28 April 2012 - "Tough C&C to address global overshoot." Opening Pandora's Box GAIA Foundation

At a global level, we are already past the point of sustainability – the so-called “global overshoot”. According to the European Environment Agency (EEA)7 the global average ecological footprint (EF), a measure which translates consumption into direct and virtual land use, was estimated at 2.6 ha/person in 2006 compared to an average available global biocapacity of 1.8 ha/person. With the increase in the worldwide population (expected to reach 9 billion by 2050), the growing purchasing power of Asia and Africa’s middle classes, the urbanisation of the world and the aspirations of billions to emulate a Western lifestyle, the demand for natural resources is now moving at breakneck speed.

Going forward, the UNEP estimates that in a business-as-usual scenario, where industrialised countries maintain their per capita resource consumption and developing countries catch up with them, we will see a tripling of global annual resource extraction by 2050.

A second possible scenario (one which we might term “moderate contraction and convergence”), where industrialised countries halve their per capita resource consumption and developing countries catch up with them (all of them reaching an average consumption of 8 tons/head/year), would lead to a 40% increase in resource extraction by 2050.

To even envisage a third scenario of “tough contraction and convergence”, where TOTAL global resource consumption is maintained at year 2000 levels (i.e. 50 billion tons), would require developed countries to reduce their resource use by a factor of 3 to 5, and for developing countries to exceed no more than 6 tons/head/capita.8 But even such a far-reaching scenario would do no more than maintain resource consumption at year 2000 levels – a level which, as can already be seen across the globe, is not sustainable.
GAIA Foundation 'OPENING PANDORA’S BOX' [derived from this UNEP Report].
The New Wave of Land Grabbing by the Extractive Industries and the Devastating Impact on Earth

28 April 2012 - WRI authors say convergence is a function of contraction, but still argue into a cul de sac.

Because of delay in the politics and accelerating rates of change, UNFCCC-compliance may now require much faster action than has been discussed - as the animation here makes clear.

Since this book [below] was published by WRI in 2005, we have gone from the bad situation [with atmospheric concentration of CO2 at ppmv 379] to the even worse situation now [with atmospheric concentration of CO2 at ppmv 393 having risen at an accelerating rate].

Implications for International Climate Cooperation
Navigating the Numbers Greenhouse Gas Data and International Climate Policy

The following is an excerpt from this WRI report. It shows the bind that some US policy-wonks [just like their opposite numbers in China & India] have steadily argued themselves into the political cul de sac that Ban Ki Moon has recently called a global suicide pact.

"International agreements predicated on equal per capita emission entitlements are unlikely to garner consensus. **

the 1980s, a number of proposals have been advanced to address the problem of global climate change by equalizing emissions per capita across countries. These approaches have received considerable support from a range of governments and NGO groups. While the operational details of these proposals often differ, they tend to share the method of allocating emission allowances to countries in proportion to population size (either immediately, or after some period of gradual convergence from present levels), while total allowable emissions globally contract over time.

To the extent that these proposals require similar obligations for countries with similar per capita emission levels, they are unlikely to garner widespread support. **

Those countries with large populations and relatively low levels of economic development would receive apparent benefits, whereas other countries with small populations, high emissions, or both, could be significantly burdened.

Absent significant adjustments, such proposals cannot take into account national circumstances faced by Parties, an established principle within the UNFCCC. **

However, it is important to note that the implementation of virtually any national or international climate change policies is likely to have the effect of promoting a convergence in per capita emission levels over time. Considering that over the long term net emissions must fall to zero, convergence is a corollary of climate protection."

The source cited for all this is: -
Meyer, A. 2000. Contraction and Convergence : The Global Solution to Climate Change.
Schumacher Briefing No. 5. Devon, England: Green Books.

This book made it clear that: -

  1. The subdivision of the global carbon budget selected was subdivided into regions, before countries and

  2. C&C was - and remains uniquely - consistent with the famous 'Byrd Hagel' Resolution of the US Senate of June 1997. At that time BHR rejected the 'Kyoto-Protocol-to-be' saying 'all countries in or no deal' - as the book shows with the following chart [the US has never dropped this demand]: -

    GCI Briefing on C&C and the Byrd Hagel Resolution
    In June 1997, the US Senate passed by 95 votes to 0 the Byrd Hagel Resolution, which stated that: -

    “The US should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the UNFCCC of 1992, at negotiations in December 1997, or thereafter, which would mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex I [developed country] Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period.”

    C&C is completely consistent with this Senate Resolution, as shown in this image. There is no other first-order way to calculate what the Resolution calls for, except universally uniform limitations or reductions, which is what the whole row had been about. For this reason, GCI offered support to the US and they accepted it.

  3. Indeed, as the book records in some detail, in 1997 the US asked GCI to win India and China to the cause which - along with the Africa Group - we did. The US broadly supported their call for C&C at COP-3 Kyoto December 1997. Note is was the same Jonathan Pershing then as the one who co-authored this WRI report. Having gone to the OECD and WRI for a while after Kyoto, he is now back on the US delegation.
28 April 2012 - Interactive animation - easy & clear - showing many rates of Contraction and Convergence.

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28 April 2012 - "The necessary plan would include implementation of C&C" Mike Ruppert 911 Denial

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.

28 April 2012 - "Moderate & tough C&C." European Commission Science for Environment News Service DGE

The study constructed three scenarios of resource extraction for the year 2050.

In the business-as-usual scenario, industrial countries maintain the same rate of resource use per capita whilst developing countries catch up. Under this scenario, annual global resource extraction could triple, as would average per capita emissions to 3.2 tons CO2 per capita, compared to the year 2000. Under a moderate contraction and convergence scenario, industrial countries reduce their rate of resource use by a factor of two, while developing countries catch up to these reduced rates. Compared to 2000, this could produce an increase in annual resource extraction of 40 per cent and an increase in average per capita emissions of nearly 50 per cent (1.6. tons CO2 per capita). Under a tough contraction and convergence scenario, the consumption levels of resources in 2050 are the same as levels in 2000. It requires industrial countries to reduce their rate of resource use by a factor of 3 to 5 and developing countries by 10-20 per cent. This could decrease per capita emissions of CO2 by 40 per cent.

These results suggest a need for policy intervention. The study identified four types of policies:

  1. Policy targets to ration extraction rates. These need to be negotiated on a global level and adjusted depending on whether the resource can be substituted by acceptable alternatives.
  2. Targets on the environmental impact of resource use. IPCC targets, for example, have implications for reductions in the use of fossil fuels, types of biomass use and animal livestock numbers, if severe climate change is to be avoided, and no functioning carbon storage technology is available.
  3. Targets on the supply of services to people, in the sense of providing maximum benefit to people at the expense of minimum resources. These would base targets on resource use per capita.
  4. Policy targets on economic productivity, i.e. providing maximum income with as few resources as possible. These face problems in deciding at which point in a product’s life cycle to measure productivity.

The report suggests that different types of target cannot be set independently and should be applied in a coordinated manner. This could trigger a socioeconomic transformation on the same scale as the industrial revolution it seeks to address.
European Commission, DG Environment, News Alert Service

28 April 2012 - "Increasingly stringent versions of C&C put forward by GCI in climate debate." IFF Graz, Vienna

We focus on three questions:
  1. what have been the quantitative dynamics and the main drivers of the global use of natural resources (energy and materials) in the past century?
  2. how will these trends continue over the next decades, and what would be more sustainable scenarios? In other words, what is the size of the challenge?
  3. how can policy interventions into resource use be argued and justified?

For the first question, we come up with empirical answers, based upon secondary analysis from recently compiled centennial databases on global primary resource extraction. We interpret our findings of a roughly tenfold increase in human use of energy and materials in terms of an ongoing major transformation from an agrarian, biomass-based to an industrial, fossil fuels based social metabolism.

This framework also supports the scenarios created under question two: two thirds of the world population currently only at the beginning or in early stages of this transformation must be expected to undergo the very same changes boosting global resource demands, unless novel forms of structural change occur. Such changes then are presupposed in the additional scenarios that follow contraction and convergence assumptions to explore more sustainable futures.

Part three explores potential justifications for policies aiming at reduced resource use: by type of resource, we discuss resource scarcity, limited absorption capacities for wastes and emissions (in particular in relation to mitigating climate change), efficient and equitable supply of services to people and to economies.

Key insight emerging from our analyses is the intimate inter-linkage between resource use levels of energy and materials, based upon technologies, infrastructures and cultural patterns, and, last not least, upon thermodynamics. Thus major change needs to be systemic change, a new, further industrial transformation?

In a first section we will quantitatively demonstrate, on a very aggregate level, the global rise of human resource use during the 20th century, for all materials and for energy carriers. We will argue that the explosive rise of human resource use has been triggered by transformative change linking new energy sources, new demographic patterns and a new economic organization (the latter transcending our focus). This transformative change has been gradually spreading globally, thereby determining also future trajectories of resource use.

In a next chapter we discuss scenarios of future resource use under different assumptions. Based upon country-level knowledge of underlying dynamics of demography and resource use, we create a business-as-usual scenario for 2050. In relation to this, we generate two contraction and convergence-scenarios that would lead to somewhat lower (and therefore more "sustainable") outcomes in terms of primary resource use. Such scenarios of moderation in resource use cannot be expected from market dynamics alone, so we assume, but needs to be achieved by policy intervention (Jackson 2009).

Thus in the third part of our paper we open a discussion on the potential legitimacy of policy interventions into resource consumption, and the arguments that deserve consideration.

For future scenarios, it therefore seems justified to assume a continuation of the current patterns: namely, that densely populated regions and countries require only about half the metabolic rate (annual resource use per capita) for the same standard of living as sparsely populated areas.

The following three scenarios for the year 2050 have been constructed and may be compared to the baseline of the year 20006. The first represents one vision of "business as usual", and the two others are increasingly stringent versions of the contraction & convergence ideas put forward in the climate debate (GCI 2003).|

Towards a low carbon society: Setting targets for a reduction of global resource use

Marina Fischer-Kowalski • Fridolin Krausmann •Julia K. Steinberger • Robert U. Ayres

28 April 2012 - "Advance C&C" PSN to UN Conference on Sustainable Development Rio + 20

Population and Sustainability Network [PSN]

PSN is an international network bringing together development, environment and reproductive health organisations, government departments and policy research organisations to clarify and increase awareness of the importance for sustainable development of both population and consumption factors.

PSN’s mission is: - To increase the prominence of population dynamics within the agendas of governments, policy research bodies and NGOs (development and environment) in order to increase support for and investment in voluntary family planning and reproductive health services that respect and protect rights as part of existing development priorities, including maternal health (MDG 5) and the protection of the environment (MDG 7), and emerging priorities, such as climate change and fragile states.

PSN's aims are: - To highlight the negative impact of rapid population increase on economic development, poverty alleviation and the natural environment, work to remove barriers that inhibit discussion and action on population matters and promote greater awareness of the importance of population planning among policy makers, media and the general public.

