09 May 2012 - "C&C - best known rights-based approach." Human Rights & Climate Change Stephen Humphreys
"The best known rights-based approach to climate change mitigation is the 'contraction-and-convergence' (C&C) framework presented by the Global Commons Institute (GCI) at the second Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in 1996. The idea, very briefly, was to articulate a longterm mitigation strategy that, while reducing the overall amount of GHG in use over time, would also lend toward equalising GHG emissions per person on a global scale. In such a regime, as overall global emissions dropped, the fall would be more precipitate in wealthy countries, while usage in poorer countries would continue to rise for a period in line with their greater development needs - toward convergence between rich and poor countries at some point in the future.
Initially GCI abjured the term ' rights' in reference to C&C, because they regarded the atmosphere as a global commons that 'cannot be appropriated by any state or person. Today, however, GCI claims that C&C 'establishes a constitutional, global-equal-rights-based framework for the arrest of greenhouse gas emissions. This new formulation appears to be in line with a general shift toward the language of rights in the climate change arena. Whereas the 'rights' at issue in models such as C&C amount to speculative universal 'rights to emit' GHGs, with no obvious basis in human rights law, they might be framed as deriving from the 'right to development', which is mentioned somewhat obliquely in the UNFCCC. Such a derivation would depend on demonstrating that 'subsistence emissions' were in fact required to achieve basic human rights, a claim that is at least plausible.
The right to development is a difficult and somewhat confusing notion. In international law, it has had, since 1986, declaratory (non-binding) status, and has been a subject of protracted and sometimes polarising discussion within the United Nations. But whatever its doctrinal status, discussion of the right to development has evolved with time, albeit rather as a space for negotiating the differing interests of different parties in the international system rather than as law in the ordinary sense. For many, particularly in countries most vulnerable to climate change, it still provides a natural hook for assessing the rights implications of climate change and the policy premises that should underlie solutions." Human Rights and Climate Change
09 May 2012 - "C&C proposes that everybody has the same entitlement." International Climate Challenge
Contraction and Convergence [C&C]
C&C is proposed framework which aims to solve the problem of deciding who should reduce their emissions. C&C proposes that everybody in the entire world is entitled to exactly the same amount of emissions. However, because current per-capita emission levels are unequal, there must be a clearly defined timescale by which countries must reduce their emissions. It is a simple way of allocating emission rights: If country A has double the population of B, it can emit double the amount of greenhouse gases, by a given date.
Idealised emissions from major global polluters
under a C&C scenario
that sets the target level of CO2 at 500ppm.
The truth is that unless we radically reduce the amount of greenhouse gases released into the atmosphere, by whatever means, adaptation will be impossible in the long-run. Thankfully, the technology, international frameworks and creativity already exist to live in a carbon neutral world. All that is needed now is political action to save the world. International Climate Challenge
09 May 2012 - "Climate Change Smash? Imagine a charging Rhino - C&C Utopian? Look honestly at alternatives."
In what was old Rhodesia, a steam train used to go daily between Salisbury and Bulawayo along a single track through rhino territory. Eventually, a cranky alpha-rhino took umbrage. As the train chugged south at 70mph, the rhino mounted the track and charged north. The smash derailed the train and killed the rhino.
So with global climate change. With greenhouse gas emissions still accelerating, we are now going down the tracks towards the oncoming rhino. The threatened impact challenges our economy and even our survival. Peat-bogs are on the verge of out-gassing methane in Siberia and giving climate stability the coup de grâce. Yet we continue to change the climate faster than we act to stop it. Risk analysis suggests we are less than a decade from the point of no-return. Atmospheric CO2 is now at 380 parts per million and on course for 400ppm within 10 years.
As frequently argued here and elsewhere, whatever else is true, the answer is "emissions contraction and convergence (C&C)", markets that operate to a full-term concentration target. Fossil fuel emissions must contract globally while the international shares in emissions converge on equality per capita. The United Nations framework convention on climate change now says this is "inevitably required". The Church of England says: "Anyone who thinks this is utopian has simply not looked honestly at the alternatives."
Support for C&C grows relentlessly. Following the so-called Byers report, Greenpeace put out its own report in July advocating CC with a concentration target of 400ppm. Since 1997, C&C has been the position of the Africa group of nations. Will the UK NGOs' new "avoid climate chaos" movement now adopt such a focus - one that has only severally and partially attracted its members so far? Africans would be pleased: African poverty is aggravated by climate change and C&C addresses both together.
