan word voordat die wêreld sy vrylating daarvan tot die perk verlaag het waar dit nie meer in die atmosfeer versamel nie, en die mensdom gevolglik opgehou het om die planeet te laat verwarm. Die jaarlikse persentasiekoers waarmee globale fossielbrandstofverbruik van sy huidige vlak verlaag moet word, sal dan bereken word. Dit sal teikens stel vir die maksimum vlak koolstofemissie uit fossielbrandstofverbruik vir elke jaar.
Suid Afrika

The first speaker was Dr. Robin Stott, a GP and Chairman of the UK Medical Peace and Environment Group. His talk looked at the implications of climate change on our approach to healthcare. Climate change, he argued, is the most siugnificant public health problem of this century. The other challenge that sits alongside it is that of global inequity and the lack of social equity. Climate change, initially at least, will affect the poorer people in the world most gravely. Our responses need to include informing people and organisations, affirming that we need to both put our own houses in order and advocate for global solutions, and identifying frameworks for global agreement. The model Stott put forward, which will not be new to regular readers of Transition Culture, is Contraction and Convergence. C&C promotes an equitable global agreement, which would reign in the emissions of more affluent nations while also allowing sustainable development of poorer nations. It transfers money to poorer nations and creates a policy virtuous cycle which enables economic and social progress within environmental limits. If brought into operation, he argued, it would unleash a boom in low carbon technologies, and would do much to avert the potential public health catastrophe the potential for which is inherent within the climate change crisis.
Transtion Town Totnes

What actions should be taken to combat the problem? The ideal is expressed among others by Aubrey Meyer: the Contraction and Convergence system. This system allows the world community a global cap on greenhouse gas emissions, similar to the current European trading system (EU ETS). This cap goes over the years quickly down to avoid dangerous climate change ('Contraction'). The 'emission space under the ceiling is divided among the various countries, the distribution gradually changes from the current (historical) distribution of emissions to equal per capita distribution of the world ("Convergence"). An equal division is the most ethically defensible, but there are also objections to doing that without a transitional period. Finally, it is important that the distributed tradable emission quota. With a truly equal emissions per capita of the world's nobody's shooting at and emissions trading will be a monetary flow to the south cause the current budgets for development many times exceeds.
citizens must vote for parties a strict climate policy.
Studenten in Actie
Rechtvaardig Klimaatakkord

Ross Garnaut’s report on climate change to the Australian Government has clarified the issues. The report could prove influential in shaping an international consensus on stabilising proportion of GHG in the atmosphere at no higher than 550 parts per million by 2050, based on the principles of contraction and convergence he has proposed. After 2050, the share of emissions per country should be proportional to each country’s share of global population. It will be very hard to agree on the rights to emit GHGs by each country in the years to 2050 consistent with this ambitious long-term goal. The world needs to resolve a many-player, cost sharing game. Like any other cost-sharing game, such as paying taxes, there is a risk that free-riding by some can deter others from making any significant contribution. There is no world government, so the free rider problem needs to be solved by providing incentives to participate by changing perceptions of the marginal benefits of contributions. Such an incentive can be provided by some players (in this case governments) taking the lead by setting unilateral commitments to some reductions in their emissions per head in the coming years, combined with an offer to do more if others make commitments. This is the strategy that Garnaut sets out.
East Asia Forum

The 3C's of Individual Emissions Entitlements: the Commons and Contraction and Convergence:
The Commons: The atmosphere is a Commons. When emissions leave an exhaust pipe or chimney they mingle with air and become part of the atmosphere. Emissions are therefore synonymous with atmosphere. No one can claim to own the atmosphere - no individual, no company, no government, no country - the atmosphere a 'commons' that either belongs to everyone equally or to no one. The way property rights are allocated in a commons can determine whether you will have a "tragedy of the commons" or a thriving commons. Historically, capitalism arose when the commons were enclosed by elites in England. Rules governing the commons in the 21st century must be based on social justice and ecological sustainability.
Contraction and Convergence: The Global Commons Institute, based in the UK, introduced the 'Contraction and Convergence' framework in 1992. C&C proposes to set a goal of per capita equity in carbon emissions, and introduces a convergence period during which allocations progressively move to equality. The 1st World contracts, and the 3rd World converges toward the goal of per capita equity in carbon emissions. This recognizes that climate change is a global problem, and to truly solve it, the entire world will need to be involved. Here is a great zoomable poster put out by the Global Commons Institute which illustrates Contraction and Convergence (large pdf file, needs acrobat reader 5.0 or else you'll get a black spot in the middle). GCI believes that emissions entitlements should go to governments through the UN Framework on Climate Change (UNFCCC). FEASTA believes that emissions entitlements should go to citizens directly, and therefore FEASTA does not use the term Contraction and Convergence, although the basic concept (of 1st world contraction and 3rd world convergence) is the same. California can take the first step by making a state wide system which can later be expanded nationally.
Community Clean Water Institute
California USA

So a great deal of convergence is implied, and I should be remiss if I did not point up here the important role of Aubrey Meyer and the Global Commons Institute in developing the concept of Contraction and Convergence.
Earth Watch

Twee “groen helde” uit Suid-Afrika is op ’n Britse koerant se lys van 50 invloedrykes wat met hul omgewingswerk die Aarde kan red. Dié lys is saamgestel deur ’n paneel van The Guardian, bestaande uit sleutelfigure in die wêreldwye omgewingsdebat – onder andere mnr. Bob Watson, oud-hoofwetenskaplike van die Wêreldbank, en mnr. Gerd Leipold, hoof van die omgewingsdrukgroep Greenpeace. Mnr. Valli Moosa, voorsitter van Eskom en oudminister van omgewingsake, sowel as Aubrey Meyer, ’n internasionaal bekende violis wat sy heil in Londen gaan soek het, is die twee Suid-Afrikaners wat op die lys verskyn. Moosa het gister nie daarvan kennis gedra dat hy op die lys is nie, maar het by navraag aan Die Burger gesê sy insluiting “is ’n eer”. “Dit is ’n huldeblyk aan alles wat ons al bereik het om die omgewing in Suid-Afrika te bewaar,” het hy gesê. Een van die redes waarom Moosa ingesluit is, is volgens The Guardian omdat hy in sy termyn as minister ’n veldtog begin het om Suid-Afrikaners aan te moedig om minder plastieksakke te gebruik. Volgens Moosa is die Suid-Afrikaanse publiek en nieregerings­organisasies redelik omgewings­bewus en was bogenoemde veldtog “baie suksesvol”. Die belangrikste impak van dié veldtog is egter op die denke van die Suid-Afrikaanse bevolking, meen Moosa. “Jy kan net iets verander as jy mense se denke kan verander,” het hy gesê. Meyer, wat al viool in die wêreldbekende Londense Filharmoniese Orkes gespeel het en oorspronklik van Kaapstad is, het in 1990 ’n “klein, informele” organisasie, die Global Commons-instituut, begin. Deur dié organisasie probeer hy die “gevaarlike koers van klimaatsverandering afweer”. Die instituut se aktiwiteite het gelei tot ’n voorstel waarvolgens lande hul koolstofdioksiedvrystellings beheer om by ’n maksimum aanvaarde vlak aan te pas. Sy voorstel behels dat ontwikkelde lande hul vrystellings per capita geleidelik verminder en ontwikkelende lande hulle s’n geleidelik vermeerder sodat hulle halfpad ontmoet en alle lande se vrystellings dan dieselfde is. Volgens hom het sy passie vir die omgewing van sy dogter gekom, wat in 1990 vir hom gevra het of die Aarde regtig besig is om te sterf. “Ek het nie geweet hoe om die vraag te hanteer nie en is steeds nie seker hoe om dit te doen nie.” Behalwe dié twee Suid-Afrikaners is ander “groen helde” wat op die lys verskyn onder andere die voormalige Amerikaanse vise-president mnr. Al Gore en die Hollywood-ster Leonardo DiCaprio.
Dié twee SA groenes kan Aarde help red KAAPSTAD
Die Burger

Im Zentrum unserer Überlegungen zur Schöpfungstheologie und Umweltethik stehen Menschenwürde und Menschenrechte heutiger und zukünftiger Generationen. Es geht darum, so zu leben und zu arbeiten, dass alle Menschen menschenwürdig leben und arbeiten können. Dabei muss die Nutzung der Natur gerecht geregelt sein, ohne deren Übernutzung zu riskieren. Dass "kein Mensch (...) per se das Recht (hat), dem Klima mehr Schaden zuzufügen als andere" (Angela Merkel) drückt das Konzept "contraction and convergence" (Reduktion und Annäherung) aus, das innerhalb der ethischen Positionen zum Klimawandel sehr breiten Zu­spruch findet. Dahinter stehen eine schnelle und ausreichende Reduktion der Treibhausgasemissionen und eine rasche Angleichung der Emissionshöhe pro Kopf der Weltbevölkerung auf einem umweltverträglichen Niveau.

Climate change when viewed through this framework is seen as a problem where the West dominates and controls the global agenda, leaving the developing world out of the picture. A solution to climate change for this world view would involve what Aubrey Meyer describes as 'contraction and convergence', or an equal sharing of the carbon dioxide budget between all countries, regardless of their wealth.
Sara Phillips Australia Broadcasting Corporation

Michael Northcott: I think carbon trading is essentially a lie. This is of course very public, controversial at the moment here in Australia. We've all seen the whole problem with derivatives markets and so on and so forth. I don't believe that carbon trading will fix the problem. Carbon trading established by the Kyoto Protocol has not yet reduced global greenhouse gas emissions by a tonne, and I see many, many studies from The Financial Times, McKinsey, a number of academic studies of carbon trading; it's not working. You're trading in an invisible gas and it's just like the derivatives trade; it's extremely hard to be sure what you're buying and what you're selling when you're talking about carbon permits. What we need to do is dramatically reduce, first in the developed world and then gradually in what we call contraction and convergence, in the developing world. Now McKinsey Australia - I always say if McKinsey haven't got a plan for us, it's not worth worrying about - McKinsey Australia reckon it will cost only three hundred dollars a household to reduce carbon emissions to thirty percent below 1990 levels by 2020. Which would be a perfectly reasonable target for Australia. It will still mean you are way above the European average, of CO2 emissions, but nonetheless, it will be a reasonable target, I mean a few hundred dollars a household, I think that's reasonable. And of course you'd find ways to make that more progressive, so that the rich paid more than the poor
ABC Radio National Australia

A global injustice - Climate change when viewed through this framework is seen as a problem where the West dominates and controls the global agenda, leaving the developing world out of the picture. A solution to climate change for this world view would involve what Aubrey Meyer describes as ‘contraction and convergence’, or an equal sharing of the carbon dioxide budget between all countries, regardless of their wealth.
ABC Carbon

The government of Costa Rica has given start to the construction of the National Strategy of Climatic Change (ENCC), the one that considers the application of five axes, to know: Metric, whose areas are Energy, Industrial Processes, Agriculture, Change in the Use of the Floor and Solid Residues; Mitigation, that understands the areas of Energy, Transportation, Agriculture, Industry, Solid Residues, Tourism, Water and Change in the Use of the Floor; and the axis of Adaptation and Vulnerability, that includes as areas: Water, Agriculture, Health, Infrastructure, Coastal Zones, Biodiversity and Forest Systems. The third and fourth axes consist of the Construction of Capacities; as well as Education and Sensitizing of the Population. Each one of the axes will have a Plan of Action to guide the activities and results expected. A model that would be able to utilize is that of the "Global Commons Institute" of "Contraction and Convergence", for what the settings of zero will be revised and two degrees inside a period of time I specify. This proposal would go in the line to promote more elements of equity in the system of international governability in to the framework of an international politics that would be able to promote Costa Rica inside an international state post Kyoto 2012.
The Costa Rica National Strategy of Climatic Change (ENCC)

We have recently agreed funding for two projects – one in the UK and one in Madagascar. Our projects in the 'developing' world seek to address the more dramatic increase in population growth and the wider environmental impacts but we also acknowledge that the carbon emissions per capita in growing economies is relatively low compared to those in industrial nations. One cannot assume, however, that people will continue to live in relative poverty and these growing economies will, inevitably, lead to greater emissions per capita. Like Kofi Annan, we support the "contraction and convergence principle with a population base year" as the basis of climate equity. All poor people rightly aspire to become richer; and the evidence is now conclusive that the lower the rate of population growth, the faster nations develop. All other development programmes, however, are doomed ultimately to fail if human numbers, rich and poor, keep rising indefinitely on our fragile and finite planet. To quote Kofi Annan, "Population stabilization should become a priority for sustainable development". PopOffsets, does not let developed nations 'off the hook' - we must reduce both our own clearly unsustainable consumption and the number of our own consumers, as well as helping over 200 million poor women in the world, with no access to family planning, to take control of their own fertility".