  • To promote the adequate provision of reproductive healthcare facilities and education for the 215 million women and their partners who want to avoid pregnancy but do not have access to modern contraceptives, often because of non-availability of family planning services.
  • To encourage better understanding of the problems caused by unsustainable consumption (particularly in the rich minority world) - especially as they relate to climate change, pressure on finite resources and biodiversity.
  • The Network was established to promote discussion and collaboration on population and consumption issues, particularly with reference to the following shared concerns and aims of members:
  • Insufficient attention awarded to the negative impact of population increase upon poverty alleviation and socio-economic development in the global South, and the global environmental consequences of unsustainable patterns of consumption by the global North.
  • Lack of realisation of women’s rights to plan and space their pregnancies as they choose.
  • The multiple barriers women and couples face in accessing voluntary family planning services, including: lack of political support for and investment in reproductive health programmes, lack of education and information about family planning options, and social and cultural barriers, including gender inequalities and religious barriers.
  • To overcome the silence on population issues and the association of population issues with coercive ‘population control’ of the ‘60s and ‘70s, by advancing voluntary, rights-based family planning programmes.
  • To address the complexities and sensitivities obstructing constructive, integrated dialogue on population and consumption issues in relation to global sustainability.
  • Lack of collaboration on inter-related population and consumption issues amongst the reproductive health, development and environment sectors.
  • Promote increased understanding of the links between population and climate change and advance approaches, such as Contraction and Convergence, which mirror the PSN ‘Population-Consumption Coin’ concept by recognizing the twin rights and responsibilities of the developed and developing worlds.

More on C&C and Population Organisations here

27 April 2012 - "C&C only utopian if we refuse to contemplate the alternatives honestly." ABC, BBC, Alex Kirby

Church backing for climate plan
By Alex Kirby BBC News Online environment correspondent

Scientists say rising emissions is heating the Earth

The Church of England has declared its support for a challenging proposal to tackle the threat of climate change.

The Archbishop of Canterbury, Dr Rowan Williams, says the plan, known often as "contraction and convergence", offers a way to act justly towards the poorest. The idea, hatched by the Global Commons Institute, says all the Earth's people have equal rights to cause pollution. Already endorsed by other faith groups, it says nobody, however rich, should cause more than their allotted share.

Across-the-board support

"Contraction" means cutting the world's output of the gases (like carbon dioxide) which scientists believe are threatening to heat the atmosphere to dangerous levels. "Convergence" means sharing out between countries the amount of climate pollution which the scientists say the Earth can tolerate, so that by perhaps 2050 every person in the world is entitled to emit the same amount of pollution. "This kind of thinking appears utopian only if we refuse to contemplate the alternatives honestly," said Williams.

Dr Rowan Williams

The idea has won the backing not only of religious groups like the World Council of Churches but also of the chairman of the UK's Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution and of Sir John Houghton, an eminent climate scientist. Now the leader of the worldwide Anglican Communion, Dr Williams, has added his voice to the growing chorus of support for the work of the modest London-based Global Commons Institute. In a lecture in London, entitled Changing The Myths We Live By, he said we had to avert a global ecological crisis that could ultimately jeopardise "our viability as a species".

Potential for conflict

The archbishop criticised specifically "the addiction to fossil fuel of the wealthy nations; this is what secures the steady continuance of carbon emissions, but it is also what drives anxieties about political hegemony".

Rowan Williams: Backing for radical approach

He said: "Since the oil production of relatively stable and prosperous societies is fast diminishing, these countries will become more and more dependent on the production of poorer and less stable nations. "How supplies are to be secured at existing levels becomes a grave political and moral question for the wealthier states, and a real destabiliser of international relations. "This is a situation with all the ingredients for the most vicious kinds of global conflict - conflict now ever more likely to be intensified by the tensions around religious and cultural questions." What was also at stake, Dr Williams said, was "our continuance as a species capable of some vision of universal justice".

Priority for justice

He feared "the prospect of a world of spiralling inequality and a culture that has learned again to assume what Christianity has struggled to persuade humanity against since its beginning - that most human beings are essentially dispensable, born to die".

Contraction and convergence, the archbishop said, sought to achieve fairly rapid and substantial reductions in greenhouse gas emissions "in a way that foregrounds questions of equity between rich and poor nations".

He said: "This kind of thinking appears utopian only if we refuse to contemplate the alternatives honestly." Calling for a new sense of public seriousness about environmental issues, Dr Williams urged the UK government to take the lead in pressing the contraction and convergence agenda.

Chris Williamson, Paris, France asks: There has been much talk in the UK left-wing press of the alternative to the Kyoto agreement but will the G8 leaders be discussing this option at all?

Alex Kirby:
"I don't think people here in Bonn are discussing alternatives. Jan Pronk, the president of the conference and Dutch Environment Minister, keeps saying that the Kyoto protocol is the only show in town - that is very much the phrase he uses and I think that that is the feeling here. Unless they can get the protocol to work, they really might as well pack up and go home because they have been working on it for 10 years.

There are other possibilities - there is something called contraction and convergence - the idea that you see how much pollution the atmosphere could stand, you then divide it up and say in Bangladesh, in Brazil, in the United States, in the United Kingdom, we should all have fair shares depending on how many of us there are. I don't think anyone is talking about that yet. It might come in at a later stage but at the moment everyone is intent on trying to make the Kyoto protocol work. If they can't do that they would be very, very disappointed and they are doing their best to make it work."
Alex Kirby

27 April 2012 - "I would like to introduce C&C." Population & Sustainability Network, Mensa Conference July 2011

I would like to introduce the concept of Contraction and Convergence. The concept was developed by the Global Commons Institute and is a central part of discussions about how to achieve carbon emission reduction in an equitable way. This framework for dealing with climate change, in brief, argues that the minority world needs to ‘contract’ its per capita greenhouse gas emissions, while those of the majority world are allowed to increase until the two amounts ‘converge’, thus arriving at an equitable and just level of per capita emissions across the world. This approach makes the case that the right to emit carbon dioxide is a human right that should be allocated on an equal basis to all of humankind.

Certainly any model of development (in the minority and majority worlds) dependent on fossil fuel should be closely scrutinised – because fossil fuels will become ever more expensive and scarce, and because climate change is caused, principally, by fossil fuel emissions. To return to population: if we go along with the Contraction and Convergence model, and we are working towards equity per capita, then the more people there are – wherever they are – the smaller CO2 emission per capita allowance there will be for everyone, everywhere (though it will hit those of us in the rich minority world most).
Mensa conference, Cambridge, July 23rd 2011
Avoiding Heffalump Traps: Catherine Budgett-Meakin

27 April 2012 - "The number 9 - Cosmic Servant, Master of Heaven & Earth" Jelle Hielkema in Wake up World

In the Kabbalah letter-number conversion scheme of the Ancient Chaldeans the number 9 does not ‘figure’ in connection to the alphabet. However, the ultimate number ‘9’, proposed to be called ‘The Force’ has very special and unselfish characteristics by the fact that when the number 9 is added to another number, it does not change the basic nature of the original number. For example if 9 is added to the number 14 (1+4=5) we get 23 and 2+3 = 5 again.  The number ‘216’(=6x6x6) which adds up to ‘9’ was in antiquity considered the Number of Creation. Furthermore, the number nine shows up everywhere in the workings of the Universe which may be exemplified by the following, not necessarily exhaustive, examples . . . .
The Number Nine the Cosmic Servant & Master of Heaven & and Earth Wake Up World
26 April 2012 - "As a principle C&C is almost incontravertible." Prof Tim Jackson at COP-15 Copenhagen 2009

"As a principle C&C is almost incontravertible" Tim Jackson at COP-15 Copenhagen 2009

See more from Prof Tim Jackson in the discussion of the new reports from the Royal Society here

26 April 2012 - "The Converging World is based on the C&C principle." Cool Tabacco Sweet Coca

The Converging World is based on the principle of 'contraction and convergence' in regard to climate change, which means reducing the ecological footprint of some while increasing that of others.

Such convergence has many dimensions: technological change, cultural diversity, differing values, human rights, political power, social struggles and resistance. As the pressures of population and consumption are stretching the planet's capacity beyond its limits, this convergence is an urgent necessity. This Briefing explores these ideas and describes how a new charity is forming to put these ideas into action. Inspired by the work of an Indian agency called Social Change and Development (SCAD), the initiative has started by directly reducing carbon emissions by erecting wind turbines in India, which leads to income for economic development in this poor part of the world. At the same time it will indirectly raise funds as gifts from individuals and businesses in the 'demanding' (Western) world in return for an allocation of the carbon saved. These funds are used to address the important issue of carbon reduction in the developed world and to promote social change towards sustainable living through local groups across the globe. The Converging World is an action story which tackles the complexities of climate change, environmental degradation and social injustice.
Cool Tabacco Sweet Coca

26 April 2012 - "Music is amazing" Wake up World [ . . . & keep the politicians out of it . . . !].

Is Cosmic Music Unlocking The Matrix?
23rd March 2012 - By Zen Gardner

"Music is amazing. The right combinations of vibrational sounds can open the spirit and unlock moods and emotions and stir thought and action. Discordant sounds close the heart and cause discomfort and annoyance. This happens on the cosmic level as well. The shift in consciousness that’s taking place coincides with a vibrational change in the Universe. Like electricity or thought, it can only be seen by its effects, which come in the form of new feelings, new realizations and new perspectives which in turn bring about changed behaviors."

Made me think of: -

this [Stringularity] and

“According to legend, the first mathematical formulation of what we might today call a law of nature dates back to an Ionian named Pythagoras [who] is said to have discovered the numerical relationship between the length of the strings used in musical instruments and the harmonic combinations of the sounds. In today’s language we would describe that relationship by saying that the frequency - the number of vibrations per second or ‘Herz’ value - of a string vibrating under fixed tension is inversely proportional to the length of the string. One could call that simple mathematical formula the first instance of what we now know as theoretical physics.”

this [Michio Kaku - What is Music]

"We hear music all the time, but has it ever crossed your mind how it works? Why do pianos and guitars sound different, and some notes work together particularly well with others? This might strike some of you as being somewhat irrelevant to this blog, but the connections with Maths and Physics are very deep-rooted; the very bases of sound and harmony are founded on Mathematics, and possibly the very essence of the Universe is founded upon Music."


this [Rainbow] and

this A Brief History of Time


"In string theory the basic objects are not particles, which occupy a single point in space, but one-dimensional strings. These strings may have ends or they may join up with themselves in closed loops. Just like the strings on a violin, the strings in string theory support certain vibrational patterns, or resonant frequencies, whose wavelengths fit precisely between the two ends. But while the different resonant frequencies of a violin's strings give rise to different musical notes, the different oscillations of a string give rise to different masses and force charges, which are interpreted as fundamental particles. Roughly speaking, the shorter the wavelength of the osciIlation on the string, the greater the mass of the particle."

this [Elegant Universe - Nothing but music - the essentials of superstring theory]

this [East West Divan Orchestra, Daniel Barenboim . . . ]

"You don't have to agree politcally to have common activites.
"Keep the politicians out of it." . . . "In the orchestra I want my opponent to do well."


26 April 2012 - "C&C supersedes arbitrary short term arrangements." World Nuclear Association on C&C

Contraction & Convergence [updated June 2011].

The concept of Contraction and Convergence is a long-term framework towards the ultimate object of climate change policy in terms of 'safe' emissions levels. The concept has gained some interest amongst politicians and climate change experts and is seen as potentially superseding the arbitrary short-term target setting of the current Kyoto Protocol process.