Everyone knew that Kyoto fell short. But now, apparently killing this baby before it had even crawled out of the cot, our prime minister as good as conceded so at the G8. In exchange for the disarming concession by the US president that we actually do have a problem called human-induced global climate change (as if we didn't know), Mr Blair arranged for five key developing countries to attend and informally succumb to this somewhat vacuous transaction. Three weeks later Mr Blair learned the US had quietly been putting together a "clean-technology" deal with India, China and Australia behind his back. This deal not only ignores Kyoto, it also ignores the UN and tackles neither rising emissions nor atmospheric greenhouse gas concentrations.
More extraordinary still is the untold story of the corporations. Chief executives of the 23 largest corporations in the Davos World Economic Forum made a joint statement to the G8 leaders. It said governments must define an atmospheric greenhouse gas concentration that is stable and safe, and create a common global framework to enable them to invest in markets that operate effectively to this purpose from now on. UK building industry leaders wrote to Mr Blair saying that this framework-based market is contraction and convergence. They were all ignored. The rhino cometh, but Rome was not fazed. Washington's men appear to regard the whole matter as either above or below - but not actually at - their pay-grade.
Preliminary climate change damages, already lethal at a local and regional scale, are growing globally at twice the rate of the economy. The buck stops either with UN-led CC or with the rhino.
09 May 2012 - "Global Solution needed: C&C is the major contender." Ecodyfi Solving Peak Oil & Climate Change
Most leading climate scientists now conclude that if our global greenhouse gas emissions exceed the planet's critical 'tipping point', it will set us on course for abrupt, accelerated or runaway climate change. This could entail massive agricultural losses, widespread economic collapse, international water shortages, massive rises in sea levels, a slow down of the Gulf Stream, refugee problems on a scale not yet experienced - basically a global catastrophe on a scale that would dwarf the recent events in New Orleans and continue for tens of thousands of years. Even if we meet our climate change targets, humanity can only avoid the 'tipping point' if the other countries follow suit.
A 'global solution' must be developed which embraces all our needs. The major contender, Contraction and Convergence suggests that we in the overdeveloped west must contract our level of emissions to converge at some 'fair share' with those of the majority world, so going a long way to deliver equity between north and south.
Our unstoppable oil economies are now being halted by the immovable facts of geology. Rather than talking about when oil could "run out", the peak oil experts predict that despite accelerating demand, global rates of production may be at, or approaching, its peak. This is not news, way back 1956; an oil geologist named M King Hubbert predicted that U.S. oil production would peak in 1970. His superiors at Shell Oil were aghast.
They even tried to persuade him not to speak publicly about it. His peers, accustomed to decades of making impressive oil discoveries, were highly sceptical, arguing technological improvements in exploration and recovery would increase the amount of available oil. But after decades of derision, Hubbert was proved right. U.S. oil production did indeed peak in 1970, and it has declined steadily ever since. Even impressive discoveries such as Alaska's Prudhoe Bay, with 13 billion barrels in recoverable reserves, or the developments of new extraction technologies haven't been able to reverse that trend - it is simply imposed by the geology.
09 May 2012 - "C&C - good for climate, good for health." Royal College of General Practitioners
Over the past 20 years the view that human activity is disturbing the normal cycles of climate change has become widely supported by scientists. Fossil fuel burning has amplified changes in greenhouse gasses so that whereas levels of Carbon Dioxide have been below 300 parts per million over the past million years, they are now 380 ppm and rising rapidly. We doctors have explored and documented the likely health consequences of these changes. These are both direct, as in the extension of vector borne diseases associated with warming climates, and indirect, through for example crop failure due to changing weather patterns. The potential for a devastating impact on the health of all peoples is now clear, and if that was the end of the story, we would have reason to be despairing. Fortunately, there is another narrative, a narrative which gives us reason for optimism and a basis for effective action.
Tackling climate change by radically reducing global fossil fuel use, but doing this in a way which enables poor countries to have headroom for development, will be of major benefit to health. This health promoting framework for tackling climate change is called Contraction and Convergence [C&C] - reducing the global carbon emissions, and dividing the residual carbon into equal entitlements for all adults.