Basis for agreement?
• ‘Contraction and Convergence’ Proposed in mid-1990’s by Global Commons Institute Source: GCI (2008).
– Contracting global target to prevent ‘dangerous’ climate change
– Convergence to equal emissions per head across all countries
• Principle informally accepted by many climate negotiators

Scientists for Global Responsibility

Contraction and convergence. Although this may be thought of as more of a principle than a framework, and more of an inevitability that a principle, it is a vital principle that should logically lead to an equitable framework. The contraction element reffers to global contraction of emissions as defined by the science and to avoid dangerous climate change, a goal enshrined in the UNFCCC. The convergence entails a reigning in of emissions by the developed nations, to allow some growth in the carbon intensity of developing nations. Convergence towards equal per capita emissions allocations. In Contraction and Convergence as already mentioned, the ‘horse trading’ is limited to after a global cap has been assigned. Every country will then negotiate the path to convergence, as certain developing countries will have s surplus quota of emissions, this provides a usefull fund for adaption, as well as encouraging the adoption of low carbon technologies, this is likely to gain there support. Such a framework will not be easy to implement but, agreeing upon a framework that doesn't achieve its goal, just because it is easy to commit to is the ultimate bureaucracy. As the IPPR point out:"Bold leadership must change the bounds of what is considered realistic"After the current Kyoto implementation period I therefore support Contraction and Convergence as the global framework for action. To this framework, there are however numerous other measures which must be incorporated, to make the mandatory targets reachable. These measures include, emissions trading schemes, a leadership group of countries, targets on policy and measure, action by financial institutions, groups to encourage co-operation in the business community and in the energy sector. These other measures have to well coordinated, and executed with equity and the mantra of “common but differentiated responsibilities” in mind. I will now go on to describe in some more detail the parts of the current Kyoto system that have been a success and the schemes currently under way that deserve to play a more central and prominent role in climate policy.
Radical Noesis

Available technologies for reduction of emissions from livestock production, applied universally at realistic costs, would reduce non-carbon dioxide emissions by less than 20%. We therefore advocate a contraction and convergence strategy to reduce consumption of livestock products, mirroring the widely supported strategy proposed for greenhouse-gas emissions in general. Contraction of consumption in high-income countries per head would then define the lower, common, ceiling to which low-income and middle-income countries could also converge.

It is not possible to achieve the UNFCCC objective without serious limitations on the total volume of CO2 that mankind can emit during the next century. This limit means that global emissions of greenhouse gases must undergo a gradual decline from the levels of today. This is the first idea defended by Aubrey Meyer Global Commons Institute for fifteen years (Meyer, 2000): to advance on the path to climate protection, we must first accept that the total emission greenhouse gas emissions must go by contracting. The next question is: how do we share the cake of emissions between countries? This is the second idea defended by Aubrey Meyer: the convergence of progressive levels of per capita emissions, to a single level, consistent with the size of the “cake” of programming “authorized”. In the parlance of negotiators (see Gupta, 2001), it is called “C&C” or “contraction and convergence”.

So perhaps the way out of an Age of Piracy is the idea of equal footprints. The world’s most popular response plan (amongst governments) to climate change, is Contraction and Convergence, which is based on equal entitlements to the carbon sink. But since we face enclosure and resource crunches on all fronts, why not generalise this idea? How about “We are all born equal, and with an equal entitlement to a footprint?” This would give a rights-based framework for adapting to climate change, and could move the whole ailing International Development industry out of a Victorian philanthropy model, into a modern rights-based welfare concept. If we want to stop being pirates, perhaps we should start by keeping our feet on the ground.
THUS Because it Doesn't Have to be This Way
Daniel Taghioff

Carbon Countdown is an international campaign to avert dangerous rates of climate change. It focuses corporate support for Contraction & Convergence (C&C) on the UNFCCC decision-making process throughout the present critical period of negotiation.
India Environmental Portal

The climate freeloaders: emerging nations need to act - Key developing countries have long been exempt from efforts to reduce greenhouse gas emissions. Now, as global climate talks move forward, that policy must change. In any international negotiations, we need fairness in allocating emissions targets. And that, I believe, means allocations based on population size. We might need some separate rules for nations that still have fast-rising populations (though I can't believe that any country would surreptitiously boost its population to get a few more emissions permits). But long term we should be headed for national entitlements based on population. My favorite formula is called "contraction and convergence," developed by a splendidly single-minded, violin-playing South African living in London named Aubrey Meyer, and publicized through his NGO, the Global Commons Institute. Under his concept, we would listen to what scientists are saying and contract global emissions so as to stabilize concentrations of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. But then we would apportion emissions entitlements according to a formula that gradually would converge national targets toward a level based strictly on population. Of course, countries would be free to trade their entitlements – so the U.S. could buy from India, and so on. But the initial allocations would be transparent and equitable. It would take all the horse-trading out of the international negotiations. I recommend you check out the graphs of how this could happen on Meyer's web site — especially if you work for the Obama team that is deciding how to approach climate change negotiations this year. Like me you may be left wondering why the world didn't adopt this simple formula long ago. In London this week, the UN's chief climate diplomat, Yvo de Boer, said he thought that "in the long run," emissions targets based on population were the way to go. So why not now? My proposal for Copenhagen is that governments grab the chance to think afresh on climate, and adopt this long-term solution that does away with the ridiculous anomalies that currently exist.
Fred Pearce from Yale Environment 360,
Guardian Environment Network

Transition, Managed politically led UN programmes Contraction and Convergence
Political programmes, Bottom up approach, Transition Towns
Local economies, alternative currencies, Education

The Organic Gardening Conference 2011
Neil May

What the world urgently needs is climate justice and one of the fairest ways to make sure that happens is by adopting the idea of contraction and convergence. Put very simply, this would mean everyone on the planet having an equal right to emit equal levels of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases. Contraction and convergence would set a ceiling on a safe and stable amount of greenhouse gases allowed in the atmosphere and divide this by the number of people on the planet.  What is good about this system is that people in poor countries who do not emit their allowance of carbon, because they use much less energy than people in rich countries, could sell their allowances to rich people who, because of their lifestyles, wanted to emit more. The result would be win, win, win! The threat of climate change would be avoided, poverty would be tackled by trading CO2 in favour of poor countries and the world would become a more equal place. To learn more about Contraction and Convergence see here.
Global Footprints

C&C: Contraction and Convergence (strategi til reduktion af verdens CO2-udledning ved at bringe alle landenes udslip pr. indbygger ned til samme niveau.
Danish Forum on Climate and Energy

A global injustice - Climate change when viewed through this framework is seen as a problem where the West dominates and controls the global agenda, leaving the developing world out of the picture. A solution to climate change for this world view would involve what Aubrey Meyer describes as 'contraction and convergence', or an equal sharing of the carbon dioxide budget between all countries, regardless of their wealth.
Australia Broadcasting Corporation - Environment

How can Carbon Share be useful in the development of a post-Kyoto international climate treaty?
The per capita aspect of Carbon Share may be very important as a framework for a future international climate treaty. For more information, check out a per capita framework called Contraction & Convergence, developed by Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute. Here is a great graph that shows C&C in more detail.
Carbon Share

Despite this, we show that allocations can be found which lead to a self-enforcing (i.e. signatory Parties comply out of self-interest), meaningful climate agreement. The corresponding allocation is fairly close to contraction and convergence by 2050. Contraction and Convergence [C&C] is the name of the global GHG emissions-management-model introduced by GCI to the UNFCCC negotiations in 1996. Some current information about the origins, meaning and application of C&C is here
TOCSIN Technology Oriented Cooperation Strategies in India and China

Surely the strategy is only effective if all countries in the world are involved?
Absolutely. Climate change is a global problem that needs international co-operation. This strategy defines a necessary global carbon budget - Contraction and Convergence - adopted globally, would allow low emitting countries to increase carbon dioxide emissions until the meet their fair share. If they receive more entitlements than they require, they could sell these to other countries. We assume Britain is able to buy these carbon credits within the 20 year timeframe. China's per capita emissions are about a third of ours and most of the energy they are currently using is to provide goods used by the rest of the world. As well as investing in coal-fired technologies they are also encouraging wind power. China inslalled 1,347MW 01 wind energy in 2006. lts capacity is now 2,604MW, making it the sixth largest market worldwide.
BS2 Lofts

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

A livello di proposte per cercare di arginare ed affievolire la crisi climatica, assume particolare rilevanza la proposta del gruppo di ambientalisti e ricercatori inglesi del Global Common Institute. Il loro progetto si basa essenzialmente sulla coniugazione della riduzione delle emissioni e del principio di equita', consiste insomma nella ricerca di una modalita' di azione tale da migliorare le attuali condizioni ambientali senza pero' bloccare lo sviluppo dei paesi in via di sviluppo. La proposta del Global Common Institute si chiama Contraction and Convergence:"·essa prevede che, data una certa traiettoria delle emissioni globali totali fissate dall'IPCC, nei primi trent'anni ogni paese abbia una quota di emissioni pro capite variabile nel tempo, a partire da una valore attuale fino a convergere ad un valore uguale per tutti appunto tre anni dopo l'inizio del periodo di convergenza."
Alberto di Fazio

A report released by UK’s Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution (RCEP) in June 2000 said that an effective, enduring and equitable climate agreement will require GHG emission quotas to be allocated to countries on a simple and equal per capita basis.cxxiii As a system of per capita entitlements cannot enter into force immediately, the report proposes "contraction and convergence." Aubrey Meyer from the London-based Global Commons Institute, who has been a leading advocate of this approach, explains that initially the shares would maintain a status quo - based on each country’s income. However, over an agreed future period of time all countries would converge on the same allocation per head of their population in a base year that would be pre-determined by agreement. (See earlier discussion of Meyer’s egalitarian concept of allocations based on historical per capita entitlements: everyone should have an equal right to identical emissions.) This would mean the quotas of industrialised countries fall year by year, while those of developing countries rise until all countries converge to emit equal amounts of GHG per head. The RCEP report proposes 2050 as the year for convergence. It will also be the cut-off date for national populations, i.e. further changes in a country’s population will not affect its emission quota. After the point of convergence has been reached, the quotas of all countries would contract at the same rate. According to the report, commentators on climate negotiations have identified "contraction and convergence" as the leading contender among the various proposals for allocating emission quotas to countries in the long run. To make an agreement based on per capita allocation quotas more feasible, the report supports emissions trading between countries. Countries that wish to emit GHG in excess of their respective quotas would be able to purchase unused quotas at prices that give an incentive to others to emit less.
Carbon Debt By
Nikhat Jamal Qaiyum - Jubilee South

Contraction and Convergence (C&C) is a system designed to allocate, on an equal basis CO2 to all humankind. The over-consuming countries require an adjustment period to contract their CO2 emissions, while developing countries are able to increase to some extent (until convergence occurs). After Convergence each country would receive the same allocation of CO2 emissions permits per head of its population at some agreed base level for the year. Those countries, unable to live within their allocation would be able to buy more permits from countries, which ran their economies in a more energy-frugal way. The theory is that this would allow a steady flow of purchasing power from countries that have used fossil fuels energy to become rich to those still struggling to break out of poverty. C&C would thus not only shrink the gap between rich and poor but also encourage the South to develop along a low fossil fuel-energy path. The over-consuming industrialised nations, which have cause the warming problem invariably argue that the market should be left to correct the imbalance. “To begin with, we must acknowledge that climate change is the greatest market failure the world has ever seen. Greenhouse gas emissions are an externality, affecting the lives of others, with people not paying for the consequences. It is therefore not enough to say leave it to the market, the market has already shown it has failed “. David Cameron MP - Conservative Party Leader - Do Good Lives Have To Cost the Earth? 2008
Greenhouse Norwich Environment Centre