Under a Contraction and Convergence regime an international agreement would define to what level atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations could rise before becoming unacceptable. Once this is defined, an estimate would be made of how much reduction in global greenhouse gas emissions is required to meet the target, taking into account the effect of sinks, and how quickly the target should be reached. This represents the 'contraction' element, and in itself it does not differ substantially from the aims of the UNFCCC to stabilize "greenhouse gas concentrations in the atmosphere at a level that would prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system."

The key differentiating factor of Contraction and Convergence is the proposal that ultimately the 'right' to emit carbon dioxide is a human right which should be shared equally. Therefore, emissions targets should ultimately be allocated to countries on the basis of their populations. Emissions rights would be on a per capita basis and therefore require convergence from the present very unequal per capita levels to a universal per capita level.

During the convergence period, which should not be protracted, emission permits would be progressively adjusted from status quo to these new levels. Permits could be traded, and this would cause a major economic transfer from countries that have used fossil fuels to create wealth to those still struggling to alleviate poverty. After convergence, each country would receive the same allocation of carbon dioxide emission rights per head of population and further trading in permits is envisaged.

The fundamental principles of Contraction and Convergence have received some support from those who see the equal allocation of emissions rights as promoting social equity. However, these fundamental principles alone do not provide an alternative to the UNFCCC process, as they are no more than conceptual and much would be needed to turn them into a policy framework. Achieving political backing in developed countries is unlikely.

There are also concerns as to the fairness of the proposal. There are concerns that countries with rapidly expanding populations could be rewarded through this scheme, as their expanding populations could result in them having a greater allocation of emissions on a country basis. It might therefore be necessary to fix the overall country allocation on a specific national population on a specific date.

It has also been suggested that some countries have conditions that inherently require greater energy usage and consequent emissions, so therefore there should be differentiated emissions rights depending on local circumstances. For example someone living in the Arctic would have greater energy needs for heating and lighting than someone living in a more temperate region.
World Nuclear Association

26 April 2012 - People & Planet Report Royal Society "C&C minded but Caveat Emptor"

The recent Royal Society report addresses population and consumption. It sets this in the increasingly critical context of the greenhouse gas emissions driving global climate change. Noting what it describes as the injustice of over-consumption and under-consumption, it calls for a framework to address this. This is a sensible message. It has been repeated with increasing urgency for many years. It is now increasingly listened to and that is encouraging.

The report omits reference to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change [UNFCCC] where - still with more heat than light - these matters are negotiated. However it has several recommendations and since one of the principal authors of the report is Professor Tim Jackson, it is welcome to see that his long-term advocacy of the pragmatic Contraction and Convergence [C&C] framework for greenhouse gas emissions so clearly informs these.

That said, I have two major reservations about the report: -

[1] The framework envisaged for 'economic-governance' is price-led. This is what we already have and why we are in such jeopardy. While attempting to price 'natural capital' and 'species' is not irrelevant, from the viewpoint of 'economic-governance', this is an 'economics response'. The tough fact is that it is economics per se that now is - and must be - governed by the very limits which the report seeks to address.

This is not fundamentally therefore an issue of the 'monetary unit' and 'pricing', it is an issue of realism, regulation and demand-management.

The report calls for a 'stable socio-economic structure' for generations to come', which is sensible. However, the monetary-unit is increasingly unstable and periodically chaotic. Particularly at these times, the monetary-unit is increasingly divorced from the real and concrete resources on which we depend, from any limits to the liquidation and consumption of these resources and completely divorced from any notion of the 'equitable consumption' of these resources.

Pricing per se will not limit human demand to the extent needed to get us out of the global double-jeopardy of inequity and collapse that we are in. The report could have addressed this more clearly.

[2] Following from that the report states that, "it is indeed possible to imagine an unequal yet sustainable world, but such a world would deny many people the opportunity to flourish." This limits inequality to being merely a 'moral issue' about which a choice to continue or to correct can be made, with either option providing a 'sustainable world'.

It is this view that makes possible the price-led response option identified above. It mimics the shibboleth that 'the poor will always be with us' and believing this is like booking a passage on the two-tier Titannic.

The driver of reconciliation within the limits that govern us now is the realization that if we're going down, we're all going down.
People and Planet Royal Society

RS was much clearer about this ten years ago

More views on the current Report in the Guardian organised by Leo Hickman

26 April 2012 - "6 - 65 meters" Antarctica melt & sea-level rise potential from the US Geological Survey et al

Palmerland map Higly zoomable map of Palmerland Antarctica

Reduction in the area and volume of the two polar ice sheets is intricately linked to changes in global climate, and the resulting rise in sea level could severely impact the densely populated coastal regions on Earth. Antarctica is Earth’s largest reservoir of glacial ice.

Melting of the West Antarctic part alone of the Antarctic ice sheet would cause a sea-level rise of approximately 6 meters (m), and the potential sea-level rise after melting of the entire Antarctic ice sheet is estimated to be 65 m (Lythe and others, 2001) to 73 m (Williams and Hall, 1993).

Document accompanying map

25 April 2012 - Where the stand against the economics of genocide began - GCI submission to IPCC SAR 1994

GCI Evidence
to the IPCC Second Assessment [SAR 1995]
'The Economics of Genocide' in SAR's Global Cost/Benefit Analysis of Climate Change. [Supplementary here: - MON_ECO].
The result was SAR 'Policy Makers Summary': -

"Literature on the subject in this section is controversial and mainly based on research done on developed countries, often extrapolated to developing countries. There is no consensus about how to value statistical lives or how to aggregate statistical lives across countries. Monetary valuation should not obscure the human consequences of anthropogenic climate change damages, because the value of life has meaning beyond monetary value."

GCI Tracking climate-change's 'Economics of Genocide' 1993-2008
ending with and interview at COP-9 Poznan with Nicholas Stern on his surprisingly extreme views.

24 April 2-12 - "Equity & Limits together suggest a key role for C&C." Prosperity without Growth Prof Tim Jackson

"Contraction and Convergence (C&C) refers to an approach originally proposed by the Global Commons Institute (GCI) but now widely agreed to represent a fair and meaningful way of achieving stabilization targets. Overall emissions 'contract’ to a level compatible with the stabilization target, and per capita emissions 'converge' towards an equal per capita shares of the overall emissions budget. Very simply, C&C is a way of transparently structuring future negotiations on the understanding that prosperity is governed by ecological limits on the one hand and fair shares on the other." For more information on the approach see for example Meyer 2004, See also briefings by the Global Commons Institute, online here and here
Prosperity Without Growth: Economics for a Finite Planet
Tim Jackson

Establishing ecological limits
The material profligacy of consumer society is depleting key natural resources and placing un-sustainable burdens on the planet’s ecosystems. Establishing clear resource and environmental limits and integrating these limits into both economic structure and social functioning is essential. This means paying a much closer attention to the ecological limits of economic activity. Identifying clear resource and emission caps and establishing reduction targets under those caps is vital for a green economy. To the extent that they have been implemented, the stabilization targets and emission budgets established for carbon provide an exemplar here (IPCC, 2007; CCC, 2010).

The conditions of equity and ecological limits, taken together, suggest a key role for the model known as “contraction and convergence” in which equal per capita allowances are established under an ecological cap that converges towards a sustainable level (Meyer 2004). This approach has been applied, to some extent, for carbon. Similar caps should be established for the extraction of scarce non-renewable resources, for the emission of wastes (particularly toxic and hazardous wastes), for the drawing down of “fossil” groundwater sources and for the rate of harvesting of renewable resources. Effective mechanisms for achieving targets under these caps need to be set in place. Once established, these limits also need to be integrated into a convincing economic framework.
Societal transformations for a sustainable economy - Tim Jackson
Natural Resources Forum

24 April 2012 - "You often use buzz words C&C: what do you mean?" Wolfgang Sachs Interview Goethe Institute

Contraction and convergence
In this connection again and again we often hear you using two buzz-words – “contraction” and “convergence”. Could you give us a quick run-down on what you mean?

It is all about balancing out the way resources are used on a globally sustainable level. The idea is to put the “resource-guzzling”, rich countries on a diet – i.e. contraction – in order to enable the poorer countries to raise their consumption to a minimal level so that their livelihoods would be ensured and a certain degree of affluence would be guaranteed – i.e. convergence.
Goethe Institute - Interview with Wolfgang Sachs

Assuming an equal right to the Earth's atmosphere, broadly speaking it is possible to envisage different development paths for North and South. All countries are expected in the long run, to converge upon a similar level of fossil energy- use per capita. The North will contract, while the South will expand towards a convergence with the North. Over-users will have to come down from their present level, while under-users are permitted to raise their present level, albeit at a gradient that is much less steep than the one industrial countries went through historically, levelling off at the point of convergence. However, the convergence of North and South on equal emission levels cannot be achieved at the expense of contraction, i.e., the transition to globally sustainable levels of emissions.

Once again, sustainability gives rise to equity. Indeed, the vision of 'contraction and convergence' combines ecology and equity most elegantly; it starts with the insight that the global environmental space is finite, and attempts to fairly share its permissible use among all world citizens, taking into account the future generations as well.
Interactions between Global Change and Human Health, Wolfgang Sachs
Pontifical Academy of Sciences From The Offices of Vatican City

24 April 2012 - "C&C, a response to Expansion & Divergence, can be applied as general principle." Karoly Heinrich

"Expansion and Divergence have characterised human use of nature throughout history. Humankind has increasingly expanded those parts of the ecosphere dominated, disrupted and destroyed by it. At the same time, levels of natural resource consumption have increasingly diverged within human societies. In response to problems emerging on this development path, the ‘Contraction and Convergence’ approach has now been postulated for the specific field of climate sustainability. This approach can in fact be applied as a general principle. An overarching environmental policy goal, it would imply reducing excessive overall levels of natural resource consumption while at the same time harmonizing per capita consumption levels worldwide. However, fundatmental structural and development circumstances - in the realms of demography, economy, technology, politics and social psychology stand in the way of realizing this concept of sustainability."
Kontraktion und Konvergenz als Leitbegriffe der Politischen Okonomie der Umwelt
Karoly Henrich
24 April 2012 - Detailed 'zoomable' all-country C&C graphic gives a sense of international proportion to 'policy'.

Using the 'pan and zoom' function in Acrobat 'tools' when viewing these
images makes it possible to see the detail and the 'big picture' together.

24 April 2012 - 'Climate-Efficiency' stood on its head [Analysis shows 'Least-Developed' are 'Most-Efficient']

Download this detailed and highly zoomable graphic to compares the dollar per tonne "EFFICIENCY" for 120 countries in 1990. The Dollars are adjusted to "Purchasing Power Parity" (PPP).

  • INCOME per capita is shown on the yellow line.
  • IMPACT, ortonnes of carbon per capita from CO2 from fossil fuel burning, is shown on the red line.
  • EFFICIENCY is the ratio between INCOME and IMPACT.

The international 'efficiency' rankings from high to low efficiency are shown left to right
in the line of flags that are easily viewable using 'pan and zoom' in Acrobat tools.
The trend in the graphic shows that on this measure of Climate-Economic-Efficiency
poor countries are much more 'efficient' than rich countries.

24 April 2012 - "Use C&C to link Poverty and Climate Change Prevention." Advice to World Bank bears fruit.

As is, the World Bank Draft on Climate Change and Poverty stresses adaptation. This implies that the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC) can default to being a convention for adapting to dangerously changing climate rather than preventing it. Unintended or not, this is completely the wrong impression to create.