The consequence for health in our own country will be a phased increase in exercise, improving air quality, the greening of public spaces, and an improving diet with a decrease in meat consumption. When we consider that the majority of chronic disease is due to lack of exercise, inappropriate diets and poor air quality, this essential measure to tackle climate change transforms into an essential measure for tackling chronic disease. More widely the equal entitlement of carbon means that whilst we in the rich countries have to radically reduce our use of fossil fuels, those in poor countries have opportunities to sell some of their entitlement to us, and to use the rest to transform their societies. So "Whats good for climate change is good for health.”
Through tackling climate change in this fair shares way we deliver benefits to our individual patients and to many others around the globe. The Climate and Health Council, which I co-chair, and of which Tim Ballard is a member, asks you to join us in ensuring that this transformative view of climate change is taken seriously in all negotiations. Go to our website, which suggests a range of actions you can take. In particular we ask you to sign our pledge. 6000 health professionals from many countries have already signed, and by adding your name we will get increasing evidence of our commitment to tackle climate change. We can use this evidence to give our negotiators the courage and space to make the appropriate decisions both nationally and internationally.
Robin Stott - Co-chair, Climate and Health Council Contraction and convergence
Royal College of General Practitioners
09 May 2012 - "Daddy, is the planet really dying?" Guardian First Person - The Quest for Climate Control.
Aubrey Meyer is a campaigner against global warming. Here he outlines what led to him discovering and developing the 'contraction and convergence' principle to combat climate change.
In 1990 my daughter turned four. She came home from nursery school one day and asked, "Daddy, is the planet really dying?" Having become aware of climate change, I gave up a career in music and started a campaign to save the world from global warming. My daughter had seen pictures on her classroom walls of dead and dying plants and animals. She'd also seen me crawling around the flat playing with her but also trying to figure out what to do about climate change. I was numb from the question. Smiling through gritted teeth I said something like, "I don't think so, darling. I hope not. But don't you worry, your Daddy will sort it out."
09 May 2012 - "C&C takes us beyond ideological to teleological."
In organising the ‘GOAL FOCUS’ needed for UNFCCC-COMPLIANCE, C&C ‘tunes’ IDEOLOGICAL NOISE to this TELEOLOGICAL SIGNAL. Actors in different sectors see the ‘equity of a shared model’ [C&C] as a pragmatic precursor to marketing ‘Negative Entropy’. Evidence shows C&C structuring the survival instinct or ‘equity in diversity’ in this ‘globalization of consciousness’. From Ideology to Teleology for UNFCCC-compliance
09 May 2012 - "To achieve C&C - it's important to grasp the problem magnitude." S McCarthy NEOECOLOGICA
EARLY IN 2011 I WAS INVITED to give a talk on climate change to the environmental group at our local parish. It followed on from a previous meeting when the speaker had argued that the issue was essentially one of social justice and that the problem is not just one of greenhouse gas emissions but concerns a whole range of the earth’s resources. We in the West, with our materialist and consumerist lifestyles, do not merely contribute to climate change but devour a totally disproportionate share of the earth’s natural wealth, short-changing the rest of mankind and generations to come. This is a moral issue, one of social justice:
Human damage to the environment is one of the main moral issues of our age. As such, Christians must be concerned about it. Environmental problems are in one sense just a symptom (albeit a very important one) of injustice in the world—the injustice of a small part of the population consuming the great bulk of the resources, leaving the majority to share out the relatively little that remains, and sometimes literally to starve to death as a result. It is business as usual in the human race—the powerful using their power for their own benefit, with limited concern for the well-being of those who do not share in that power.
09 May 2012 - "C&C a good starting point post-Kyoto; it balances overall cost between rich and poor" Kiel Institute
Peterson and Klepper stress the importance of the choice of policy instruments and their particular use in implementing a Post-Kyoto Climate Regime, but conclude that there is no policy instrument that looks immediately acceptable to all countries. However, they indicate that for a Post-Kyoto climate regime that intends to include the countries with the most emissions the “Contraction and Convergence” approach with emission trading could be a good starting point since it balances the overall cost of climate policies between the rich and the not so well-off countries and it simultaneously has the appeal of leading to a fair distribution of emission rights in the future.