As per Kyoto agreement and “H-Ray Tracing”, global reductions
In greenhouse gas emissions now we desperately need-
At least for the next fifty years, to build a sustainable world,
As an assurance for our very own survival seed!
So a sense of urgency looms distinctly on the “Hillolsphere”,
For global implementations as the salient factors-
And the developing and developed nations must act together
To align their worried weather-policy actors!
Equitable distribution of emission permits may be offered globally
To each nation assigned under the plan-
And the mechanisms of “Hillonomics” of efficiency with
Economic convergence must be built-in to govern the political clan!
The developing countries in no way should be excluded
From the emission targets, and they must follow the rule-
While the adherence of all the developed nations
With “contraction and convergence” plan would keep the planet cool!
I am afraid, the current scenarios emerging from emissions
Will increase the pollutions and global warming speed-
And may even lead the researchers and meteorologists to predict
The dire consequences with death tolls indeed!
South Asian Women's Forum

As a third conclusion I'd point to the present crisis demanding a coherent proposal for the framework of the climate negotiations. The rate of advance of the threats is such that no peicemeal voluntary agreements are going to get anywhere near the rate of decarbonization that is required. Collective global action remains the imperative. On this that great Australian Professor Garnaut has written astutely - The framework he describes is called Contraction and Convergence, and I'd urge any who've not studied it to do so. It is the banner that we need as a rallying point for a global N-S movement, by which we should put an end to futile demands that politicians 'do something' or at least pay lip-service to some dubious 'safe' number of ppmv or degrees C. Until we have a specific demand for the basis of the burden-sharing that the climate treaty requires, why should politicians take us seriously.
Lewis Cleverdon
Climate Code Red

известного как 'Сокращение и конвергенция' (Contraction and Convergence), заявив, что 'мы должны предотвратить глобальный экологический кризис, который может, в конечном счёте, подвергнуть опасности нашу жизнеспособность как разновидности'. Что касается поддержанного церковью плана, то слово 'Сокращение' в его названии означает сведение к минимуму количества вредных выбросов в атмосферу. 'Конвергенция' же означает равномерное распределение между странами количества выбросов, чтобы к 2050 году каждый человек в мире 'испускал' то же самое количество загрязнителей, что и любой другой. Проще говоря, чтобы богатые и бедные страны вредили экологии одинаково, а не так, как сейчас. План 'Сокращение и конвергенция' уже поддержали не только такие религиозные группы, как Всемирный Совет церквей (World Council of Churches), но и Королевская комиссия по экологическому загрязнению (Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution) и выдающийся климатолог сэр Джон Хотон (John Houghton).
Kirov Region Russia

Paul Ashford's Summary - Paul received a BSc (Hons) in chemistry from the University of Bristol (UK) in 1979 before spending 15 years with BP Chemicals in a variety of technical, technology transfer and commercial roles. In 1994, Paul set up his own consultancy firm, Caleb, to pursue his growing interests in the environmental regulatory field.  Caleb is an active opinion-former in international policy development based on its strong track record in support of the Montreal Protocol. It is currently focused on the climate change agenda with particular interest in the management of high global warming potential gases under the Kyoto Protocol. The company is also active in the extension of the sustainable construction agenda (e.g. building energy efficiency standards) to developing economies and sees the wider challenge of sustainability as the key issue facing the world in the next 100 years. The whole ‘contraction and convergence’ agenda, the development of adaptation strategies and the ethics of climate change are all critical aspects of Caleb’s current thinking. The company has ten full-time consultants and works with a broad range of stakeholders from both governments and industry.  Paul has been particularly active as a “lead author” of a series of influential reports for the Inter-Governmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC). He is particularly focused on the inter-linkages between various international environmental treaties in his efforts to see ‘joined-up thinking’ in international policy. He is an associate of the John Ray Initiative, a Christian think-tank on the environment, and is also the pastor of a small free-church just outside of Bristol in the UK. 
Paul Ashhford
CALEB Management Services

An important step in making the transition to a strong sustainable consumption and production pattern is to urgently implement radical changes in how we produce even our most basic needs, including food, shelter, entertainment and mobility. Old, unsustainable technologies dominate our current economy and unfairly compete with the innovations that are already made. The two century old industrial revolution in agriculture needs to be replaced with the organic revolution currently taking place. The fossil‐based economy needs to be replaced by a renewable energy based economy, without of course endangering food security and sovereignty. Decentralisation and public ownership of energy and water supply is needed. Each of these transitions are possible, the concepts and innovations exist. What lacks is a system that allows them to beat the unsustainable technologies that are driving our societies to the edge of collapse. By implementing these radical changes, we will radically reduce the use of our planet’s natural resources by the few who can afford them, and provide the environmental space for all inhabitants of this planet to enjoy a high quality of life. So we see the need for a guided long‐term contraction of the economies in industrialised nations to ensure wellbeing within environmental limits, and to give “environmental space” for the countries that have to grow to meet their basic needs and a minimum level of well being. A process of ‘contraction and convergence’ in the use of natural resources is needed. Reallocation of wealth is one of the best ways for poverty eradication.
ANPED, the Northern Alliance for Sustainability

In terms of global wealth, those who look at the need to change the economic structure of the world to cope with climate change talk about contraction and conver[gence], that we must raise the standards of living and the wealth of the developing world while sort of contracting the consumption and wealth of the developed world…The optimistic message from our work is that that will not compromise our health or happiness. And so contraction and convergence for climate change reasons is actually likely to bring us social benefits, and we can have a high quality of life and sacrifice.
Promoting Ethics in Public Life

Contraction and Convergence
No, not what happens to that brand new pair of jeans that gets washed at the wrong temperature. This is a system developed by an organisation called the Global Commons Institute that attempts to make the global process of reducing CO2 emissions fair and equitable whether you live in the UK or Uganda. The first step in the process is for the world to agree on a scientifically ‘safe’ or ‘stable’ level of carbon dioxide levels in the atmosphere. The next step is to work out the rate at which current emissions would have to ‘contract’, i.e. reduce, in order to meet the agreed stable level at a given date, 2050 for example. From this target a global budget of tradable emission allowances would be created. Crucially, these would be shared out between countries by head of population, so that each country’s emissions entitlement would ‘converge’ on the basis of the number of people rather than on the wealth of each country as in current emission trading. This means that, by the given date of 2050, each and every person on Earth would have the same emissions entitlement regardless of wealth. Highly polluting countries which tend to be the richest, i.e. the USA which emits a quarter of the worlds CO2 while hosting only 4.6% of the world’s population, would immediately be at a disadvantage in the emissions markets. They would be forced to buy entitlements from countries with higher populations who pollute less, usually developing nations. China, for example, is increasingly being talked of as a high polluter by the USA, but with a fifth of the world’s population emits 13% of the worlds CO2. Depending, therefore, on the level of contraction and the date set for convergence, the system of Contraction and Convergence would result in an enormous flow of wealth from high polluters to low polluters, from rich to poor countries, developed to developing nations. The flow would far surpass the amount currently being spent by rich nations on aid.
More information on Contraction and Convergence

The NGOs of the South can take part in the process of informing and make things move. The cancellation of the debt or agrarian reform are no less abstract demands, nor is it obvious that they automatically benefit the populations. For every big reform, it is necessary to verify on the level of its application that its spirit is really respected in practice. I think that certain leaders of the developing countries could get down to defending this kind of proposal in a more visible and effective way. We are perhaps on the eve of the moment when that will be done openly. It has not been given prominence in the media, but, in Nairobi, certain representatives of African countries, Kenya in particular, said that it was necessary to move towards a system of “contraction and convergence”. That is not quite the same thing as the Agarwal proposition, but it is also very abstract. Just before the Conference of the Parties of the UNFCCC which was held in New Delhi in 2002, I went to listen to the debates of the “Çlimate Justice” movement. Hundreds of Untouchables and Indian small fisher folk were taking part. I didn’t really have the impression that the notion of climate justice seemed to them to be too abstract.
Fact and fiction about climate change
Jean-Pascal van Ypersele

Contraction and Convergence is a proposed global framework for reducing Greenhouse gas emissions to combat Climate change. Conceived by the Global Commons Institute in the early 1990s, the Contraction and Convergence strategy consists of reducing overall emissions of greenhouse gases to a safe level where the global emissions are reduced because every country brings emissions Per capita to a level which is equal for all countries. It is intended to form the basis of an international agreement which will reduce Carbon dioxide emissions to avoid Climate change, carbon dioxide being the gas that is primarily responsible for changes in the Greenhouse effect on Earth. It is expressed as a simple mathematical formula. This formula can be used as a way for the world to stabilize carbon levels at any level. Advocates of Contraction and Convergence stress that negotiations at the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate change are governed sequentially by the 'objective' of the UNFCCC followed by its organising principles. C&C is widely cited and supported www.gci.org.uk endorsements.html The "contraction" part of Contraction and Convergence model calculates the total amount of carbon being put into the atmosphere as a 'path-integral' or a total 'contraction-event'. Future global emissions will shrink over time and the shape and extent of this will depend on the final level of atmospheric carbon considered safe, subject to the changing source-sink relationship in future as future atmospheric GHG accumulation continues.
Veterinarians Today

What does “Converging World” mean?
The Converging World concept is large and complex. The converging aspect derives partly from the ‘Contraction & Convergence’ principle proposed by Aubrey Meyer of the Global Commons Institute (see Schumacher Briefing No 5), which sees, across the world, an equal per capita right to emit ‘carbon’. The Converging World idea goes beyond carbon trading, although this is a fundamental aspect requiring emergency attention. It is a vision of a world where everyone has a fair and equal share of all the resources that the Earth can easily provide without jeopardising its potential to support life in all its diversity. It is also a world where everyone has a fair and equal share of, and access to, human created resources such as knowledge. The vision extends to an indiscriminate right, and equal access, to the functions of our institutions for justice, health, education and security. In this converging worldview environmental issues are inseparable from social justice.


Contraction & Convergence is a concept for international agreement on greenhouse gas reduction. It has been gaining ground because it outlines a way to fight climate change that is fair and equitable for everyone on the planet. This YouTube video on C&C is from the film The Age of Stupid.
Connecting Manitobans to Climate Change Facts and Solutions

Contraction and Convergence - A complicated term with a complicated explanation for one of the most fair and just approaches towards carbon justice for the world. The approach wants countries to agree a system for assessing their emissions and agreeing carbon ‘budgets’ (based on a carbon allowance for each individual) which each country must then work towards meeting.

Climate change requires two possibly conflicting actions. Carbon emissions must be reduced to avoid the worst outcome of climate change. Poor countries need rapid economic development so that no country, community, or individual is too poor to adapt to climate change. The concept of contraction and convergence, developed by the Global Commons Institute, considers the need to pursue both these actions simultaneous. Contraction and convergence reduce overall carbon emissions to a sustainable level but do so according to an equal share of emissions per person globally. Industrialised countries would dramatically reduce their emissions whilst developing countries would increase theirs to allow for, and stimulate, development and poverty reduction.
21st Century Glossary

A consensus of environmentalists now propose that the only acceptable solution to redressing CO2 emissions must be equity-based, thereby conceding “each individual’s logical claim to the atmosphere”. [31] The proposed mechanism of ‘contraction and convergence,’ as formulated by the Global Commons Institute, incorporates these principles by first establishing how much carbon dioxide can be produced each year within a safe limit, then basically dividing that sum between each individual in the world. On a set date, all nations would ‘converge’ to an agreed level of emissions. This straightforward concept, which is already approved by the European Parliament and key government spokesman in Africa, India and China, embodies more than just equal rights to the atmosphere for every citizen. The implementation of contraction and convergence, based upon an international acceptance of ecological limits, would necessitate a sustainable world economy, an enforced reduction in consumption levels by the wealthiest nations, and hence a vast redistribution of resource usage between nations. If contraction and convergence can be imagined as a potential model for future world development as a whole, it could also lead to a greater emphasis on sharing through a reformed economic system that prioritises sustainability and basic human needs. The large-scale implications for global justice would be immense and all-encompassing, reflected in a necessary reorientation of the values and driving forces behind the economy. Rather than the blind pursuit of maximum instant gratification and profit, the underlying priorities governing social development would need to focus on the collective desire for human survival, an end to poverty and gross inequality between countries, and the beginning of an international culture defined by cooperation and the shared purpose of averting mass catastrophe.
Dissident Voice