Moreover, we feel that this can be avoided if the - obviously very useful - analysis of ‘adaptation’ is specifically re-linked [not de-linked] to the overall requirement for climate change prevention/mitigation, in other words the objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC). On the basis of precaution and equity, the objective of the UNFCCC is to stabilise the rising atmospheric greenhouse gas (ghg) concentration at a level that prevents dangerous climate change. By definition this requires a global contraction and an international convergence of future ghg emissions and shares.

Moreover, if this contraction and convergence is pursued in a rational, collective and risk-averse manner, such formal Contraction and Convergence (C&C) - with international permit trading – helps to integrate the avoidance of dangerous climate change and the achievement of poverty eradication.

GCI recommendation: -

"However briefly, link the report to recognising the need for this by linking it to the prevention/mitigation imperative in a C&C generic manner. This will reinforce the point that adaptation can only ever be a subset of prevention/mitigation."

Responding to World Bank Draft
On Poverty and Climate Change

Two approaches receiving significant attention are
'Contraction & Convergence' and the 'Brazilian Proposa'. 

Contraction and Convergence is a science-based global framework whereby total global emissions are reduced (i.e., contraction) to meet a specific agreed target, and the per capita emissions of industrialized and the developing countries converge over a suitably long time period, with the rate and magnitude of contraction and convergence being determined through the UNFCCC negotiating process.  It applies principles of precaution and equity; principles identified as important in the UNFCCC but not defined. 

The proposal by Brazil, which is based on cumulative historical emissions and their impact on the increase in global mean surface temperature, aims at sharing equally the burden of mitigation among all countries, industrialized and developing.

24 April 2012 - "Statements over time show a long list develops of people who agree with C&C." E L Malone

Aubrey Meyer takes this tack in advocating. C&C is the idea that each person should get an allowance of greenhouse gas emissions; at first wealthy country citizens would get a larger allowance than citizens of poorer countries but eventually the allowances would converge to one amount, which would contract to the level commensurate with climate stabilization. What Meyer does, in a steady stream of emails and on his web is Contraction and Convergence to point to statements made by others that either explicitly or implicitly refer to this idea. Thus over time he has developed a very long list of people who agree with contraction and convergence.
Debating Climate Change: Pathways Through Argument to Agreement
Elizabeth L. Malone
24 April 2012 - "Basic needs can be combined with C&C." BASIC Team China

  • The emissions can be calculated based on the results of energy requirements modelling.
  • The per capita energy and emission requirements for basic needs satisfaction can be combined with some existing future commitment frameworks, such as Contraction and Convergence, Graduation and Deepening, as well as the approach of empowerment.
  • More case study can be performed to compare the results with different countries, including the developed ones.

Modelling Energy Requirements for Basic Needs Satisfaction
The case of China: priorities, trends and the future

BASIC China Team
Beijing, Feb., the 17th, 2007

24 April 2012 - "C&C only way to secure acceptable global emissions." New Political Economy H Shah M McIvor

"Contraction and Convergence seems a long way off the agenda at present, but such a programme seems the only likely long-term way to secure an acceptable level of emissions at the global level."
A New Political Economy: Compass Programme for Renewal
Hetan Shah Martin McIvor
24 April 2012 - "C&C a fairer system." People First Economics David Ransom

A fairer system would be based on per capita emissions such as the “Contraction and Convergence” model championed by the Global Commons Institute.
People-First Economics
David Ransom
24 April 2012 - "C&C all countries have to agree a safe GHG level." Gary Hufbauer Rules for the Global Economy

Contraction and Convergence’ proposal of the Global Commons Institute [1996] all coutries have to agree a safe level of GHGs for instance no more than 450 ppmv by 2100
Rules for the Global Economy
Gary Hufbauer
24 April 2012 - "C&C a well known proposal." Frank Ackerman Elizabeth Stanton Stockholm Environment Inst.

A well-known proposal is “Contraction and Convergence,” which creates a transition toward equal per capita rights. The global target for per capita emissions shrinks steadily toward a sustainable level. Countries with per capita emissions above the global target have their emissions allocation reduced over time; countries below the global target receive gradual increases in their allocations. Using this strategy, global emissions would contract while per capita emissions among countries would converge (Global Commons Institute 2010).
Climate Economics: The State of the Art
Frank Ackerman Elizabeth A. Stanton Stockholm Environment Institute-U.S. Center

24 April 2012 - "C&C proposes quotas that converge to being proportional to population." D Helm C Hepburn

Somewhat more realistically, ‘Contraction and Convergence’ scheme proposes national emissions quotas would start from current levels and very slowly converge - over several decades - to being proportional to population.
The Economics and Politics of Climate Change [Hardcover]
Dieter Helm (Editor), Cameron Hepburn
24 April 2012 - "C&C a dynamic example of convergence measures" Climate Change Economics & Policy M Toman

The idea of making per capita emissions the basis for equitable burden sharing is a much·dlscussed option that is favored by many developing countries. Such formulas are often referred to as convergence measures. A dynamic example of this approach from the Global Commons Institute is Contraction and Convergence [see suggested reading]. Under this option over time developed countries wound reduce emissions in proportion to their population and developing countries would increase emissions according to their population. Eventually, developed and developing coutries would converge to the same per capita emissions ratio. For the environmental goals of the UNFCCC to be met, the ratio and length of expected of time until convergence would have to be calculated to ensure the necessary amount of GHG emissions reductions.
Climate Change Economics and Policy:
An RFF Anthology Professor Michael A. Toman
24 April 2012 - "C&C a framework so emissions are reduced fairly to safe level." Starfish

Contraction and Convergence

If the world is to achieve a level of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere that allows a safe and sustainable global climate, a figure for global emissions will have to be set. Contraction and convergence provides a framework by which current emissions may fairly be reduced to this safe level, and divided equitably between everyone on the planet.

The idea is ultimately that emissions quotas are allocated to countries on the basis of population, thus allowing equal emissions per person. Obviously this is a very different situation from that which currently exists, so various transitional arrangements will be required.

The idea was first put forward by the Global Commons Institute, prior to the climate conference in Kyoto in 1997.
Ideas for the New Week

23 April 2012 - "The C&C model response to climate is to resolve ethical tensions." Ethics and the Environment

It can be argued, if current generations in the developed countries claim sole ownership to the assets that they have inherited from prior generations, then they are also owners of the liabilities associated with those assets, and they are accountable for the excess use of the atmospheric commons by prior generations. As Bhaskar notes, "if I take an object, not knowing that it belongs to you, and give it to my daughter, you are surely entitled to reclaim it, even though neither my daughter nor I may be a thief". Similarly, when one discovers that one has taken more than one's fair share, one is expected to make some form of reparation to the party or parties who were disadvantaged. Past practices of utilizing more than one's fair share of a common trust is not justification for continued had behaviour.

To resolve these tensions, the contraction and convergence (C&C) response to climate change challenges seeks a global agreement on the concentration of atmospheric GHGs below which the planer's temperature will not rise more than two degrees Celsius, whether that concentration is set at 350, 400 or 450 parts per million of CO2. When this benchmark is set, the planet's carrying capacity for that concentration of GHGs can then be allocated to nations on a per ca pita basis. Those countries that are presently emitting more than their allotment (primarily the developed, industrialized countries) will be required to reduce their emissions (contraction) while those countries who are presently emitting less than their share (primarily developing countries) will be temporarily permitted to grow their emissions until, by an agreed date, all countries have reached their equal per capita entitlement (convergence)(den Elzen et al 2005). Developing countries might sell their surplus GHG shares during the adjustment phase which would presumably be completed by 2050 (Global Commons Institute 2008).

For the C&C approach to become operational, the signatories to the UNFCCC must agree on a safe concentration of atmospheric GHGs, the proportional allocation of this limited capacity based on national populations, the fair assessment of current levels of emissions, targets for contraction of those national emissions that exceed allocations• and the concurrent temporary increase in emissions for those countries which have not utilized their full allocation - an enormous undertaking that has thus far been elusive (Bows & Anderson, 2008). Nevertheless, the proponents of the C&C approach argue that it can provide an equitable and just response to the climate change challenge that can win the support of the developing world since it both protects their ability to develop and obligates the developed world to reduce its excess emissions (Global Commons Institute 2008). They further argue that the date of convergence should be realized as soon as possible since the most vulnerable and least responsible for climate change are currently bearing a disproportionate and unjust burden created by those who have utilized more than their fair share of the atmospheric commons, and justice demands that this be resolved as soon as possible.
An Ethical Response to Climate Change O'Hara & Abelsonhn

23 April 2012 - "C&C the leading framework for international emission rights." Notre Dame Journal of Law Ethics

The leading model for distributing emissions rights between nations on a per-capita basis is the proposed international framework called Contraction and Convergence. Formulated in the U.K. by the Global Commons Institute, it recognizes that because the emissions cuts required by developed nations are so deep, convergence to per-capita emissions rights is only possible over time.
Notre Dame Journal of Law, Ethics & Public Policy - Shaping a Sustainable World
Alan Marshall

23 April 2012 - "C&C provides framework necessary for CO2 sustainability." Atlantic Free Press

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.

Broader political and economic reform on a global scale will also be necessary if sustainability and economic justice is to be permanently established. Complimentary measures include implementing the principles of economic localization and subsidiarity to significantly reduce corporate influence, regulate corporate activity and strengthen local economies, production and food security. Implementing the contraction and convergence model of global carbon emissions reduction and encouraging energy efficiency would, alongside many other measures, also be crucial. Many other suitable measures for global reform have gained wide support amongst progressives, activists and alternative economists worldwide and cannot be discussed here.

Rampant and unnecessary commercialization can be addressed through measures to regulate corporate activity; energy consumption can be reduced by cutting back on inefficient corporate trade structures and lowering food miles; and economic localization and sharing resources according to need can help further develop distributional efficiency. A gradual contraction and convergence method, similar to that applied to emission reductions by the Global Commons Institute, would have to be employed in relation to general consumption around the world.
Atlantic Free Press

23 April 2012 - "A C&C model of the use of natural resources is needed." ANPED

Towards a sustainable and equitable society
An important step for strong sustainable consumption governance is to recognise the need for planned contraction of the economies in richer nations to ensure wellbeing within environmental limits, and most of all to give ‘space’ for the countries that have to grow to meet their basic needs and minimum level of well being. A model of contraction and convergence of the use of natural resources is needed.
23 April 2012 - "C&C fits US Byrd Hagel Resolution" Governance for Sustainable Development G Ayre R Callway

C&C and the US
Interestingly, Contraction and Convergence (C&C) would fit with the stated position of the otherwise recalcitrant US. In his statements on climate change, President Bush set out specific criteria for what sort of treaty the US would be willing to sign up to. These indude a truly global deal with emission targets (or from another perspective entitlements) for developing countries and the need for a science-based approach. C&C,wlth its global participation design and formal greenhouse gas concentration target is exactly such an approach. C&C is also fully consistent with the famous 1997 Byrd Hagel US Senate resolution that stipulated that the US would not sign up to any treaty that did not include developing countries. This has enormous and from a development perspective, very positive consequences since it can liberate resources to finance development. However, as action to combat global warming is delayed, emissions grow and populations rise, and the sustainable size of a carbon cake slice will get smaller and smaller. ln other words, the sooner we act the better.
Governance for Sustainable Development
Georgina Ayre, Rosalie Callway

GCI Briefing on C&C and the Byrd Hagel Resolution
In June 1997, the US Senate passed by 95 votes to 0 the Byrd Hagel Resolution, which stated that: -

“The US should not be a signatory to any protocol to, or other agreement regarding, the UNFCCC of 1992, at negotiations in December 1997, or thereafter, which would mandate new commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for the Annex I [developed country] Parties, unless the protocol or other agreement also mandates new specific scheduled commitments to limit or reduce greenhouse gas emissions for Developing Country Parties within the same compliance period.”