A fair climate regime: Taxes or Emissions Trading
Peterson and Klepper Kiel Institute
09 May 2012 - "C&C receiving increasing suppport." Earth Charter Task Force on Religion, Spriritualtiy & Ethics
09 May 2012 - "C&C could have buy-in from the world as a whole." Environmental Law Management
There are some very difficult issues as to who should decide what. I think we have to find the system that sets an overall maximum level of environmental pollution that the scientists think that the world and nature can sensibly absorb. That should be an absolute legal maximum. Then within that maximum level, we should try to find ways of dividing up the total amount in an equitable way.
I’m very attracted, for example, on an international basis, to the idea of contraction and convergence. We do need to have a climate change agreement internationally and to develop contraction and convergence, which means reducing carbon emissions until we end up with per capita equalisation across the planet. This could be a system which could have a buy-in from the world as a whole.
So, to sum up my brief agenda for change: reform UNEP through the creation of a world environment body; reform the World Trade Organisation and other bodies to give them a clear and enforceable sustainability duty, which would include prohibited actions and which would halt environmental damage; set overall ceilings for carbon allowances, for example per nation, based on the policy of contraction and convergence; create personal carbon allowances within countries; and finally use a token tax to release money for the World Environment Fund. It is up to the politicians to deliver, and we are grateful to Cormac Cullinan for the philosophy and warnings in his published book and the inspiration that these ideas have given.
Some people place all their faith in technical fixes and think that we can continue our current lifestyles without having to make changes. I believe that this is unrealistic, and also misses the fact that adaptive changes can give us opportunities to increase well-being and social justice.
For example, one suggestion for reducing CO2 emissions is the contraction and convergence model, whereby there is an agreed cap on the total amount of carbon emissions allowed (contraction) and an equitable sharing out of carbon allowances between rich and poor countries (convergence). This has the advantage of both reducing emissions and redistributing wealth, thus tackling both environmental and social problems.
08 May 2012 - "C&C, the quiet revolutionary in the ranks." Green Futures interviews Rowan Williams
These days, we pretty much expect our archbishops to be turbulent priests. To dispense thinly-veiled critiques of government policy along with seasonal blessings. To kick against every establishment, including their own.
In the five years since his appointment as Archbishop of Canterbury, Rowan Williams has shown ample signs of turbulence.
He has spoken out on everything from carrier bags to climate change, and of the “real possibility of social collapse” if we don’t address the environmental crisis. It could mean “not only spiralling poverty and mortality, [but] brutal and uncontainable conflict… An economics that ignores environmental degradation invites social degradation – in plain terms, violence”.
C&C is the quiet revolutionary in the ranks of climate change strategies, aiming at equal per capita emissions for all, meaning huge reductions for the rich countries.
He’s happy to take on economic theory, insisting that it “cannot be separated from ecology… Ecological fallout from economic development is in no way an ‘externality’ as the jargon has it: it is a positive depletion of real wealth, of human and natural capital. To seek to have economy without ecology is to try to…formulate human laws in abstraction from…the laws of nature.” The Green Futures Interview:
Martin Wright meets Rowan Williams
Green Futures Interview "Most mavericks who plan global salvation from the upstairs room of a small terraced house in Walthamstow can reliably be written off as two bricks short of a load. Not so Aubrey Meyer. A classical musician with a head for maths, he might easily be dismissed as the last of the gentleman amateurs, if he hadn’t gradually built up a vast swell of support for his disarmingly simple plan to tackle climate change. Its converts include such unlikely bedfellows as Jacques Chirac, the archbishop of Canterbury and the government of China, and it’s increasingly being seen as the muchneeded ‘Plan B’ to succeed (or even rescue) the struggling Kyoto protocol."
08 May 2012 - "What is meant by C&C?" Oxbridge Writers
Contraction and Convergence is a global framework conducted by the Global Common Institute in the 1990s. The aim of this frame work was to contract the amount of the emitted CO2 and from that came the world contraction. And it is also aimed to distribute the framework effort and budget to try equalize the emission of CO2 on per capita basis and from here came the world convergence.
What is a ‘sustainable' lifestyle ?
Sustainable lifestyle is away of living that attempts to reduce the usage of the resources of the planet Earth by adjusting their way of energy consumption, transportation and diet.
What is ‘sustainable' development ?
Sustainable development is a development that do not have passive impact on the environment and it aims to meet the needs of the human beings while reserving the Earth's resources which will be needed for the next generations. It is based on three criteria, these criteria are environmental protection, social progress and economical development.