The Third Great Transition:
A contraction-and-convergence approach in which the rich nations cut back voluntarily on consumption, and share equitably with poor countries, while everyone works to reduce human population in the long run to two to three billion people, and ecosystem protection becomes a top international priority. This requires not a technological revolution, but rather a spiritual one, in which we enter into a partnership with nature to maintain the Earth's living systems. Like scenario number two, this would be wonderful, but also seems unlikely: in this case we face deep-set cultural and perhaps even biological behavior patterns that would make it extremely difficult for people to change from attitudes of personal and tribal selfishness to a primary concern for humanity and the Earth as a whole.
Green City Blue Lake
Cleveland OHIO

This Briefing explains the origins of the climate crisis and describes some of the dangerous trends created by global warming. It describes the global policy framework of ‘Contraction & Convergence’ (C&C) and how this was created and introduced to the United Nations in the 1990s by the Global Commons Institute (GCI) to avert these trends. Based on the thesis of ‘Equity & Survival’, C&C seeks to ensure future prosperity and choice by applying the global rationale of precaution, equity and efficiency in that order. GCI has campaigned for C&C since that time and it has become the most widely cited and arguably the most widely supported framework proposal in the global debate on what to do about climate change. Winning approval and awards, it is now regarded by many as the only basis on which achieving the objective of the UN Climate Treaty is possible see 
Briefing 5: Contraction and Convergence
The Global Solution to Climate Change

Contraction & Convergence
The Global Commons Institute has proposed a global framework strategy designed to reduce overall emissions of
greenhouse gases to a safe level (contraction), where the global emissions are reduced because every country
brings emissions per capita to a level which is equal for all countries. It is intended to form the basis of an international agreement which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions to avoid climate change.
Fair Share
Living within ones biocapacity and distribution of surplus resources and skills to achieve Earth care and People care.
Fair share ethic brings earth care and people care together. We only have one Earth, and we have to share it - with each other, with other living things, and with future generations. This means limiting our consumption, especially of natural resources, and working for everyone to have access to the fundamental needs of life - clean water, clean air, food, shelter, meaningful employment, and social contact.

MillenniumDevelopment Goals
These are eight international development goals designed by the UN to eradicate extreme poverty, reducing child
mortality rates, fighting disease epidemics such as AIDS, and developing a global partnership for development.

Strategic FrameworK
A Presentation by Ezio Gori to Permaculture SA

Contraction and convergence is the mechanism envisioned and that implies that developed countries will cut emissions 80% while developing countries will not cut emissions but will neither increase their emissions so much that a 50% cut from some year’s emissions(usually 1997) will be the world target. The idea is to even up per capita emissions and this is tied to millennium development goals. You can see an emissions profile that is a bit optimistic about China’s performance here. There is support for Contraction and Convergence.
Real Climate

Goal The goal of the My CO2 Track Foundation is to contribute to global CO2 emission reductions in order to mitigate the climate changes that result from CO2 emissions. Community based activities serving this goal are directed towards and in participation with energy end-users like citizens, moderate sized companies, organizations and institutes.
My CO2 Track tries to achieve its goal by stimulating and enabling members of the target group to a sustainable reduction of CO2 emissions; to monitor this reduction; to look after interests of participants; the organisation of members; to bring in and to train volunteers; to provide information including campaigns and advocacy; to interact with a stakeholder’s network and to publicise results.
Starting point
Starting point for My CO2 Track is a sustainable, equal and just division of the efforts needed for CO2 emission reduction among the world population as formulated by the Global Commons Institute (Contraction and Convergence).

My CO2 - Amsterdam Netherlands

What can I do instead?

  • Measure your carbon footprint. There are good resources to do this online — visit www.resurgence.org/carboncalculator for a good, detailed analysis of your footprint. For a slightly quicker calculator try www.carbongym.co.uk, or www.chooseclimate.org to look in more depth at the CO2 emissions associated with flying.
  • Think about reducing your carbon footprint. There are lots of easy ways to reduce the emissions from various areas of your life. You might want to think about your home, transport and what you eat and consume. There are lots of resources on the internet to help you reduce your emissions.
  • Learn about Contraction and Convergence. C&C is a framework for agreeing a global cap on carbon emissions. We believe that to make our individual sacrifices count, we need a global framework that caps the amount of carbon emitted, creates a timeframe for reducing emissions to a safe level, and distributes carbon credits equitably. C&C satisfies all of these, and would make carbon trading fair and effective. Good resources are www.climatejustice.org.uk and www.gci.org.uk

Cheat Neutral

What we need is an acceptable framework for controlling emissions. It needs to appeal to the social justice movement, market capitalists, environmental groups, all shades of government and to the person on the street. It’s not green taxation. As luck would have it, there is a powerful idea entering the public domain. It reconciles the left and the right, the north and the south. It supports the freedom to choose, it is equitable and it would benefit green jobs and clean industry. The RSA CarbonLimited project is currently looking at the first parts of the picture - personal carbon trading. This idea, first developed by David Fleming, would give each of us a recognisable right to emit greenhouse gases perhaps supported by a ‘carbon card’. The first impact of this would be to bring us up to speed with the impact of different behaviours. We would each receive a fair share of a carbon budget, set to achieve agreed emissions reduction goals. Under the model developed by Fleming and further developed by the Tyndall Centre, these carbon credits would be spent when purchasing fuel and electricity. Using a market, the nature of which is currently being researched at the RSA, people needing more credits could obtain them from people using less. The incentive becomes to pollute less. Industry, also captured in the carbon trading scheme, would respond by supplying the products and services individuals need to achieve their desired carbon reductions. This unlikely spectre of a market-based mechanism could genuinely come to the rescue of the emissions problem. And if we could roll it out globally, less developed countries would make a net profit from the more polluting rich countries, if they choose to sell their surplus of carbon emissions rights. Communities could tap the market to build their own distributed renewable power networks. Contraction and convergence is seeded, the polluter pays, clean technology booms and who could argue it’s not fair? RSA CarbonLimited is a major 3 year programme establishing how this can be made to work: politically, technologically, realistically. Read more, join in the debate and get involved in our trials by visiting www.rsacarbonlimited.org.
Urban Mines
Royal Society of Arts

The best invention ever ... Contraction and Convergence, invented by Aubrey Meyer. It is the only socially just way of lowering emissions while enhancing equity between rich and poor, north and south, and as such is the only serious response to climate change. Which is why you don't hear much about it.
My Secret Life
Rob Newman The Independent

If you ruled the world, what would you do first?
Put a solar panel on every roof. Mandate “contraction and convergence” on energy and water.
One Minute Interview: Barney Rhys Jones, Good Energy
Utility Week

Contraction and Convergence is the set of concepts proposed by Aubrey Meyer and the Global Commons Institute to tackle the critical planetary (and so global) problems of Climate Change. I commend the site to you, and, most specifically, the short definition statement
David Hirst
Inventor Entreprenuer Consultant

Curtailment and Community The two main components of Plan C Solutions are Curtailment and Community. Curtailment is the action of reducing our consumption of fossil fuels. Community is the context for a culture where consumption is not the primary value. Community also describes a culture or way of living where relationships are more important than material goods. Since World War II our consumption of fossil fuels has risen dramatically while at the same time the values and benefits we obtained from “community” have declined. We are facing massive challenges and there is no guarantee that they can be solved or solved quickly. Thus the C of Plan C also stands for Contingency as in “a contingency plan.” Even though it is possible that some breakthrough technology will suddenly make all our concerns go away, it is unlikely. If we do not take seriously the possibility that oil depletion or climate change will force change upon us, we might not begin looking for other options until it is too late. A contingency plan – which is what Plan C provides, is needed. Although the word curtailment may sound drastic, what it means is a deliberate long term effort to continually reduce our per capita consumption of fossil fuels. The C also stands for a similar but not identical term – Conservation. This recognizes that, although energy plays the most important role in climate change, our consumption of all other natural resources must decline as well. Conservation addresses water, biodiversity, and other areas, secondary to Curtailment but still a vital part of Plan C. Another way of talking about Curtailment is to use the term Contraction, which is often used to describe a shrinking economy. Since a growing economy is based on increasing consumption of fossil fuels, curtailment implies economic Contraction, the opposite of economic growth. Contraction is often paired with the word Convergence. The combination of Contraction and Convergence are the hallmark of the work of the Global Commons Institute in Great Britain, whose co founder Aubrey Meyer introduced the term to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) in 1996. Convergence in this context means that the world must converge toward equal per capita CO2 emissions across the planet, which would also lead to decreasing inequity.
Community Solutions
Yellow Springs OHIO

Says Monbiot, “there is an inherent conflict between the aspirational lifestyle journalism which makes readers feel better about themselves and sells country kitchens and the central demand of environmentalism: that we should consume less.” This is not fun stuff. “Challenge the new green consumerism and you become a prig and a party pooper”, notes Monbiot. “Against the shiny new world of organic aspirations you are forced to raise drab and boringly equitable restraints: carbon rationing, contraction and convergence, tougher building regulations, coach lanes on motorways. No colour supplement will carry an article about that. No rock star could live comfortably within his carbon ration.” Yet these consumption reductions, and the long hard political battle required to bring them about, are, unfortunately, a necessary part of combating global warming...unless we are “merely to play at being green”, says Monbiot.
Sustainability in Hawaii

There is a case for the developed world to reduce consumption of animal products according to a contraction and convergence model, which would allow for developing countries to increase consumption to an agreed sustainable level.
NRCS Morocco

Where is the global Budget that identifies the safe operating space for humanity, the nine planetary boundaries, the ecological overshoot of the planet's resources, the global energy imbalance, the need for carbon emissions to peak by 2017, and the switch to a low-carbon economy by 2030? And how is our national Budget to reflect these global concerns? Where in the Minister's statement is there recognition of these concerns and how to participate in a coordinated response? Where is the Budget that begins at the beginning, with population growth and density around the world and here in New Zealand? Does this Budget consider our national ecological footprint? Does it identify whether we have an ecological surplus or deficit and how this might relate to the needs of the world? Does the Budget incorporate as its central objective the taming of climate change through contraction and convergence and a genuine price on fossil fuel? Does it embrace a world view before it asserts the national interest? Or does it assert the national interest without much of a care for the rest of the world?
Green Party New Zealand

Sea special report: NASA's James Hansen on the IPCC forecast. By and large, critics of the IPCC fall into the sceptics camp. Not so NASA climate expert James Hansen, who claims the panel’s predictions of rising sea levels are a stark underestimate. Professor John Shepherd explains. The targets set under the Kyoto protocol are just a very small step in the right direction. The UK target for a 60% cut by 2050 seems broadly consistent with what is needed. But it overlooks a rapid rise in emissions elsewhere, and especially in China, which means the developed world will have to make even deeper cuts. Ethical arguments support the adoption of a “contraction and convergence” policy. This would see total global emissions progressively reduced, with per capita emissions in different countries gradually equalised over time to less than 0.4 tonnes for every person. In this scenario, Europe could expect to have to aim for a 90% cut by 2100, and the USA for a 95% cut over the same time. Even China and India will have to halt their rising emissions, eventually reducing them albeit by smaller amounts to achieve stabilisation. To say the least, these are seriously challenging goals. Is this de-carbonisation of the global economy achievable? No one can foresee the technology of 100 or even 50 years into the future so the short answer is: we don’t know. But businesses can make a start.
Climate Change Corporation

Contraction and Convergence
High carbon nations would reduce their emissions, while allowing low emitting nations to have modest increases so that as a planet we converge to a single carbon emissions number by 2050, which is around 3 tCO2pp/pa.  The Global Commons Institute sees this as the basic strategy for a fair strategy to reach our goal of limiting CO2 emission concentration to a peak of 450 ppm. Recent research by Bill McKibben suggests that we should in fact aim to reduce CO2 emissions to 350 ppm. While there is some debate over the exact number, the key issue is that if we continue on the path we are currently on, runaway climate change is inevitable. It is essential that CO2 emissions are reduced substantially on a global scale.
Gaia Education

Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future believes that there urgently has to be global agreement to a binding international commitment to limit concentrations at the above level and to limit carbon emissions in order to achieve it within the necessary time-scale. It supports the framework of Contraction and Convergence, as developed by the Global Commons Institute (GCI) in the United Kingdom1, as the most practical means for doing so, along with equal per capita human entitlements/limits for determining the means of convergence.
Stakeholder Forum for a Sustainable Future