C&C is completely consistent with this Senate Resolution, as shown in this image. There is no other first-order way to calculate what the Resolution calls for, except universally uniform limitations or reductions, which is what the whole row had been about. For this reason, GCI offered support to the US and they accepted it.

23 April 2012 - "A global agreement with a common level of per capita emissions." IEPF

L’Approche contraction & convergence
C’est une approche où participeraient tous les pays avec une entente de tous sur un niveau global d’émissions de GES à atteindre et ne pas dépasser. Tous les pays auraient un niveau commun de CO2 par habitant à ne pas dépasser, et ce, sur une période de temps graduelle. Pour les pays en développement, on pourrait imaginer que certains auraient un excédent au niveau du quota (Hot air). Ils pourraient alors vendre leur allocation excédentaire. Le marché du carbone et le MDP pourraient alors servir dans cette régulation.
Institut de l’énergie et de l’environnement de la francophonie (IEPF)
23 April 2012 - "C&C avoids climate destabilization in an equitable way" Climate Change in LDCs van Drunen et al

A framework for long term climate policy: contraction and convergence

Regardless of the progress in international commitments, there a number of approaches in literature providing a long-term framework for international GHG emission trading reduction aimed at a long-term reduction of greenhouse gases. Contraction and Convergence (C&C) is an idea that is promoted by the Global Commons Institute. The aims are to avoid global climate destabilisation and to do this in an equitable way.

The first part, contraction, starts with the assumption that there is a certain safe level of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere. If this level would be exceeded, the world would risk catastrophic effects of climate change. It is difficult to say what the safe level exactly is, but it is commonly agreed that CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere should stay within the range of 450-550 parts per million by volume (ppmv). On the basis of this maximum concentration in the atmosphere, the maximum level of worldwide CO2 emissions over time can be calculated.

To illustrate this point, take the European Emission Trading Scheme: Most national allocation plans for the first Period (2005 – 2007) are based on allocating historic emission for free (a principle called grandfathering). Since inefficient industries have relative more historic emissions compared to their more efficient competitors, they have been allocated more emission allowances. The efficient industries have thus been penalized for cutting their CO2 emissions prior to the ETS came into force.

To be realistic, this should take into account the current CO2 emissions and also the growth path of emissions in the short term. In the longer term, there has to be a large contraction of emissions in order to stay within the safe level of (for example) 450 ppmv in the atmosphere. Based on the agreed upper limit of CO2 concentration in the atmosphere combined with a feasible rate of emission reductions over time, a global emissions budget can be set.

The second part, convergence, is about an equitable distribution of the worldwide emissions budget. The ideal would be an equal per capita distribution of emission entitlements. This could be done per year, and distributed per country. The emission entitlements should then be tradable between individuals and/or between countries. Given population growth and the fact that emissions have to be reduced over time, the per capita entitlements will become less each year.

A sudden introduction of an equal per capita distribution of emission entitlements would not be politically acceptable. The current per capita emissions in developed countries are many times higher (especially in the USA) than those in developing countries. A trading system combined with a limit based on equal per capita emissions would involve huge transfers of money to developing countries.

Implication for global mitigation activities

An international Emission Trading Framework based on or similar to the Contraction & Convergence Framework has a number of benefits as a basis for international climate policy:

• By assigning property rights to all global GHG emissions and by providing binding commitments for all countries, it provides the backbone for a global long-term carbon market;

• Emission rights could be allocated at a national level, based on an equal per capita distribution worldwide and any activity reducing emissions will have a direct value. Hence, it would not matter if emissions are reduced via some national policy or a project. Any developing country reducing emissions in any way would be rewarded, because it can sell its allowances on the global carbon market;

• It provides market players with a long-term framework for assessing the development of GHG policy on basis of which they can make long-term investment decisions. The long term nature of the policy framework will send a clear price signal to market players allowing them to invest more in R&D of GHG reducing measures and in the application of more rigorous break-through technologies;

• A distribution of emission rights based on per capita emissions would result in developing countries receiving excess allowances that they can export to industrialised countries that are in need for additional allowances. This long term transfer of cash can provide the financing for long term investments in CO2-neutral investments thus promoting a clean development path and avoid the polluting;

• A per capita distribution of emission rights at the national level would be equitable and also solve the problem of perverse incentives that currently exists under the CDM. The current interpretation of additionality is a disincentive for developing countries to develop decarbonising policies.

In CDM the concept of additionality means that a project is only considered additional if it reduces emissions compared to the situation without the CDM project, the baseline. This baseline also includes the legal requirements a country imposes. If climate-friendly sectoral policies and laws are put in place, projects are considered non-additional and are therefore excluded from the CDM. This provides Non-Annex I governments with a perverse incentive to refrain from introducing climate friendly legislation, in order to keep attracting investments via CDM.

With regard to mitigation activities, Figure 4.3 gives a picture of how the targets could be reached while continuing at business as usual economic growth. The thick line shows the business as usual emissions. By increasing efficiency the existing emissions growth trend could be reduced. The largest part of emission reductions will have to come from renewables. The graph also shows that in the process of adapting to low emission levels, emission allocations can be traded between developed and developing countries.

A per capita distribution of emission rights at the national level would be equitable and also solve the problem of perverse incentives that currently exists under the CDM. The current interpretation of additionality is a disincentive for developing countries to develop decarbonising policies. In CDM the concept of additionality means that a project is only considered additional if it reduces emissions compared to the situation without the CDM project, the baseline. This baseline also includes the legal requirements a country imposes. If climate-friendly sectoral policies and laws are put in place, projects are considered non-additional and are therefore excluded from the CDM. This provides Non-Annex I governments with a perverse incentive to refrain from introducing climate friendly legislation, in order to keep attracting investments via CDM.

With regard to mitigation activities, Figure 4.3 gives a picture of how the targets could be reached while continuing at business as usual economic growth. The thick line shows the business as usual emissions. By increasing efficiency the existing emissions growth trend could be reduced. The largest part of emission reductions will have to come from renewables. The graph also shows that in the process of adapting to low emission levels, emission allocations can be traded between developed and developing countries.

Climate Change in Developing Countries
M van Drunen, R Lasage, C Dorland
23 April 2012 - "UNWTO support the C&C approach." Carribean Tourism Sector

Concerns about the impact of mitigation policies and ‘anti-travel’ sentiments in Europe and other mitigation policies have been expressed by several nations with a high proportion of long-haul tourism, including Australia, New Zealand, and a several Asian and Caribbean nations (e.g. Boyd 2007, Caribbean Hotel Association and Caribbean Tourism Organization 2007). The Caribbean Hotel Association and Caribbean Tourism Organization (2007), while supporting initiatives to achieve the necessary reductions in GHG emissions to reduce the negative impacts on the climate system, propose that ‘every effort must be made to ensure that future consumer movements and government action in the EU to address climate change … do not deter potential European travellers from taking vacations in the Caribbean,” as this could jeopardize the sustainable livelihood of a large proportion of the region’s population.

The UNWTO supports this approach to emission reductions from air travel, indicating that aircraft emissions should be addressed on the basis of ‘Contraction and Convergence’, with preferential treatment for air services supporting the
development of tourism in developing countries, but with a view on “responsible growth”.
Report on the International Policy and Market Response to Global Warming and the
Challenges & Opportunities that Climate Change Issues Present for the Caribbean Tourism Sector

23 April 2012 - Three animations showing, "The enormity of 'Expansion and Divergence'."

Three animations showing the enormity of 'Expansion and Divergence'

22 April 2012 - "C&C - the logic holds better." C&C & the Brazilian Proposal; history from Luis Gylvan Meira Filho.
22 April 2012 - "C&C specifies a global emissions budget with equal shares per citizen." Timmons & Parks

Under the Contraction and Convergence model proposed by the Global Commons Institute, once the size of the emissions budget is specified, every global citizen is allocated an equal entitlement to the atmosphere. Rich countries, whose relatively small populations have already used a disproportionate amount of their atmospheric space, must ‘contract’ their annual carbon budget to a level of roughly 1 metric ton of carbon equivalent per person over the next century. Poor nations, whose citizens have thus far occupied very little atmospheric space, are allowed to increase their emissions for some time and eventually ‘converge’ with rich nations. Developing countries willing to restrict their emissions growth below their allowance have the opportunity to trade those allowances in exchange for funding or technical assistance through the Clean Development Mechanism, Joint Implementation, and other emissions trading mechanisms.

The key question surrounding the per capita approach is its political feasibility. Egalitarian principles played a prominent role in UN Convention on Law of the Sea negotiations (Baumert, 2002). However, many analysts consider the application of egalitarian principles to climate policy politically explosive and economically inefficient. Grubb* and his colleagues (1999) describe one very telling interaction between rich and poor nations at the Kyoto negotiations that lasted late into the evening. At 3 o’clock in the morning, amidst heated debate over global emissions trading, China, India, and the Africa Group of Nations expressed their strong support for a per capita allocation of global atmospheric property rights. Chairman Raul Estrada and a representative of the US delegation responded that the ‘Contraction and Convergence’ proposal was a political non-starter and negotiations were immediately brought to a close.
Globalizations Timmons and Parks

What actually happened at Kyoto is recorded in the tgranscripot of the final session here

* Note Raul Estrada subsequently rebuked Michael Grubb for having published this inaccurate account of what happened at Kyoto.

Grubb's commentary is not dissimilar to the emotive and risible gossip circulated later by Yvo de Boer

22 April 2012 - "C&C an advanced version of the CDM." Finance for Development, Camilla Toulmin, Tom Bigg IIED

At global level, there is an increasing number of voices arguing for an explicit contractual relationship between those people or countries who provide a particular global public good, and those willing to pay for this good. Such has been the argument, for example, underlying choices between conservation and agricultural development in the Amazon basin, given the enormously important role of the Amazon forest in global water and climate systems, coupled with heavy pressures from farmers for conversion of forest to farm land. Equally, the Clean Development Mechanism (CDM) provides a means by which carbon credits can be traded. The Contraction and Convergence (C&C) model provides a more advanced version of the CDM, and is based on trade in permits in the right to emit carbon dioxide [See for example the work of the Global Commons Institute, http://www.gci.org.uk ]

For such a system to generate resources for poorer people, such rights would need to be allocated on an entirely equitable basis acrossthe world, so that the entitlement to emit per person was the same for a herder in Chad, as for a two-car family in Washington, London or Paris. The transfer of resources from over-emitters to under-emitters would constitute a fee for the provision of this service. The challenges faced by establishing such a global mechanism are very considerable in the current global context. It would require agreement to a global limit on carbon levels in the atmosphere, and associated limits on overall CO2 at a global level. Such permits to emit would then be tradable, with some system for monitoring of actual emission levels needed to ensure no cheating by those emitting more than their allotted share, but without having purchased rights from others. For the benefits to be fairly distributed, such transfers should be made directly to the poor in developing countries who are actually providing this service, rather than passing through the national exchequer (Najam 2002, Agarwal 1999).
Financing for environment and development,
Camila Toulmin et Tom Bigg (International Institute for Environment and Development, UK)

22 April 2012 - "C&C gaining increasing support." SENDCO

Are there alternatives?

