This helps to take the argument forward. It follows a decade of debate as to whether C&C was loaded with a 'contestable assumption' or simply an 'incontestable truth'. As a result, discussions and markets for sustainability and UNFCCC-compliance and the 'design innovation' tending all those, were sent to limbo by that unresolved argument.
So when civil servants asserting C&C's,"contestable ideological assumptions" are answered by an economist's recognition of the complexity created by, "contestable economic computations" super-imposed on C&C by economists, the civil servants' projection are trumped. Professor Garnaut is right, as economic computations are by definition contestable and generate a contestability that UK civil servants have tried to retrovert on to C&C under the flag of contestable ideological assumptions. In reality this is a white flag and they have hidden behind it for a decade.
At a public meeting in 2008, Peter Greaves a journalist for the UNA, asked Hilary Benn [the then Minister at DEFRA] why C&C was not in the Climate Act. Benn apparently retorted that the C&C concept was mathematically complex and while it was all very well for the long term, "we have to do it in bits."
Peter Greaves observed, "There may be ingenious mathematical projections in its development, but the basic concept could not be more simple: as Milton put it, "an equal and beseeming share." The Bill should – in my opinion – begin with a firm commitment in principle to the concept of C&C, so that we all (in this and other countries) know where we are heading, and then set out some of "the bits" with which we will start the process. There is not the slightest prospect that developing countries will agree to control their emissions until they see that rich countries – and we claim to be a leader - start to contract their own."
If the first case were true, the UNFCCC wouldn't exist; but sadly, there is a problem and the UNFCCC does exist and we do need to achieve UNFCCC-compliance. If the second were true, there would be some evidence to support it. Indeed, after twenty years of negotiations, the opposite is true and overall we continue to behave as if there isn't a problem.
Those who still behave as though there is evidence to support the position that 'C&C is not input, it is only output', blank the fundamental tension that has created the stand-off that has dead-locked the negotiations for the twenty years that they have run. It is over the massive structural inequity we have created globally over the last 500 years and the Expansion and Divergence that we have locked in since fossil-fuel use replaced slavery less than 200 years ago.
This avoidance has given birth to the ideology of 'market-randomness', 'growth' and the resultant 'short-term, local little-bitsiness' of their so-called 'market-based-framework' to respond to climate change. Efforts by the idealogues to make C&C seem 'ideological' - rather than simply be what it is, which is a 'logical' 'framework-based-market' - means that they now have more in common with Baron von Munchausen than those who actually deny there is a problem. The problem-denier group, contest the evidence and mounted on mules, merely tilts at windmills. The windmills stand but as the road lengthens and the evidence of warming keeps coming in, the mules grow weary. However, the solution-denier group, have a truly 'tall-story'. They insist on the 'pragmatism' of only 'doing it in bits', and already they hang with their horses from the domes high above Moscow as the ice and snows melt, incredulous as to how they have come to be there at all.
The organising principle of C&C is true whatever C&C rates are computed. And it is essential that the different rates of applying the C&C principle in this structured way are openly considered in the assessment of our 'global' problem and the negotiation of its 'solution'. This should happen in advance of all the agreements that are made to implement the agreement for UNFCCC-compliance. If not, the organising principle is submerged in the 'contestable ideological assumptions' and the 'contestable economic computations' of business-as-usual, in a way where the framework is suppressed in favour of the the guesswork that makes effective negotiation for UNFCCC-compliance impossible and the disaster of overall failure increasingly inevitable.
Here in this user interactive animation are many examples of C&C at different rates of both contraction and convergence below and animated user inter-actively here and here and here: -
The rates of C&C needed for UNFCCC-compliance are those governed by the benefit of decarbonizing at a rate which is faster than the current growth-rate of climate damage costs [6%/year: Munich-Re].
The issue is not short-term versus the long-term. The issue is full-term and its shorter than we think. In 2012 it is generally accepted that the C1 Scenario is needed to keep within the '2 degrees' threshold.