Wandering the hallways of the Milan Convention Center, one encounters stacks of publications devoted to explaining elaborate and convoluted schemes to trade carbon or offset carbon emissions through development projects in poor countries. To cut through these multiplying complications of the Protocol, a simple idea is taking hold among activists and some climate negotiators—contraction and convergence (C&C). The core of the idea is to set an appropriate level to which greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere will be allowed to rise and then allocate globally the right to emit carbon on a per capita basis. The UNFCCC commits signatories, including the United States, to the "stabilization of greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system." "Dangerous" has never been defined, but the proponents of contraction andconvergence suggest that levels of greenhouse gases be stabilized at 450 parts per million (ppm) to 550 ppm. In order stop at those levels it is estimated that global carbon emissions will have to be cut by between 40 and 60 percent—the contraction part of the scheme. Under a C&C regime, each country would initially be allocated a portion of an overall declining carbon budget based on its share of the global distribution of income. Over time, to achieve convergence, each year's ration of the global carbon emissions budget for each country progressively converges to the same allocation per person until they become equal by an agreed upon date. This will allow poor countries relatively greater freedom to use carbon energy sources to fuel their further economic development. The C&C concept has been endorsed by a variety of environmental groups. For example, Legambiente and Forum Ambientalista in Italy want to establish in principle an emissions limit of the equivalent of one ton of oil per person by 2005. They note that the average European currently emits 3 tons annually and each American emits 8 tons annually. The Global Commons Institute in London, longtime proponents of the contraction and convergence approach, suggest that eventually each person on earth would be allowed to emit 0.3 tons of carbon annually. Presumably, under a C&C regime, the carbon dioxide produced while breathing would not be counted against one's overall carbon allocation. The idea is that contracting carbon allocations will encourage the development of non-carbon based energy sources. Under a C&C regime, high per capita emitting countries could purchase unused allocations from low per capita emitting countries. Proponents point out that buying such allocations from poor low emission countries could fund their economic development. One cautionary note: the Hamburg Institute of International Economics in Germany observes that the immediate introduction of such a C&C scheme "would lead to very high North-South transfers that would be politically difficult to achieve." Still, with few new ideas on the table, it's good bet that the environmental movement and the international climate change bureaucracies will be pushing contraction and convergence proposals in post-Kyoto negotiations. Let's hope that it doesn't come down to needing to buy a carbon permit each time you want to barbecue a steak.
Ron Bailey Washington DC
Science Correspondent Reason Magazine

The Speakers Forum where we Rabble Rousers do our thing was its usual great self all weekend. Climate politics analysis from the person who conceived Contraction and Convergence, Aubrey Meyer who - hell, you're on stage at Glastonbury so milk it - ended with a viola piece.
Bristling Badger

We know that the world's population is very likely to reach 9 billion by the year 2050, and that people in the emerging economies cause only a small fraction of the CO2 emissions of the average Brit - and that accordingly there will have to be significant ‘contraction and convergence' between rich and poor nations and regions.
Green Thing

We have to return constantly to what sort of structures and sanctions might assist in making effective a change in our motivations and myths. We could imagine, for instance, a "charter" of rights in relation to the environment -- that we should be able to live in a world that still had wilderness spaces, that still nurtured a balanced variety of species, that allowed us access to unpoisoned natural foodstuffs. It may be that the time is ripe for an attempt at a comprehensive statement of this, a new United Nations commitment -- a "Charter of Rights to Natural Capital" to which governments could sign up and by which their own practice and that of the nations in whose economies they invested could be measured.

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 that 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 plowed 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.
Ecology and the economy go hand in hand

We had an interesting discussion with Simon Reevell. Simon said that he wouldn’t support EDM 853 because the measures outlined in it would put people off acting on climate change and that it would be counter productive. He also expressed the view that warming may be part of a natural trend that carbon dioxide emissions are exaggerating but which would be happening anyway. He also raised the issue of the emissions produced by China. We agreed with him that ultimately the solution to climate change will have to be through an international deal and that there is already a system that has been proposed that allows for countries such as China to continue to emit for a period before declining – a system called Contraction and Convergence. We also put to him the importance of unilateral action. Through history –from the abolition of the Slave Trade to the ban on smoking in public places- one country has taken a lead and other countries have followed their example with unexpected speed. This is particularly appropriate for us as a nation with such a long history of industrialisation.
Kirklees Zero Carbon Britain Cycle Tour

Rallying HECA's 'Heroic Energy Conservation Army' with the 'powerful vision of 'Contraction and Convergence'.
HECA Conference May 2005

Contraction and Convergence I was termendously 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

Getting well over 100 countries to agree on reducing CO2 emissions is one of the greatest challenges we face. Even with the 34 countries who took part in the original Kyoto Protocol Agreement at the Earth Summit in 1992, most considered themselves to be a special case! The Agreement has taken 12 years to ratify and only now in February 2005 is becoming legally binding. The US and Australia still consider themselves to be special cases and have not signed. 1n 1990 Aubrey Meyer from The Global Commons Institute put forward the case for an equitable sharing of carbon credits based on maximum sustainable CO2 emissions. The proposal emphasised the need for all countries to be allocated an equal per capita share, not just because this is morally correct but because it’s the only way to get agreement with so many countries. This low emission rate translates to 1 tonne CO2 per person per year. Clearly with the UK and the US exceeding this by an average of 10x and 20x respectively, a massive adjustment in lifestyle and new clean ways of producing energy will be required. This reduction in emissions is described by the word contraction. However this will also take time and allowance must be made for the transition period before targets must be met. The agreement to converge to a base-line figure over time is known as convergence. Within this system there is also a facility for the trading of credits between countries. If one country lives within its allocation, the surplus can be sold to a country which exceeds theirs.
Contraction and Convergence
Action Earth

Bolivia’s position would be strengthened in the negotiations if Bolivia deliberately – rather than just protesting about the inadequate and piecemeal ‘holding reality’ of the Copenhagen Accord – aligned itself with this focused and fair rationale: – A global climate deal based on Contraction and Convergence [C&C] can still close this ‘gap’ and achieve ‘UNFCCC-compliance’. Subject to the full-term global carbon ‘contraction-budget’ that is small enough to stabilise CO2 in the atmosphere at a ‘safe’ level – in other words UNFCCC-compliance – ‘convergence’ simply assumes each person globally is entitled to an equal share of this budget but acquired at a ‘convergence-rate’ agreed jointly by Parties to the UNFCCC. This simple expedient reconciles ‘over-consumers’ with ‘under-consumers’ and transcends the incalculable problems of assuming any further randomness and inequality of global shares.
World People's Conference on Climate Change and the Rights of Mother Earth

"What is Eco-affluent Convergence? Eco-affluent convergence is the merging of two ideas, eco-affluence and contraction and convergence. The term was created by Green Frontier’s founder, Craig Embleton, to describe the mechanism by which everyone can lead sustainably affluent lifestyles as we wean ourselves of our fossil fuel addiction. Eco-affluence James Martin talks about a globally sustainable civilisation in his book “The Meaning of the 21st Century”. He writes that …“we can have spectacularly affluent civilizations where we don’t use more resources than the environment can provide. I call this eco-affluence. There can be new lifestyles of the grandest quality that heal rather than harm our global ecosystem”. Contraction and Convergence Contraction and convergence is a term used to describe the mechanism for reducing global emissions of greenhouse gases which contribute to global warming. It is based on the principles of equity and survival, whereby global carbon emissions reduce as the per capita emissions across the global population converge to the same level. Contraction & Convergence is the brainchild of Aubrey Meyer, founder and director of the Global Commons Institute (GCI). The use of the word “contraction” to describe the framework by which we get to a better state goes against the hopes and aspirations of the people who will need to “contract” as it implies a lesser lifestyle. We can wean ourselves off our current addiction to fossil fuels and concurrently move to a higher level of living. Eco-affluent Convergence Putting the two ideas together, to provide sustainably affluent lifestyles for everyone on Earth that are rich in terms of everthing that actually counts, we have a mechanism called eco-affluent convergence.

The Findhorn Foundation community were privileged to attend a keynote address to open an exciting training programme, Global Climate Change and the Sustainable Energy Revolution, hosted by CIFAL Findhorn. Our dynamic May East, Chief Executive of CIFAL Findhorn, organised for Aubrey Meyer to share his address with the whole community. Meyer is best known for his strong voice on a global climate policy framework, Contraction and Convergence. This approach was first presented to the United Nations in 1990.Having not met him before, little did I realise that the violinist serenading the arriving guests was none other than our esteemed guest speaker! It was with delight that I saw him put down his violin and pick up the microphone, and the delight didn’t stop there, Aubrey continued to jump between technical climate change campaigner and concert violinist through his hour-long presentation. He told the audience about his first ahaa moment in making a commitment to saving the planet. One night when kissing his four year old daughter goodnight she asked him, was the planet really was dying? Staggered by the question, he responded by telling her don’t worry, we’ll sort it out. In that moment his life changed. It was his commitment to his daughter that spurred him on and motivated him to leave his musical career and find solutions to global climate change.

Contraction and Convergence The Global Commons Institute proposes an international framework which would allow developing countries to slightly increase per capita emissions until these converged with the emissions levels of the developed countries. All countries globally would then contract their emissions levels from this point.
Zero Carbon Britain This perceptive report was published by the Centre for Alternative Technology in July 2007, laying out the challenges we face and presenting a bold, radical vision of how Britain could eliminate carbon emissions altogether within 20 years. The suggested policy framework is built around Contraction and Convergence at the international level and TEQs at the national.

The Lean Economy Connection

"There is now little doubt that climate change has become a reality. Glaciers are melting all over the world. Weather patterns are becoming more erratic. The IPPC forecasts increases of global mean temperatures of up to 5.8 degrees this century and sea level rises of up to one meter. Half the world's people live within 50 km of seashores and their lives will be severely affected by flooding. Up to a million species of plants and animals could be lost due to climate change.Are viable transitional scenarios available to deal with climate change? Can the widely acclaimed Contraction and Convergence scenario be implemented through international agreement? Can emissions trading be made to work and what are its limits? Could biological and technical carbon sequestration be part of a transitional strategy over the coming decades? Is adaptation to rather than prevention of climate change a realistic scenario?"
World Future Council

Global Commons Institute (GCI) is an independent group of people whose aim is the protection of the Global Commons. GCI has focused most of its efforts since 1996 on its Contraction and Convergence campaign. GCI was founded in 1990 after the Second World Climate Conference, and has been an participant within the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change (UN FCCC) and the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) processes.
Institute for Technology Assessment and Systems Analysis

Most leading climate scientists now conclude that if our global greenhouse gas emissions exceed the planet's critical 'tipping point', it will set us on course for abrupt, accelerated or runaway climate change. This could entail massive agricultural losses, widespread economic collapse, international water shortages, massive rises in sea levels, a slow down of the Gulf Stream, refugee problems on a scale not yet experienced - basically a global catastrophe on a scale that would dwarf the recent events in New Orleans and continue for tens of thousands of years. Even if we meet our climate change targets, humanity can only avoid the 'tipping point' if the other countries follow suit. A 'global solution' must be developed which embraces all our needs. The major contender, 'Contraction and Convergence' suggests that we in the overdeveloped west must contract our level of emissions to converge at some 'fair share' with those of the majority world, so going a long way to deliver equity between north and south.
Solving Peak Oil and Climate Change

 “Contraction and Convergence” (C&C) is the science-based calculus for a global climate-policy framework, proposed to the United Nations since 1990 by the Global Commons Institute (GCI). 