One approach gaining increasing support is based on the principle that an equal quota of greenhouse gas emissions should be allocated for every person on the planet.

The proposal, dubbed "contraction and convergence", states that rich countries should "contract" their emissions with the aim that global emissions "converge" at equal levels based on the amount of pollution scientists think the planet can take.

Although many commentators say it is not realistic, its supporters include the United Nations Environment Programme and the European Parliament.

21 April 2012 - "C&C sets a target so per capita emissions are the same by 2050 for example." NIES Japan

The Contraction and Convergence (C&C) strategy sets a target for, for example, 2050 and 2100 so that per capita emissions around the world will be the same in the distant future and determines linear emission pathways towards the goal.
Discussion on Emission Reduction Targets for Individual Countries in Tackling Climate Change
Yasuko Kameyama, Affiliate Fellow, Science and Technology Foresight Center
Head, Sustainable Social Systems Section, National Institute for Environment Studies
20 April 2012 - "C&C implacable good sense; unquestionable democratic credentials." Strasser's Blog

One way of overcoming this difficulty is to set a universally applicable absolute value per quantity of carbon based upon a predetermined finite amount that can be emitted in the future and this is the notion that underlies the so-called ’Contraction and Convergence’ scheme of the Global Commons Institute.

Based upon the IPCC TAR’s WG1 a figure of 450ppmv has been determined by the GCI as ‘not safe’. A ‘contraction budget’ derived from an internationally negotiated rate of linear convergence is then to be distributed equally per person globally. The resultant ‘currency’ has already been boldly christened as International Energy Backed Currency Units or EBCU’s. Richard Douthwaite of Feasta even envisions this new monetary unit becoming the world’s reserve currency thereby reversing seignorage or ‘unearned’ royalties currently obtained in their trillions by the dollar, yen and euro into the hands of the commons.

Because of its implacable good sense and unquestionably democratic credentials it is however, unlikely to impress the ‘powers that be’ whom I suspect are unlikely to yield their position of privilege quite so dramatically, even, and perhaps especially, in the face of an environmental meltdown where increasingly scarce resources can be commodified to their nth degree.

20 April 2012 - "I subscribe to the C&C view." Walter Vergara, Head of Climate Change Inter-American Dev Bank

Sitting deep in Washington DC’s Inter-American Development Bank (IaDB) HQ this week, at a forum on national development banks and climate change, I heard the IaDB’s climate change head, Walter Vergara talking about Latin America’s huge adaptation as well as mitigation challenge.

He noted that the world has to urgently get down to no more than to 2Gt emissions per capita quickly – and of course, that the US is still at 25Gt, and the EU at 15. “I subscribe to the view of contraction and convergence,” he said.

My friend Aubrey Meyer, the lone wolf originator of the approach, will be pleased to hear that from a big bank.
Sean Kidney, Director Climate Bonds Initiative

20 April 2012 - Prosperity with Purpose "HMG must embrace C&C." Religious support for C&C wide & diverse.

Global Justice - HMG must embrace the concept of Contraction and Convergence as the most effective and fair global solution to the problem of climate change and that other policies for a low carbon emissions economy should be set within this wider framework.
Prosperity with a Purpose - Exploring the Ethics of Affluence
Churches Together in Britain and Ireland

The range of religious support for C&C is becoming wide and diverse.

Please will you consider supporting this pledge on the climate change policy-framework known as “Contraction and Convergence” [C&C] in your candidacy in the forthcoming UK election.

“I agree with the House of Commons All-Party Environmental Audit Committee [EAC] who have strongly urged the UK Government to provide leadership on climate change this year by committing itself to Contraction and Convergence [C&C] [1 & 2] as the framework within which future interna tional agreements to tackle climate change are negotiated. [3] I will advocate this C&C position during and beyond the forthcoming general election and urge the next government to seek support for this position during 2005 in advance of the next Conference of the Parties to the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).” C&C is the stated party position of the Liberal Democrats [4], the Conservatives [5], the Greens [6] and is widely supported in the Westminster Parliament [7, 8 & 9] by Labour Party MPs too. It is also the position of the Church of England [10] the Africa Group of Nations [11] and is recognised as necessary by the UN. [12]. C&C is also supported by the Mayor of London and the GLA [13] by the Corporation of London [14] and widely internationally [15].

Posterity for Prosperity14th April, 2005
Methodist Church House, 25 Marylebone Road, LONDON NW1

20 April 2012 - "C&C a useful model - the freedom of simplicity." Do Dakinis wage class war? N Blair, EcoDharma

Contraction and Convergence
This discovery of the freedom of simplicity is going to be a key component in any equitable and just attempt to address the problems of climate change and unsustainability. At global level a useful model of economic transition to sustainability is called ‘Contraction and Convergence’. It is a set of projections that show sustainable levels of production and emissions are compatible with the raising of living standards for billions of people in the global South (if that is what they want). But it depends on a clear and planned contraction of production, consumption and emissions in the rich countries of the world. Rising production would meet the contracting production of the rich nations, to converge at a sustainable level achievable by re-localised and diverse economies. At present it is perhaps the only socially just strategy on offer – but it is almost impossible to get it on the table in discussions between rich nations. The assumption seems to be that any discussion of lowering economic prosperity is political suicide.

A spiritual approach has a lot to offer in supporting a social/political will which recognises that true well-being is compatible with levels of consumption much lower than those currently pursued by rich nations (the minority world). It is important we work to achieve wider recognition of this perspective. The options can be starkly presented: rejoiceful simplicity in a just world, or lifeboat authoritarianism and increased militarised protection of shrinking islands of prosperity.

Beyond this, Buddhism offers a deeper critique of consumerism. Any form of economic exchange that reduces life to a mere commodity value is fundamentally unethical. While ethical consumerism might put pressure on producers to amend their practices so as to cater for new markets, from another perspective ‘ethical consumerism’ becomes an oxymoron: the only ethical consumerism is actually the end of consumerism.

At the root of Buddhist/spiritual political economy is dana – this is generosity and the practice of cultivating generosity. At the core of western political economy lies the idea of the individual and their property rights. Given that many spiritual approaches reject the idea of a reified self, this poses a major challenge to the very idea of private property. The notion of private property is an extension of the conceit of self. It leads to the belief that increasing private acquisition offers a basis for security. But the drive for greater personal acquisition is tragically tied to erosion of the basic economies on which life depends – the ecological and sustenance economies. At the macro-economic level, the institution of private property leads to increased centralisation of economic power and diminishing of community – and damages the prospects for meaningful democracy.

Dana could be the fundamental principle around which economics are organised. As a basic virtue, generosity expresses a fundamental insight: namely that we are not separate entities but inhabit an intimate web of relationships with others and the world: it is orientation towards the other rather than fixation on the self. The extent to which we can let go of ego-centeredness is equal with our ability to open up to reality. Dana is a concrete expression of the dynamic of selftranscendence and it is central to the well-being of a community.
Do Dakinis Wage Class War?

20 April 2012 - "We assume a global deal based on C&C." The Great Transition, Spratt & Nietzert, NEF

We assume that the UK progressively reduces its carbon footprint so that it uses only its fair share of total global carbon emissions under the given, interim target, making sure that other countries, particularly developing countries, have space to develop and make their own transition to a sustainable future. We assume a global ‘deal’ based on ‘contraction and convergence’ to limit, reduce and maintain total global emissions within defined limits (the contraction); we also assume that the UK’s total share of emissions progressively comes into line with its fair global share (the convergence), with significant transfer payments to developing countries during the process to facilitate their sustainable development.
‘The Great Transition’ provides the first comprehensive blueprint for building an economy based on stability, sustainability and equality. By Eva Neitzert and Stephen Spratt

"We assume a global ‘deal’ based on ‘contraction and convergence’ to limit, reduce and maintain total global emissions within defined limits (the contraction); we also assume that the UK’s total share of emissions progressively comes into line with its fair global share (the ‘convergence’), with significant transfer payments to developing countries during the process to facilitate their sustainable development."
The Great Transition New Economics Foundation - 2010
The Great Transition NEF Recommendation: -
"Government must agree a global fair deal on climate change with appropriate contraction and convergence targets to avert dangerous climate change, reflecting the UK’s ‘fair share’ of total sustainable carbon emissions."

19 April 2012 - "C&C prime example of UNFCCC-compliant framework." Prof Martin Rees & several 100 others.

"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

Professor Martin Rees
Trinity College Cambridge
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
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

19 April 2012 - "C&C provides the necessary framework for CO2 sustainability." Share the World's Resources

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
19 April 2012 - "For fair shares, growth needs to be transformed to C&C" IUCN Transition to Sustainability

Re-conceiving growth: contraction and convergence
The dominant development model, based on the unlimited meeting of consumer wants leads inexorably to overconsumption. Yet the continued physical expansion in the global reach of commodity supply systems means that consumers in developed countries continue to perceive resource flows as bountiful, and develop no sense of limits to consumption. Whether as consumers or citizens, people in industrialized economies show no awareness that production systems are ecologically flawed or constrained.

In order to achieve fair shares of the global resources available, theories of growth need to be transformed to theories of contraction and convergence, to balance the increases in energy and material use that are needed to raise living conditions among the poor against contractions among the wealthy and super-rich. There is a growing interest in ideas of ‘degrowth’ (décroissance). Degrowth is a term created by radical critics of growth theory intended to make space for alternative projects as part of post-development politics. Degrowth is (like sustainability) an ethical concept of how the world needs to change. Proponents of contraction want ‘to create integrated, selfsufficient and materially responsible societies in both the North and the South’.

Re-conceiving growth builds on longstanding arguments about the need for, and feasibility of, ‘zero-growth’, notably perhaps Herman Daly’s work on ‘steady-state economics’. Back in 1977, Daly’s ‘impossibility theorem’ pointed out that a high mass-consumption economy in the US style was impossible (at least for anything other than a short period) in a world of four billion people. Since then, lockin to progressivist growth economics has if anything deepened, and so too have the risks that sustainability thinking seeks to address. The idea of a contraction-based society poses a challenge: to find alternative models for the creation of human welfare from industry, technology and nature. Poor countries need to be able to industrialize and grow to meet the welfare needs of their people, but they need a way of doing this that avoids the world-busting models of past industrialization. Rich countries need to see ways forward that maintain quality of life, while shedding the habits and structures that damage the biosphere and corner an unfair share of the resources that are needed by the world’s poor.
IUCN - Transition to Sustainability: Towards a Humane and Diverse World

S J Jeanrenaud W M Adams

19 April 2012 - "Can the widely acclaimed C&C be implemented Internationally?" World Future Council

"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
19 April 2012 - "C&C combines Ecology and Justice." Rethinking Development, Finnish Foreign Affairs

Contraction and convergence
"In order to picture which development paths might bring the world to a greater level of resource justice, it may be useful to employ the model of ‘contraction and convergence’ (Meyer 2000). This model schematically envisages two different development paths: one for industrial countries, one for developing countries. All nations of the world would adjust their use of resources so that in half a century from now they no longer overstretch the absorption and regeneration capacity of the biosphere. The model assumes no nation has the right to a disproportionate share of the global environment, so each one endeavours – though with individual variations – to achieve the common goal of material and energy consumption compatible with the demands of other countries, while remaining within the carrying capacity of the biosphere.

In the end, there is no justification for any other distribution of globally important resources; the right of all nations to self-defined, self-determined and equal development permits it only to make claims that are socially and ecologically sustainable at a global level. This is what the contraction and convergence argument inspired by Kant comes down to: institutional patterns of resource consumption should be considered unjust if they rest upon rules which cannot in principle be adopted by all other nations. Consequently, the model requires that the industrial countries contract – that is, that they reduce their consumption of resources drastically. Resource justice in the world crucially depends on whether the industrial countries are capable of retreating from overconsumption of the global environment.

The example of greenhouses gases may serve to illustrate the path of shrinking resource consumption. By the middle of the century, the overconsumers must reduce by 80% to 90% the strain they put on the atmosphere by burning fossil fuels, in order to do justice to the precepts of both ecology and fairness. It goes without saying that this figure refers to the global North, i.e. the consumer class in the countries of the South is placed under the same responsibility. On the other hand, developing countries appear in the model as tracing an upward curve in resource consumption. First, poorer countries have an unquestionable right to attain at least a ‘dignity line’ of resource consumption which should apply to all citizens of the world. Without access to kerosene or biogas, without an energy and transport infrastructure, it is hard to satisfy even the basic needs of modern human life.

Moreover, each country will try to achieve different images and forms of a prosperous society – an ambition that in turn requires access to resources such as energy, materials and land. However, this upward movement ends at an upper line of ecological sustainability for all; natural limits set the framework for justice. As it happens, a number of emerging economies are already about to hit that limit in the coming decade.

The conceptual model of ‘contraction and convergence’ thus combines ecology and justice. It begins with the insight that environmental space is finite, and it ends with a fair sharing of the environment by the citizens of the world."
Rethinking Development in a Carbon-Constrained World
Edited by Eija Palosuo for Finnish Foreign Affairs

18 April 2012 - "Essential steps to C&C adoption by COP." The Sydney Bridge Initiative. Climate Sense, Australia

The proposal is founded on the principles of Contraction and Convergence. It has four essential steps.

  1. Agree on a global maximum emissions cap to 2050 [eg, 1000 gigatonnes CO2] This is contraction.
  2. Agree on the principle of equal per capita emissions at some stage [the date is not determined in this step, simply the principle]. This is convergence.
  3. Agree on the date when all emissions entitlements become equal per person. This is the crux of the issue.  The date(s) of convergence determines the size of the high-value trade in entitlements between high-carbon and low-carbon countries, viz developed and developing countries.
  4. Determine emissions profiles, issue permits, manage reconciliation and facilitate global trade. High-carbon countries buy permits from low-carbon with annual trade of around $100 billion or more depending on the carbon price.

These four steps enable a fair determination of each country’s emissions entitlements. Step 3 in particular is highly contestable and most difficult. Agreement on these four steps can resolve the crisis and hiatus. Other issues are secondary to these core steps which need to be resolved first.
'Sydney Bridge' Dr Harley Wright
Climate Sense Australia

This proposal has already been sent directly to the Heads of Delegations to UNFCCC negotiations from these countries: -

  1. India
  2. China
  3. Indonesia
  4. Mexico
  5. Pakistan
  6. Canada
  7. Japan
  8. United States
  9. United Kingdom
  10. France
  11. Gemany
  12. Italy
  13. Australia
18 April 2012 - "C&C the most, the only, viable solution." Fred Pearce, New Scientist

What's the best way to fix climate change, to stamp out the emissions that are warming our planet? I don't mean what technology. That's actually coming along quite nicely. I mean what are the international legal and financial levers that can pulled to get the technology, on the scale needed, from the test rigs to the national grids?

Later this month, in Accra, Ghana, the UN's lumbering Kyoto negotiations will have another stab at what to do after 2012. They will come up against the familiar stand-off. On the one hand, is the rich world's reluctance to accept emissions limits that will add to the cost of doing business unless developing countries subscribe to emissions controls. On the other, developing countries utter their familiar (and not unreasonable) cry: "You caused the problem; you fix it."

The answer has been staring us in the face for a while now. And more and more people - from business to politics to the greens - are catching on. It has an inelegant name: contraction and convergence (C&C). It works like this. The world needs to contract emissions by more than half by the middle of the century. It's do-able and it won't wreck the world economy. (Bankers on a spree are far better at doing that.)

But there will be some pain. The only way of sharing out that pain fairly is for everyone to take on emissions targets, but targets that are fair because they are based on a basic parameter of need. That is: population size. So every country should head towards annual emissions proportionate to its population. Most would have to reduce their emissions; but some of the poorest countries could raise them. That's the convergence part of the formula.

Of course, to ease the pain and make investment more efficiently, there would be massive carbon trading in the same way as is already allowed for under the Kyoto Protocol. It's simple and it's obvious. Tony Blair's shuttling climate diplomats get it. Nicholas Stern, author of the groundbreaking report on the economic perils of climate change back in 2006, gets it. In Washington and Paris and New Delhi, some influential figures get it. "It's where we will need to end up, of course, even if we can't quite work out how to get there," one UN leading negotiator told me recently.

Why doesn't the world admit it and get on with it? Surprisingly, one reason is the long-term opposition of most environmental groups to the plan. I find this baffling and dispiriting. Why the hostility? One reason seems to be that it is the brainchild of a maverick and sometimes truculent campaigner living in London called Aubrey Meyer. So the likes of Greenpeace and Friends of the Earth can't claim ownership. And even the more radical climate campaigners - like the Guardian syndicated op-ed writer and blogger George Monbiot - have got cold feet. Monbiot, a former supporter of C&C, has recently started publicly backing a proposal from his old mate Oliver Tickell, called Kyoto2, which would set up an international agency to control not emissions of greenhouse gases but the production of fossil fuels themselves.

Well, I can see why politically he wants to take on the fossil-fuel leviathans. But the beauty of contraction and convergence is that it doesn't require a global fossil-fuel autocracy; it is transparent, self-evidently fair and tackles the problem, not a surrogate. If climate change is the central challenge for the world in the 21st century, then C&C is the most, perhaps the only, viable long-term solution on which there can ever be international agreement.
Fred's Footprint: The best solution to climate change
Fred Pearce, senior environment correspondent
18 April 2012 - "Studies analyzed a variety of systems, including C&C." Tropical Deforestation and Climate Change

Studies analysed a large variety of system designs for allocating emission allowances/permits (before emissions trading), including contraction and convergence, multistage, triptych and intensity targets.
Tropical Deforestation and Climate Change
17 April 2012 - "C&C is 'Tetraktys'; knowing reality is fundamentally conditioned by numbers 1 & 0." Jelle Hielkema

By Jelle U. Hielkema Rome, Italy
Guest Writer for Wake Up World

‘Quest for a better Understanding between Humanity and Nature’

Pythagoras (ca. 569-475 B.C.) who, in search of a more humanly tolerant philosophical environment, emigrated from Greece to Metapontum and Crotone in southern Italy in 532 B.C., is generally accepted as the first philosopher and mathematician of significance in this world. His 2nd and 3rd law’s have indeed been written in stone over the ages and are unfailingly used in calculating and understanding the workings of ‘things geometrical’ with far-reaching implications for ‘things social, cultural, economic, theological, scientific and political’.

However, for the 1st Law of Pythagoras, proclaiming that “Everything is Number”, implying that at its deepest level Reality is mathematical in nature, mankind has never had much practical use. Yet, through the ages leading philosophers and scientists like Plato, Descartes, Leibniz, Spinoza, Copernicus, Galileo, Newton and Kepler, just to name a few, have all directly or indirectly addressed the issue of there being something truly determinant outside of what mankind has come up with in terms of philosophy, science and theology to explain the workings of the Universe, and our world as integral part of it.

It is demonstrated that indeed nothing happens by chance and that Pythagoras’ 1st Law has a direct and significant bearing on all that is happening under the Sun. This on the basis of some of Spinoza’s highly authoritative core philosophical pronouncements, gathered from his ‘Theological-Political Treatise’ of 1669 and his ‘Ethica’ of 1677. According to the Kabbalah numerology, the name SPINOZA is a 5/32, the Mercury vibration, representing ‘Reason” and ‘Communication’.

Spinoza’s core parameters for the Universe are: ‘SUBSTANCE’, a 5/32; ‘ATTRIBUTES’, a 5/32 and ‘MODES’, a 5/23. The number 32 was bestowed with the name ‘Communication’ and the 23 with the powerful name ‘The Royal Star of the Lion’. The combination of these three ”quantities” make, following the Kabbalah method of numerology, a 6/33, being the same as Spinoza’s full name BARUCH DE SPINOZA. Furthermore, Spinoza’s core statements: ‘NATURING NATURE’ and ‘NATURED NATURE’ are both 5/32′s and so are his favoured expressions ‘LOVE OF GOD” and ‘LOVE OF NATURE’. In the eye of many, including his own Hebrew Community, which expelled him at age 24, the Dutch Calvinist Church as well as the State made him an outright atheist and was treated as such, resulting in an all-out suppression of his truly outstanding work in which indeed the ‘Love of God and Nature’ shines through on every page.

Another most convincing example of ’23' and ’32' vibrations is the Great Thinker of the late 16th-early 17th century Francis Bacon (1561-1626) who connected the old and new worlds in Philosophy and Science -without being a scientist!- and was a 5/23 by the name FRANCIS and a 5/32 by FRANCIS BACON. In his ‘De Interpretatione Naturae’ he makes this reflection about his own person:

Having a mind nimble and versatile enough to catch the resemblance of things and at the same time steady enough to fix and distinguish their subtler difference; as being gifted by Nature with desire to seek, patience to doubt, fondness to mediate, slowness to assert, readiness to reconsider, carefulness to dispose and set in order, and as being a man that neither affects what is new nor admires what is old, and hates every kind of imposture, (so) I thought that my mind had a kind of familiarity and relationship with Truth, a ‘21’ vibration

In my own frequent and wide-ranging movements and interactions around this beautiful, if troubled, Planet in the context of United Nations development activities during the last 33 years, I have frequently wondered why ‘’Idealism’’ as a thought, action and results process, positive as it is generally, albeit often somewhat denigrating perceived by mankind, never really has had  too much to show for it. A good example in this regard is related to the development process between the 1st, 2nd and 3rd Worlds, as instituted after World War II and increasingly at the end of colonialism as we knew it for some few hundred years. I wish to sum up this particular example of largely idealistically inspired human activity in a statement made by the late Robert McNamara in the early 1990’s well after he had retired from the Presidency of the World Bank, when he said, "The development process as we know it is like a blood transfusion from the sick to the healthy." And he was actually crying when he said it!

And we can today all see the result of the process in the form of hunger and abject poverty for about 800 million people, dramatically increasing into being the ‘bottom line’ victims of the current global crisis; a hovering on the poverty line of another some 2 billion; increasing local and regional wars and resulting mass migration and displacement of poor people; rampant and increasing diseases; environmental disasters largely due to human causes; loss of forests and biodiversity as well as socio-cultural fabric on a global scale and……. on the other side of the geographic human activity spectrum: burgeoning, if at present very jittery, now already more than a decade, rather dramatic and highly unbalanced financial and economic markets and related soaring joblessness especially among the young, all very much ‘subprime’; unprecedented technological and information society development versus ever more serious and increasingly real climate worries, especially for polar bears!; exploration of deep space but with manned spaceflight in serious peril; ‘mindless enrichment’ of individuals, if only a relatively ‘precious’’ few; through pure greed and egotistically driven action.