"Contraction & Convergence (C&C) offers an intellectual framework for reaching international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. C&C was developed in the 1990s by the Aubrey Meyer of the UK-based Global Commons Institute. Contraction describes a path of emissions reductions to reach a safe level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Convergence describes a narrowing of the current emissions gap among the world's peoples — to gradually achieve equitable per capita shares of global greenhouse gas production." 
P2 Foundation

Contraction & Convergence (C&C) offers an intellectual framework for reaching international agreement on reducing greenhouse gas emissions. C&C was developed in the 1990s by the Aubrey Meyer of the UK-basedGlobal Commons Institute. Contraction describes a path of emissions reductions to reach a safe level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere. Convergence describes a narrowing of the current emissions gap among the world's peoples — to gradually achieve equitable per capita shares of global greenhouse gas production. C&C is described on Wikipedia and by Aubrey Meyer in his essay, “Contraction and Convergence: the proportionate response to climate change.”
People and Place

An international commitment to equally sharing our right to the atmosphere, and our right to pollute it, alongside strict targets for emissions reductions, will go a long way to ensuring the viability of life on earth for future generations. The contraction and convergence mechanism works in line with the principle of sharing and provides the necessary framework for CO2 sustainability. 
How to Share The World's Resources: A Proposal

Contraction & Convergence is a global framework for reducing carbon emissions. “Contraction” refers to the overall global reduction in greenhouse gas emissions, whilst “convergence” means individual nation states should approach the same per-capita emissions level over a certain time-frame.
Further reading - Global Commons Institute: Contraction and Convergence
Contraction and Convergence – Healthy response to climate change from the BMJ (2006)


Measuring the carbon footprints of the two schools gives students a framework to explore the contrasts between their lifestyles and a real, tangible example of global injustice. The UK school then calculates their „carbon debt‟ – how much they owe for the extra CO2 they are producing above their „fair earth share‟- and fundraising takes place in school to try and pay off this debt. The idea is to pilot a micro 'contraction and convergence' programme, based on the notion developed by the Global Commons Institute (GCI 1996). This means the school in the global North reducing their footprint towards a fair earth share, whilst the school in the global South can increase their footprint towards the fair share. The aim is to provide a clear process for schools to move away from charitable fundraising towards a model of global justice in their school partnerships. Students, staff and whole school communities are engaging in active mutual learning with their partner schools to increase understanding of development issues, sustainability, the Millennium Development Goals and the imperative of local solutions towards poverty reduction.
The Higher Education Academy
Conference 2011 London South Bank University

Tough contraction and convergence
Industrialized countries reduce by a factor of 3 to 5 (16 to 5-3 t/capita/year)
Developing states achive 10-20% reduction in their metabolic rates
High rate of innovation
Global consumption maintained on the level of 2000 and the same in every country
Same level of environmental impact due to population growth
Consistent with the 2.2 t/capita/year CO2 emission to stay below 2 Celsius

Reducing meat consumption in affluent nations will release land for growing food for people rather than feed for factory farmed animals or fuel crops to power our vehicles and it will reduce the emissions of some of the most noxious greenhouse gases. We need to find a level of consumption which will be sustainable in planetary terms and equitable in global terms, as those who currently rarely eat meat due to their poverty, can then be facilitated to increase their very low level of consumption. As several leading Public Health specialists have suggested, we should apply the theory of contraction and convergence, whereby we eat less, the impoverished in developing countries eat more and we converge at a level of consumption which is sustainable for both human health and planetary survival.
Compassion in World Farming

Contraction and Convergence (C&C) is another proposed framework which aims to solve the problem of deciding who should reduce their emissions. C&C proposes that everybody in the entire world is entitled to exactly the same amount of emissions. However, because current per-capita emission levels are unequal, there must be a clearly defined timescale by which countries must reduce their emissions [see graphic below]. It is a simple way of allocating emission rights: If country A has double the population of B, it can emit double the amount of greenhouse gases, by a given date.
International Climate Challenge

Exploring energy justice
Research suggests that peoples’ willingness to act to curb their own carbon emissions is significantly affected by their sense of how others will act and how fairly the burden of action is shared across the population. Achieving a degree of ‘fairness’ or ‘justice’ in climate policy may therefore be one of the keys to unlocking public action on climate change. It is also a core component of sustainability. This issue of fairness in climate policy has been explored on a global scale through such concepts as contraction and convergence. These address how best to distribute fairly the ‘rights to emit carbon dioxide’ across the world’s population, taking account of the current and historically much higher emissions by the populations of richer countries. We’ve been exploring this issue – which we call ‘energy justice’ – at a national level to establish a clearer picture of how to achieve to achieve a socially equitable climate policy within the UK. In November 2009, CSE organised a working seminar on 'Exploring Energy Justice' attended by key players from government, NGOs, the energy sector and academia. Click here to find out more. What is required to underpin this debate is an understanding of how carbon emissions and the opportunities to cut them are distributed across the population and how the costs of policies impact on individual household bills, Such a picture does not currently exist. We have therefore been working on developing appropriate datasets and modelling techniques across a number of research projects. By combining a variety of official data sources we have established a capacity to test the social impacts of current and proposed climate policies and, perhaps more importantly, to analyse the opportunities to intervene to reduce or reverse negative impacts so that policies are effective, fair, and sustainable.
Centre for Sustainable Energy

Contraction & Convergence
The final section of the film [Age of Stupid] focused on the developing world. Showing the hardship and poverty experienced by millions in Africa, it implied that advocates of man-made global warming have a hidden agenda to keep the developing world in poverty, whilst continuing to enjoy the benefits of living in the developed world. On the contrary, the policy regarding the developing world which most climate change campaigners advocate is one of Contraction and Convergence - that is, the countries with the highest per capita greenhouse gas emissions reduce their emissions to a more sustainable level (Contraction), whilst allowing the developing world a slight increase in per-capita greenhouse gas emissions to the same level (Convergence). Contraction and Convergence is explained in more detail at the web site of the Global Commons Institute, the body which drew up the concept, and also in this New Scientist article from 2003.
Swindon Climate Action Network

Rob said one of the really interesting things he’s seen is the idea that resilience is something that needs to happen everywhere, not just here [in the developed world]. He went on to say, “We’ve creamed the fat off the developing world for the last 400 years, and the idea that we would put up the fence and say ‘we’ll not sort this out for ourselves’ is irresponsible. We need to have two processes that run in parallel–re-localization here, understanding that total re-localization is impossible, but maybe working toward an 80-percent/20-percent mix of local and imported goods. There’s the process of contraction and convergence, with the developed world scaling down and the developing world scaling up. Helping to create food security in the developing world is really necessary.”
U.K. 5th U.K. Transition Conference
Liverpool Hope University July 2011

Contraction and Convergence
Under contraction and convergence all countries participate in a global emission reduction with quantified emission targets. As a first step, all countries agree on a path of future global emissions that leads to an agreed long-term stabilisation level for greenhouse gas concentrations (‘Contraction’). As a second step, the targets for individual countries are set in such a way that per capita emissions converge from the countries’ current levels to a level equal for all countries within a given period (‘Convergence’). The convergence level is calculated such that resulting global emissions follow the agreed global emission path. The convergence levels are not agreed and discussion varies around ranges of 450, 550 or 650 parts per million volumes (ppmv) of carbon dioxide equivalent (CO2eq). The contraction period ranges widely depending on the particular emissions reduction pathway of a country although convergence point or target is commonly referred to as the year 2050. It might be more difficult for some countries to reduce emissions compared to others, e.g. due to climatic conditions or resource availability. Therefore, emission trading could be allowed to level off differences between allowances and actual emissions. However, contraction and convergence does not explicitly provide for emission trading. Current per capita emissions differ greatly between countries some developing countries with very low per capita emissions, (e.g. India, Indonesia or the Philippines). It has been suggested that these countries could be allocated more emission allowances than necessary to cover their emissions (“hot air”). This would generate a flow of resources from developed to developing countries if these emission allowances are traded.
Global Greenhouse Warming

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 www.gci.org.uk Well worth downloading.
Operation Noah

Idealised emissions from major global polluters
under a C&C scenario that sets the target level of CO2 at 500ppm

David King's proposal of a global emissions quota based on population has its roots in the idea of "contraction and convergence", first put forward in the early 1990s, by which countries would reduce their greenhouse gas output and move towards equal emissions across the world.
Friends of the Irish Environment

This, of course, presumes that a global climate agreement emerges from the principle of shared and differentiated responsibility, often called a “contraction-and-convergence” (C&C) approach. Although I acknowledge that a C&C agreement is highly unlikely in its purest form, I still suspect that if we are to achieve effective global reductions in greenhouse gas emissions, it will be on the basis of some agreement that is closer to C&C than anything resembling a full retention of historical advantages – which is what the current Australian policy implicitly assumes. The bottom line: Australia’s target of 60 per cent reduction by 2050 is not supportable on the basis of climate science, and should be rejected. Current policy will break the world’s carbon budget.

Contraction and Convergence. This is about getting Climate Change action on to the political agenda at every level. Can you help by signing up to this initiative? Contraction and Convergence would overcome the objections of the most reluctant governments, while being fair and just to countries and their peoples across the world. ‘Contraction’ means what we all know – that total emissions must be scaled down to a tolerable level. ‘Convergence’ is the even-handed bit. It means that each country’s share of those emissions must be scaled down progressively until each one's quota is proportional to its population. No matter where in the world we live, we’ll all have the same, capped, ‘right to pollute’. Then (this appeals especially to the marketeers and globalisers, as well as those who want to see money flow – for once – from rich to poor) countries can trade their quotas – heavy users like the USA can buy from light users, generally the poorer countries.
David Jeanneret

Australia and climate change responsibility and the ethics of Australia's stance on greenhouse gas emissions. What would we think of a person who went to a birthday party with five other people and ate half the birthday cake? This is what the USA and Australia are doing in regard to greenhouse gasses. Our two nations are placing far more than our share of strain on the atmosphere for their own short-term selfish interests. The Australian government has tried to excuse Australia's very high production of greenhouse gasses on a number of occasions by saying that the total greenhouse gas produced by Australia is a very small percentage of the world's total. (This invalid argument is discussed in greater depth in The great fallacy). Australia produces about 1.5% of the world's total annual greenhouse gasses, but Australia has only about 0.3% of the world's population. It follows that the average Australian citizen is responsible for five times as much greenhouse gasses as is the average global citizen. Considering that humanity's current rate of greenhouse gas production is about three times what the planet's systems are capable of safely handling this means that the average Australian is producing something like fifteen times as much greenhouse gas as is conscionable. A good read on this subject is "How Ethical is Australia" by Peter Singer.

The answer? – Contraction and Convergence - Equitable sharing of the atmosphere. How world greenhouse gas production might change under Contraction and Convergence – from an article in New Scientist. (If the USA is to control its emissions before much of the rest of the world a huge shift in the ethical standards of its government will be needed.) The fairest and most ethical way of treating the greenhouse problem would be to calculate how much carbon dioxide (CO2) emissions per year can be sustainably handled by the atmosphere and then calculating a quota for every person on the planet. Those who were responsible for producing more CO2 than their share would have to buy quotas from those who produced less. It would be necessary to somehow include in the calculations, not only personal greenhouse production, but also personal shares of national greenhouse production. It would be a seller's market; there would be many more buyers than sellers because the amount of CO2 going into the atmosphere must be greatly reduced. Those who were unable to buy quotas would have to reduce their energy consumption or have to pay to have their CO2 sequested. The atmosphere is not just the property of the First World. All life on the planet has a right to use the atmosphere and all people should have an equal right to it. At present the US produces 25 times the CO2 produced by India on a per-capita basis. What could be fairer than changing the rules to give every person an equal quota? Adoption of Contraction and Convergence (C&C) would result in a relatively hard time for the wealthy of the world for a time, but ultimately it would bring a much more equitable sharing of responsibility and wealth. Of course it would be far from a simple matter, but then we are talking about averting a huge global disaster. See Wikipedia for more information. John Broad explains the concept well on Third World Network.
Ramblings of a Bush Philosopher
Dave Clarke, Australia

"GCI has devised a greenhouse gas abatement methodology based on "Equity and Survival".
We call it "Contraction and Convergence".
"Principle without practice is useless but practice without principle is dangerous." (Old Japanese Saying) - "This means devising and implementing a programme for convergence at equitable and sustainable par values for consumption of fossil fuel on a per capita basis globally." (Indian Environment Minister - COP1).