What if we, as humankind, living on one and for the time being irreplaceable planet, could agree on a truly common approach to diminishing the bad influence of the EGO! This could be done very subtly, for example by cutting off the ‘I’ from the word IDEALISM, resulting in the word DEALISM, which according to the thesaurus does not exist and therefore can be created. Similarly, an IDEALIST would become a DEALIST; an IDEOLOGY will become a DEOLOGY, a strong and high-energy 3/30, an Idea will become a Dea, the 1/10 called ‘The Wheel of Fortune’, and would clearly suggest the presence of divinity in our thinking. Moreover …. an IDEAL will become simply a DEAL, a ‘13’ called by The Ancients ‘Regeneration and Change’ and recognized as a key number by the Mayans who made a rather significant ‘world-changing’ prediction for the end of 2012, a merely less than nine months away!

As  a ‘telling example’, below are two key ‘cosmic vibrations’ according to the Kabbalah method of the Ancient Chaldeans. The Number ‘21’ is called “The Universe” exemplified by: -


By sharp contrast, just one number up, the ‘22’ was characterized by the Ancient Chaldeans as ‘Submission and Caution’’ and described as ‘’A good person or entity, blinded by the folly of others, with a knapsack on his, her or its back, full of errors’’ and here are some telling 22’s:


On the basis of that evidence it would seem that The Ancients had a better (I)Dea about Us than we have ourselves, blinded and numbed as we are by the cumulative effects of two World Wars and numerous regional Conflicts as well as the, the positive aspects clearly apart, the estranging and strongly polarizing effect of Science and Technology ànd ‘Organized Religion’.

The formidable challenge to go consciously beyond the ‘binary biped mode’, the wave particle duality this mode encountered and the continuing and polarizing ‘climate of denial’ that this in turn has spawned, The ‘Contraction and Convergence‘ (C&C) approach and strategy of the Global Commons Institute (GCI). C&C is now being widely recognized to be the only promise for avoiding runaway Climate Change with all dire consequences that it brings with it for now 7 billion people! It encourages the right mindset. C&C is ‘Tetraktys’ – knowing ‘reality’ is fundamentally conditioned by the ‘forces’ of the numbers 1 and 0.

Like the Vatican in the face of the Renaissance, we go from the ‘complexity’ of ego-centric problems to the ‘deep simplicity’ of being rooted in the solar-centric solution. We enter a world of globally shared ‘commons sense’ that regains our inborn optimism. We recover through a ‘Can Do, Will Too’ attitude that comes from accepting and understanding that of course, “God does play dice, because he designed them”. In his 2010 book ‘The Hermetic Code in DNA’ Michael Hayes has convincingly and scientifically demonstrated that, “The Universe is a Musical Symphony”. So in this new era of climate change, it is helpful to know that, “all life aspires to the condition of music” and that on the road to Durban, even if not understood last December, and beyond there is always hope, as the dice are loaded in our favour when we consciously hear that music.

About the Author

Jelle U. Hielkema is of Dutch/Frisian farmer’s origin (1947) and has lived in Rome since 1975, where he has been working for the United Nations for thirty years in the field of Earth Observation from space in the context of global Food Security. His frequent travels across the globe spanning five continents, coupled with a keen interest in the interaction among philosophy, science, religion, and politics, enabled him to make a wide range of observations on the relationship among names, language, and numbers with  rather amazing findings.

More about these thoughts and what to possibly do with them, can be found on rainbow and gci

17 April 2012 - "C&C - for governance towards sustainability." Journal of Sustainable Development, CCSE

The tourism industry is characterized as a multidimensional and non-linear sector that warrants a flexible management approach to integrate and evaluate five domains of sustainability: -

  • social/cultural,
  • environmental,
  • economic,
  • public policy,
  • technological

within the framework of trust building, institutional linkages, and bridging organizations. The role of the five domains of sustainability in guiding the study’s conceptual framework will be discussed in the research methodology section as research tools or analytical frameworks. Finally, the tourism sector remains a major force with a long-term impact on the environment and society. The model factors in two levels of micro and macro-environmental elements that are expected to reach a consensus for governance towards sustainability.

As the model demonstrates, this process also legitimizes both contraction and convergence towards sustainability’s five main domains. If this is the process, then the purpose of the model is to promote human systems in balance with the natural environment. It is also possible to measure the degree of achievement for each sustainability domain.

Furthermore, the conceptual approach of the study is framed by ‘governance for sustainability’ in the context of tourism industry behaviour. ‘Governance for sustainability’ includes a holistic awareness and responsible values that move away from short-term gains (which are associated with mass tourism) and focus on imaginative, proactive design and redesign approaches to ecological wellbeing and the sustainable management of natural resources.
Journal of Sustainable Development
Canadian Centre of Science and Education

17 April 2012 - "C&C - A Full feedback loop means changing the maths we live by." Briefing to BP [2004].

GCI Evidence to BP [2004] A C&C 'world-view' [Powerpoint].

BP's statement followed later: -
“Contraction & Convergence helps greatly. It is inclusive and makes clear what needs to be achieved.
Without such a shared model, there will not be the necessary relationships that create the new and exciting possibilities and the trust for shared action.”

Chris Mottershead Distinguished Advisor Energy & Environment BP plc.

A Full-Feeback-Loop means “Changing the Maths We Live By”

  • A briefing on ‘Contraction & Convergence’ [C&C] was published in December 2005 in the journal “Engineering Sustainability”. It is closely based on the briefing to BP.
  • The journal is published by the prestigious Institute of Chemical Engineers [ICE] in London. They suggest that C&C, “could prove to be the ultimate sustainability initiative.”
  • Seeing the maths of C&C as, “an antidote to the expanding, diverging and climate-changing nature of global economic development,” they describe C&C as, “an ambitious yet widely supported plan to harmonise global greenhouse gas emissions to a safe and sustainable level per person within the next few decades.”
  • Making an unexpected inter-disciplinary link, ICE also note that in July 2004 C&C, “received divine backing from the Church of England.” This was helpful to the mission of the incumbent UK Prime Minister, a religious man who recognizes changing climate’s threat to civilization. Mr Blair has correctly said that the cost of preventing climate change is less than the cost of failing to prevent it.
  • At the time the ICE journal went to press, I was interviewed by the internationally read industry news-service Argus Emissions. Inter alia they asked me, “what would your advice to President Bush be on climate change issues?”
  • Thinking about the inter-disciplinary link, I remembered the story told by the Archbishop of the Church of England, Rowan Williams, about the religious right in the US. It is said they were behind the recent re-election of George Bush.
  • They noted Rowan’s speech in support of C&C “Changing the Myths We Live By” and told him, “Archbishop, you lack faith in God: if God wants to change the climate, he will change it.”
  • This challenge to ‘Divine Support’ exercised me more than the support itself, so I replied to Argus, “Mr. Bush is a self-declared man of God. He does nothing to hinder climate change, and has been effectively positioned as its agent. So I advise candour in his relationship with God about the prospect of more people dying as a result of unfettered climate change than in the entire history of human conflict.”
  • It seems that a ‘Twilight of the Gods’ looms at the G-8 in 2005. The two top chairs – Mr Blair’s and Mr. Bush’s – appear for the moment to be the seats of Divine Support for clearly opposite views of climate change. Mr. Bush’s view is that it is God’s will to change the climate; this is the ‘let go and let god’ position that says whatever the costs, there are greater benefits. The other is the ‘God helps those who help themselves’ position. This says it is not against God’s will to avoid that cost whatever the effort required, as unless we make this effort, the climate changes we force will force unbearable changes on us and our children.
  • Such is the tension that UK avoidance is already being mooted. A relevant government website now refers to a preparatory meeting for the G-8 in March 2005 at which, “Discussion . . . will not centre on targets for limiting carbon emissions, but on the business case for the adoption of lower carbon technology in countries with the biggest energy needs.”
  • This memo is intended to help focus the light shed by the Environmental Audit Committee on the dilemma that grips Mr Blair, Mr Bush, their G-8 colleagues and indeed all of us.
  • Pursuing the impossible dream of infinite growth is expansion and divergence and death by damages. ‘Changing the Myths We Live By’, means ‘Changing the Maths’ to renewables and a low carbon economy in a C&C framework, the ultimate sustainability inititative.

Playing Dice - Simple but not easy

Emissions of greenhouse gases [GHGs] to the atmosphere are accumulating in there. Average global temperature is rising in response. In the words of the US delegation chief at the Second World Climate Conference in Geneva in November 1990, “That is is simple sophomore physics.” Continuing to raise the GHG concentration this way will raise temperature and damages further.

The solution is simple: - stop the emissions.

Doing this is not easy. However, the reasons for this are easy to understand. The emissions come from the energy consumption that has under-written the growth of wealth and well-being for the last two hundred years. People are not readily going to give this up. That growth has been persistently asymmetric and conflict-ridden as a result. Most people say, “when’s it my turn?” and have real cause to.

The global nature of the problem requires a global solution to be effective. The wisdom of Solomon - a C&C framework - is not in play right now. This is partly because the relationship between emissions and concentrations is not well understood. Rising concentrations are a result of emissions accumulating in the atmosphere. So to stabilise the rising concentrations requires deep cuts in emissions: - to stop the bath from overflowing, the tap must be turned right off and quickly enough to prevent over-spill. In sum, success requires we solve the problem faster that we create it.

Enlightened self-interest is understanding precisely that, so as to avoid the worst of what lies ahead. Notions such as ‘the best is yet to come’ are not enlightened until affirmed as governed by that understanding. Enlightened understanding is internally consistent and leads to a measured framework for shared action, the way that sound leads to life, art and everything.

Contraction and Convergence is a simple ‘musical’ framework. It needs to be. While playing music is not that easy, it is impossible without the framework.

God does play dice, and it does sometimes get noisy.
But the thing is . . . . God also designed them.
He had to . . . . otherwise he couldn’t play them.

17 April 2012 - "All things considered, C&C is the better concept." Konrad Ott Jarbuch fur Wissenschaft und Ethik

The attractiveness of GDR has faded at a closer look. In terms of political feasibility, C&C has clear advantages because some high-rank politicians, like Angela Merkel, have verbally agreed upon the C&C idea. For Northern countries, the economic impacts of C&C are severe but viable under a prudent long-term transition management while the distribution effects of GDR might be beyond control. The North clearly is not bankrupt after the financial crisis of 2009 but the effects of a GDR regime on employment, on domestic social security systems, and on taxation schemes have not been assessed yet. Even from an ethical perspective GDR must be seen with a critical lens because it combines an emergency ethics that allows for uncommon measures with a highly conventional approach to development as being defined in terms of monetary income. GDR seems to place the right to create monetary income at the centre of the system of human rights. If so, there are reasons to claim that a C&C-concept that must be enlarged to the domain of adaptation and might adopt some important points from GDR is, all things considered, the ‘better’ concept.
Domains of Climate Ethics; Konrad Ott
Jahrbuch fur Wissenschaft und Ethik



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