Contraction of CO2 output is the imperative for ecological survival.
 distributes available future entitlements to emit CO2 so that they are equalised on a per capita basis globally

Limits to growth - certainly of fossil fuel consumption - must now be observed if we are to avoid this climate crisis. Until now however, the limits-free expectations encouraged by the success of laissez-faire economics have been obscuring this. It will be impossible to observe these limits unless, from now on, implementation is internationally configured in a way which corrects the skewed distribution between the rich and poor . This converts a merely moral dilemma into a moral imperative. Because everyone - regardless of status - is now increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, the rich have little choice but to share the burden of contraction fairly. Encouraged by the growing political recognition of this imperative, GCI has devised a greenhouse gas abatement methodology based on "Equity and Survival" . We call it "Contraction and Convergence". Early results of this were published to good effect at the Second Conference of the Parties (COP2) in 1996 and these have been distributed widely since then. Subsequently, the C&C campaign has received widespread support from many quarters (see list of references). To demonstrate the procedure, an all country graphic covering the period 1860 to 2100 was compiled as a demonstration example. It shows the history of fossil fuel consumption using data from Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre (CDIAC). And it also shows a future budget of suggested "CO2 Emissions Entitlements" consistent with an outcome of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere of 450 parts per million by volume (ppmv) by the year 2100. This is "Contraction". Contraction of CO2 output is the imperative for ecological survival. We observe that such a global consumption path is less dangerous than a path with an outcome of 550 ppmv, but do not wish to imply that we regard the 450 ppmv as being without dangers. We are already taking substantial damages at the present concentrations of around 360 ppmv. But the budget also distributes available future entitlements to emit CO2 so that they are equalised on a per capita basis globally by - in this example - 2045, the year of the UN Centenary. This is "Convergence" and convergence is the political equity imperative. We consider that a failure to face and secure a global commitment of this kind will result in a perpetual stalemate in the international political process to the extent that the agreement and delivery of global abatement targets will become less and less possible. This view has been strongly reinforced by the snail-like progress of negotiations since COP2 and the extremely limited achievments at Kyoto.

Aubrey Meyer's dedication is clear. So is his genius.
This is one favorably stated summary of his plans:

Meyer realized that, if humanity is to survive climate change, a very different kind of international agreement will be required. Climate change threatens humanity as a whole, and so requires a species-level response. Meyer's proposal - "contraction and convergence" (C&C) - proceeds from the recognition that all countries must act together to set a limit on global greenhouse emissions. Once this limit is agreed (the contraction bit), they must decide how the remaining emissions are to be shared. Meyer's suggested basis for this is equity. Given that we are all created equal, why should poor countries accept a smaller share of the shrinking pie? And so, after a period of transition, all countries are allocated emissions entitlements based on their populations (convergence).

In practice, both the contraction cap on emissions and the convergence date to equity would be negotiable. World governments might, say, agree to limit global carbon-dioxide concentrations to 450 parts per million - enough, it is hoped, to keep global warming below 2 C - with convergence by 2030. This would give a less developed country such as Bangladesh a large wad of unused emissions, which it could sell for cash on world markets. Countries such as Australia, meanwhile, would have to buy spare emissions credits in order to keep on using a disproportionate amount of fossil fuel. The result would be large financial flows from rich to poor, giving developing countries the resources to participate in the clean energy revolution.

In contrast, Kyoto avoids the question

Constance Cumbey
Michigan Lawyer and C&C 'opponent

C&C Banner Gleneagles Prior to Marches to the G8 Meeting in 2005

However it is achieved, avoiding dangerous climate change requires industrialised nations to cut emissions by at least 80% (some estimates cite a figure of 95%) while developing nations grow their economies. One proposed global framework is contraction and convergence (C&C), which was conceived by the Global Commons Institute [GCI] in the early 1990s. C&C consists of reducing overall emissions of GHGs to a safe level (contraction), with global emissions being reduced because every country brings emissions per capita to an equal level (convergence). The first stage of implementation is a contraction budget for global emissions consistent with stabilising atmospheric concentrations of greenhouse gases at a pre-agreed safe maximum concentration. C&C is favoured by the European Commission, European Parliament and many other government bodies; and with the contraction aspect reducing total carbon emissions, it is supported by many campaigners (including George Monbiot cited above). Supporters of C&C, such as the Climate Justice Project, believe that the safe maximum is much lower than other estimates. Specifically, they believe that the IPCC's safe estimate of 550 ppmv CO2 is wrong and risks entering a phase of runaway ‘climate feedback’, with one change causing another with unpredictable results. They advocate a more precautionary approach, with atmospheric CO2 being stabilized at 350–450 ppmv. In the UK, to reach these targets, individuals' emissions would need to be cut by between 60% and 90%. GCI has information on contraction and convergence.
Open University - Setting a personal target - Contraction and Convergence

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

Around 8000 marchers arrived at the US Embassy Grosvenor Square London in December 2005 in a demonstration where C&C support was prominent. Marchers heard strong pro-C&C messages from Caroline Lucas, Norman Baker MP, Colin Challen MP, George Monbiot and Ruth Jarman.
C&C Demonstration US Embassy Grosvenor Square

World Society for the Protection of Animals
WSPA’s Recommendations:
• The economy has to be conceptualized not as end in itself, but as instrumental to achieve a healthy environment and wellbeing for life on earth. Systematic recognition is needed of the social/ethical dimensions of sustainability, e.g. animal welfare.
• Food production needs to move away from industrial, multinational systems towards moderate- and small scale, humane models with local supply chains and markets.
• The rise of the consumption of animal proteins has to be halted by contraction and convergence, thus ensuring a fair share. If a modest increase in consumption of animal products by the poorest people in developing countries is the best way to improve their nutrition, this should be facilitated, and offset by greater reductions in consumption by those better off and better fed.

Civil Society Consultation Conducted by the UN Non-Governmental Liaison Service
for the UN Secreatry-General’s High Level Panel on Global Sustainability

"How, given the current situation, do we manage and allocate, today, the Earth’s resources for the survival of a projected global population of 9 to 10 billion people in 2050 - and for their offspring indefinitely?" So states the over-riding research question for a new and exciting project involving 9 organisations from the European Union old and new, from the developing world and from neighboring Iceland. Rethinking globalisation in the light of Contraction and Convergence is the full project title for this interdisciplinary research project, which is the first EU FP7 funded research to extend the concept of contraction and convergence beyond emissions trading. Awarded close to 1.4 million Euros for 4 years research, CONVERGE aims to re-think globalisation by developing our understanding of convergence beyond emissions-trading across wider social, economic and ecological dimensions of sustainability.

 The principle of Contraction and Convergence (C&C) (Meyer, 2002) developed in the early 1990’s currently provides a framework for a smooth transition to a low level of greenhouse gas emissions from anthropogenic activity. As originally conceived C&C is based on the principle that every global citizen has the right to emit an equal per-capita share of ‘carbon’. It suggests that those levels of global emissions that are acceptable to the Earth be estimated, and that this be used to determine how much each country needs to cut back its emissions. Taken out of the frame of greenhouse gas emissions, C&C unites a simple ethical principle of basic human equality with the need for sustainability and suggests the broad outlines of a programme to guide positive future change. CONVERGE proposes to extend the concept of C&C and its political applications to embrace the sustainability of trade, economics, society, the natural environment, energy, food, governance, wellbeing and consciousness – a new visionary concept for Sustainable Globalisation in the 21st century.
The Natural Step

Contraction & Convergence is the centrepiece of our Climate Justice Project, but it’s just a framework, and won’t achieve anything unless people know about it and support it. Ultimately, our politicians have to be convinced that Contraction & Convergence is the way forward, and the Climate Justice Project is all about how we achieve this.”
The Climate Justice Project

C&C Demonstration in Trafalgar Square London
"Contraction & Convergence is the logical conclusion
of an equitable approach to resolving climate change."

C&C Demonstration Montreal Canada at COP-11

OPT recommends: - "That the principle of “contraction and convergence” (rich and poor converging towards a common per person emissions target) be accepted as an equitable starting point for distributing total tolerable carbon emissions, provided that this is allocated to states on the basis of their population size at a specific date. This would encourage the adoption of population restraint policies; whereas allocation on a simple per person criterion would encourage continued population growth, thus continuously reducing every person’s carbon entitlement."
Statement endorsed by: -
Sir David Attenborough,
Naturalist, Broadcaster and wildlife film-maker*
Prof Sir Partha Dasgupta,
Frank Ramsey professor of economics, University of Cambridge*
Prof Paul Ehrlich,
Professor of population studies, Stanford University*
Prof John Guillebaud,
Emeritus Prof family planning, University College, London*
Susan Hampshire,
Actor and population campaigner*
James Lovelock,
Gaia scientist and author
Professor Aubrey Manning,
Pres Wildlife Trust, Emeritus Prof Natural History, Edinburgh University
Professor Norman Myers,
Visiting Fellow, Green College, Oxford University*
Sara Parkin,
Founder/Dir and trustee, Forum for the Future*
Jonathon Porritt,
Founder/Dir, Forum for the Future; Fmr Chair, UK Sus. Dev. Commission*
Professor Chris Rapley,
Former director, the British Antarctic Survey
The Optimum Population Trust - on 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: - http://www.gci.org.uk/public/COP_15_C&C.swf C&C answers this in a unifying and constitutional way and the need for this answer becomes increasingly critical." Letter and signatories at: - http://www.gci.org.uk/politics.html

Colin Challen
Former Chair UK All Party Parliamentary Group on Climate Change
Professor Sir Tom Blundell FRS, FMedSci,
Department of Biochemistry, University of Cambridge,
Former Chairman of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution
Professor Peter Guthrie OBE
Professor in Engineering for Sustainable Development in the UK
Fellow of St Edmund’s College Cambridge
Professor Martin Rees
Trinity College Cambridge
Sir John Houghton
President, John Ray Initiative
Michael Hutchinson
CEO Tangent Films
The Rt Revd & Rt Hon Richard Chartres KCVO DD FSA
Bishop of London
Anthony J. McMichael, MBBS, PhD
Professor and NHMRC Australia Fellow National Centre for Epidemiology & Population Health
ANU College of Medicine, Biology and Environment
Australian National University
Honorary Professor of Climate Change and Human Health, University of Copenhagen
Ruth Reed
President Royal Institute of British Architects [RIBA]
Sunand Prasad
Former President of RIBA
Maneka Gandhi
Member of Parliament India
David Wiggins
Wykeham Professor of Logic, Emeritus, Oxford University
Lord David Puttnam
Film Producer
Jack Pringle
PPRIBA Hon AIA FRSA Dip Arch BA(hons)
Partner Pringle Brandon LLP; Director WIRED architects Ltd
Chair Article [25] (UK reg. charity 1112621 for Development and Disaster Relief)
Vice Chair Construction Industry Council (CIC)
Council Member International Union of Architects (UIA)
Past President Royal Institute of British Architects (RIBA)
Commandeur Des Arts et Lettres
Professor Aubrey Manning, OBE,FRSE
Emeritus Professor of Natural History, University of Edinburgh
Tim Livesey
The Archbishop of Canterbury’s Secretary for Public Affairs
Sir Crispin Tickell
Director Policy Foresight Programme Oxford University
Professor Sir Michael Marmot MBBS, MPH, PhD, FRCP, FFPHM, FMedSci
Director, UCL International Institute for Society and Health
MRC Research Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health, University College London
Chairman, Commission on Social Determinants of Health
Chairman, Department of Health Scientific Reference Group
Professor Sir Andy Haines
Director, London School of Hygiene & Tropical Medicine, London WC1E 7HT
[in a personal capacity]
Professor Brendan Mackey
The Fenner School of Environment & Society
The Australian National University
* Member, IUCN Council (Oceania Regional Councilor)
* Member, Earth Charter International Council
Professor David Orr
Environmental Studies and Politics Oberlin College; James Marsh Professor University of Vermont.
Alistair Woodward
Head of the School of Population Health, University of Auckland
Dr Nigel Woodcock
Reader, Department of Earth Sciences, University of Cambridge
Roger Arthur Graef OBE
criminologist and film-maker
Professor Bill McGuire
Director, Aon Benfield UCL Hazard Research Centre
University College London
Lord Anthony Giddens
Professor Emeritus LSE
Susan Richards
non-executive director and founder of openDemocracy
John Carstensen
Chief Executive Officer Society for the Environment
Professor Mark Swilling
Sustainability Institute, School of Public Management and Planning
Stellenbosch University, South Africa
Lynne Jackson
Coastal & Environmental Consulting
Cape Town, South Africa
Dr David Pencheon
Director - NHS Sustainable Development Unit (SDU)
Professor Anthony Costello FMedSci,
Director UCL Institute for Global Health
Tom Spencer
Vice Chairman, Institute for Environmental Security
Dr Mayer Hillman
Senior Fellow Emeritus Policy Studies Institute
Susan George
President of the board of the Transnational Institute
Alex Kirby
Former BBC News environment correspondent
Professor Tim Jackson
Sustainable Development Surrey University
Director of the Research group on Lifestyles, Values and Environment
Professor William E. Rees, PhD, FRSC
UBC School of Community and Regional Planning, Vancouver, BC, CANADA
Jeremy Leggett
Chairman Solar Century
Andrew Dlugolecki
UK Climate Change Committee Member, Sub Committee on Adaptation
The Hon. Tom Roper
Board Member, Climate Institute, Washington DC
Adam Poole
Professor Lord Smith of Clifton
Peter Head,
Chairman of Global Planning Arup.
Linda Rosenstock MD, MPH
Dean, UCLA School of Public Health
Former Director, U.S. National Institute for Occupational Safety and Health
Professor Alan Maryon-Davis
President, UK Faculty of Public Health
John Guillebaud
Emeritus Professor of Family Planning & Reproductive Health, UCL
Professor Hugh Montgomery
Director, UCL Institute for Human Health and Performance
Dr Robin Stott
Director of the Climate and Health Council
Emeritus Professor Brian Moss
University of Liverpool
Steven Earl Salmony
AWAREness Campaign on The Human Population [estab. 2001]
Robert Costanza
Gordon and Lulie Gund Professor of Ecological Economics
Director, Gund Institute for Ecological Economics
Rubenstein School of Environment and Natural Resources
The University of Vermont
Jenny Griffiths OBE,
Member, Climate and Health Council
Tim Helweg Larsen
Director Public Interest Research Centre
Jonathon Porritt
Forum for the Future
Sara Parkin,
Founder Director, Forum for the Future
Lorna Walker
Dave Hampton
Carbon Coach MA (Cantab) C Env C Eng FCIOB,
Society for the Environment Board Member, The Edge,
RIBA Sustainable Futures, Superhomer, Transition Town Marlow Founder
Leslie Watson
Director Sustainability South West
Nick Reeves
Executive Director CIWEM
Professor Ernst Ulrich von Weizsäcker PhD
Lead Author, Factor Five, Former Chairman of the German Bundestag’s Environment Committee
Professor Robert B. Whitmarsh
School of Ocean and Earth Science, National Oceanography Centre, SOUTHAMPTON
Patrick Ainley
Professor of Training and Education, University of Greenwich
Michael H. Glantz,
Director CCB (Consortium for Capacity Building)
INSTAAR University of Colorado
Antonio Sarmiento G
Instituto de Matemáticas, UNAM México
Tim Smit
Director of the EDEN Project
Ulrich Loening
Former Director of the Centre for Human Ecology
Paul Allen
External Relations Director of the Centre for Alternative Technology
Dr Richard Horton
Editor in Chief Lancet Magazine
Fiona Godlee
Editor in Chief British Medical Journal
Dr Jean-Baptiste Kakoma
Rwandan School of Public Health
Ian Roberts
Professor of Epidemiology and Public Health LSHTM
University of London
Sarah Walpole, BSc, MBChB,
York District Hospital, UK
Professor Sir Sabaratnam Arulkumaran
President, Royal College of Obstetricians & Gynaecologists, UK
Mr Tim Campbell-Smith MBBS BSC FRCS (Gen Surg)
Consultant colorectal and general surgeon
Mark Thompson
General Practitioner
Dr. Marie-Claire Lobo
Consultant in Public Health Medicine NHS Hampshire
Tony Waterston
Consultant paediatrician (retired)
Chair of Royal College of Paediatrics and Child Health Advocacy committee
Robert Johnstone MSc MInstP MIPEM CEng
Clinical Scientist, London
Professor David Webb
Engineering The Praxis Centre Leeds Metropolitan University
Dr Stuart Parkinson
Scientists for Global Responsibility
Professor Fiona Stanley
Director Telethon Institute for Child Health Research Perth Western Australia
Bhavani Prakash
Founder Eco WALK the Talk.com, www.ecowalkthetalk.com/blog
Professor Andrew Weaver
Canada Research Chair University of Victoria
Dr Tom Barker
Sustainability ecologist, Dept of Ecology, University of Liverpool.
Sean Kidney
Chair, Climate Bonds Initiative
Dr Samuel Bonnett
Biogeochemist, Institute for Sustainable Water,
Integrated Management and Ecosystem Research,
University of Liverpool.
Dr Peter North,
Senior lecturer, Department of Geography,
University of Liverpool.
Dr Jane Fisher,
Lecturer in Ecology,
Liverpool John Moores University.
Prof Andy Plater,
Director of Oceans and Ecosystems Research Cluster and
Head of Green Economy incubation Network,
University of Liverpool
Romayne Phoenix
London Green Party Campaigns Officer
Penny Kemp - GCI
Jim Berreen – GCI
Lewis Cleverden - GCI
Dr Richard Lawson

General Practitioner
Mr Mike Zeidler
Chairman, Association of Sustainability Practitioners
John Bunzl
Trustee, International Simultaneous Policy Organisation
Roger Martin
Chair, Optimum Population Trust
Anthony and Anne Wilson
Marianne McKiggan
Crisis Forum
David Cook
Executive Ambassador the Natural Step
Ian Roderick,
Director of the Schumacher Centre,
lead partner in the CONVERGE project
Michael Herrmann
Senior Lecturer in Sustainability
Kingston University School of Architecture & Landscape
Faculty of Art, Design & Architecture Surrey
Professor Peter Reason
School of Management, University of Bath
John H Crook Phd DSc
Formerly Head of Joint School in Psychology and Zoology
Psychology Department, Bristol University
Francesca Vandelli
Systemic Learning and Development Officer, Health and Social Care Bristol
Tim Malnick
Co-Director Ashridge Masters in Sustainability and Responsibility
Toddington Harper
MD, The Low Carbon Economy Ltd
Dr Nicholas Allott
Postdoctoral research fellow at Centre
for the Study of Mind and Nature, Oslo University
Doug Whitehead
Partner Consulting & Student Bond University
Post Graduate Programme Carbon Management
EnSight Consultancy, Brisbane
Hilary Griffiths
Coordinator of Friends of the Earth, Guildford and Waverley.
Elizabeth Tomlinson
Dr Keith Baker
Director, Sustainable Footprints
Keith Taylor
Green MEP
Jean Lambert
Green MEP
Caroline Lucas MP
Tim Yeo MP
Chairman of the House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Committee
Martin Caton MP
Joan Walley MP
Paul Flynn MP
Jo Swinson MP
Rt Hon Michael Meacher MP

UK House of Commons
Dr. Rupert Read
Norwich Green Party and University of East Anglia Philosophy Department
Jenny Jones AM
Green Party Group London Assembly
Darren Johnson AM
Green Party Member London Assembly
Dr Martin Hemingway
Green Party, North West Leeds
James Del-Gatto
Head of CSR - SThree plc
Raja Mitra
Senior executive & Management professional
Stuart Jeffery
Campaigns Officer, Kent Green Party
Andrew Dakers
Spokesperson for Hounslow Borough Liberal Democrats
Meenakshi Subramaniam
UCCK, Kodaikanal
Paul Anderson, PhD
Research Fellow, University of Warwick
John Russell
Chairman Giltbrook Studios, Nottingham
Esther Maughan McLachlan,
Managing Director, Strong Language Ltd.
Stephen Thomson,
Editor, Plomomedia.com
Peter Martin
Research Director CarbonSense
Dave Yates
Newport Friends of the Earth
Dr Michael Taylor
Retired Teacher
Terry Wyatt
Jo Abbess

Miles Litvinoff
John Cossham
Milena Buchs
Stan Mowatt
Chemistry Teacher
Audrey Urry
Liberal Democrat
Chris Keene
Green Party
Dr Clive R Sneddon
Liberal Democrat
John Dougill
Tony Burton
Wind Energy Consultant
Tamas Szabados
PhD Maths Dept Budapest University
Rebecca Findlay
Lambeth Green Party & Sustainable Streatham
Brian Orr
Civil Servant
Penney Poyzer
Author and Broadcaster
Jeffrey Newman
Earth Charter
Kate Prendergast
Freelance consultant, member Crisis Forum
Mr Leo Giordano
Homes and Communities Agency
Rev. Canon Peter Challen
Christian Council for Monetary Justice
Alex Lawrie
CEO, Lightweight Community Transport
Chair, The Ecological Land Co-operative
John Whiting
Sabine McNeill
Green Credit
Dr Alan Bullion
Business Analyst, Informa Agra
Dr. Robert Davis
Steve Wright

Reader Global Ethics, Leeds Metropolitan University
Dr Arvind Sivaramakrishnan
Michael Sackin
Phil Harris

retired Government Grade 7 scientist
Barbara Panvel
Centre for Holistic Studies [India]
Dr Mark Levene
Reader in Comparative History, University of Southampton
Jonathan Ward
MSci, MSocSc, StudentForce for Sustainability
Richard Jordan MA
Nic Lee and Heather Finlay

Jim Roland
Liberal Democrat party member
Ashton Shuttleworth
BSc (Dunelm) MSc DipIC DipFM FRGS - Environmental Finance and Consulting
Ben Brangwyn
co-founder Transition Network
Michelle Thomasson
Transition Minchinhampton
Anne Adams
Peter Kent Bsc. Msc

Lib Dem. Town Councillor
Clare Palgrave
Chair; Woking Local Action 21
Scott Ainslie
Susan Chapman

BA (Theol) Retired Teacher
Georgia Meyer
Lucinda Cridland
Sophie Rees
Zahra Akram
Laura Mccutcheon
Rhiannon Dorrington
Pippa Bartolotti
Carolyn Kelley Gopalan
Prakash Natarajan

IT Director
Brian Wills
Philip Valentino
The Food and More Project
Owen Clarke
Green Party Torfaen
Ms Mary Scott
Environmental consultant
Angie Zelter
Reforest the Earth
Nina Venkataraman
Liam Proven
Writer - London
Hugh Fraser
Transition Kensington
Jean Vidler
Green Futures Festivals Co Ltd
Ankaret Harmer
Kings Heath Transition Initiative & BrumLETS, Birmingham
Dr Martin Hemingway
Green Party, North West Leeds
Jamie Bull MSc
oCo Carbon
Sheila Freeman
Friends of the Earth London
Reggie Norton MA
Christine Dawson

Nicola Wareing
Physics Student, Lancaster University
Chris Speyer
Diana Korchien
Publisher of Calendar of Climate Change (2007, 2008, 2009)
Transition Leytonstone
Ros Bedlow
Transition Leytonstone
Roisin Robertson MICHT VTCT
Janice Connully
Womens Theatre
Julie Baker
Community Artist
Al Dutton
Alan Francis

Green Party Transport Speaker
Brig Oubridge
Former Director, Big Green Gathering
John Moore
Green Radio
Simon Eastwood
Steve Muggeridge

Director Big Green Gathering
Linda Benfield
Director Big Green Gathering
Helena Schnitner
Big Green Gathering Independent Astrologer
Alan Turnbull
Director Floating Lotus
Ossie Bash-Taqi
Hugo Charlton
Eileen Noakes

"You know I agree, in the long term there is no other way to solve this problem.”
Chris Huhne MP UK Secretary of State Energy & Climate

Support for Saskawa Prize Nomination 2003
Support for Funding Appeal 2009
Support for GCI advocacy
Support Individuals for C&C advocacy
Support Organisationsfor C&C advocacy

"Aubrey’s effort to keep the C&C approach visible at the centre-ground of UN climate politics has substantially paid off. It resulted in the adoption and advocacy of C&C by the UK Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution [RCEP] in 2000. After that he published a body of evidence on C&C for the UK Parliamentary Select Committees who in turn have repeatedly published reports strongly advocating C&C to successive UK Governments. In the light of all these recommendations, this has resulted in the UK Climate Act [2008] being clearly based on C&C. Awarding this Prize to Aubrey Meyer for Contraction & Convergence, could be invaluable in achieving consensus on the global deal needed for success at the UNFCCC. It would not just be a recognition of his effort, it would send a strong signal to the UN saying that to survive, we must finally transcend the politics of blame and join together globally in this constitution for Climate Justice without Vengeance."
Nomination of Aubrey Meyer and ‘Contraction & Convergence‘ for Zayed Prize
by Dr. Mayer Hillman, Senior Fellow Emeritus, Policy Studies Institute, London