What is ‘low carbon' building ?
Low carbon building is a kind of building that emits significantly less greenhouse gases than the regular building during it's all life stages which include construction and operation stages. This can be achieved by:
designing the building by scientific ways that make it more natural building (naturally lit and naturally ventilated) which reduces the electricity consumption.
Use renewable source of energy, such as wind, wave, solar and biofuels energy.
Treating the water and solid waste on site.
What is ‘zero carbon' building ?
Zero carbon building is a building that does not emit any carbon or greenhouse gases and consumes zero energy. These kind of building is independent in term of energy, it generates it's own energy and treat it's waste independently.
What is a ‘transition Town' ?
Transition Town is also known as transition network or transition movement. Transition Town is a community in a process of concerning the two challenges of climate change and peak oil. This process includes raising awareness about these two issues, connecting with existing groups in the community and trying to reach the governments. This movement was created by Louise Rooney in 2005 and it was started from a town called Kinsale in Ireland and was spread by Rob Hopkins.
Oxbridge essays by real Oxbridge essay writers, the leading UK provider of academic writing services, offering you the best of academia from Oxford and Cambridge - giving you access to fully qualified Masters, PhD and postgraduate professionals.
08 May 2012 - "Global Spring needed. C&C will be key to this reawakening." BODHI Times December 2011.
What is really needed is a Global Spring, an overthrowing of old-world thinking which
keeps the world wedded to a toxic cocktail of profligate fossil-fuel use and
promotes the hedonic treadmill (the fruitless pursuit of material and status goods as the
way to happiness).
Key elements of this reawakening will be contraction and convergence (less ecological waste by the rich and more consumption of materials and information by the poor), particularly through global education and rights-based family planning. From the desk of the Medical Director BODHI Times
08 May 2012 - Effective mind-map showing C&C between the Private, the Public and the Global Commons
Development - on an international scale, the development of livelihoods and greater quality of life for human beings.Human and social development encompasses foreign aid, governance, healthcare, education, gender equality, disaster preparedness, infrastructure, economics, human rights, environment, and other associated issues.
Bipolar paradigm - a system where two dominant functional components determine all implementations and solutions. In the case of state capitalism, the public-private dichotomy is actually a monoculture with more similarities than differences
Public Sector - deals with the delivery of goods and services by and for the government, whether national, regional or local/municipal. Mainly funded through taxation.
Private Sector - the economy run for private profit and not controlled by the state. For example: private banks and corporations
G-8, G-20 & G-192 - groups of nations that meet periodically for determination of interests that pertain to the nations within the group. The lower the number, the greater the tendency for concentrated self-interest in relationship to other nations outside of the group. G-192 represents all member states of the United Nations.
Multilateral System - system of governance in which all nation-states work together to solve global problems.
Commons - people sharing resources (both depletable and replenishable) including: air, water, fossil fuels, forests, fisheries, food resources, biodiversity, genetics, internet, open source info/ mass collaboration, human rights/ health/ culture, pollution, security, climate, communications.
"Commoning" is the ability to organize, express the will of, and meet the needs of people without harm to systems on which we depend.
Resources: International Association for the Study of the Commons, www.iascp.org, also www.onthecommons.org
Commons Trusts - co-governance and co-production of a commons asset by a local community of producers and users with the primary goal of preserving the resource for future generations. Local trusts must coordinate regionally and cooperate across regions creating Global Trusts to effectively safeguard global commons.
Co-Governance - process of participatory management in which decisions are made at the lowest levels possible (ie. subsidiarity and decentralization), thereby recognizing the decision of each member equitably.
Co-Production - the outcome of synergistic cooperation; productivity, creative output and social capital created through a group working under a transparent process of co-governance.
Full Cost Accounting - transparent reflection of true costs of resource development, production and distribution, as well as long-term advantages for projects or proposals. ‘Triple bottom line’ (People, Planet, Profit) is an example, where financial considerations and also ecological and social performance are included in the equation for a model’s success.
Carbon Tax - an environmental tax on emissions of carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases for the purpose of protecting the environment and slowing climate change by reducing greenhouse emissions.
Cap and Trade - proposal to set a cap on carbon emissions and issue pollution credits. Emissions cap can be reduced over time. Some see this as a public-private sector system with its own market, which could lead to manipulation of the credits and a tendency toward privatization of the air.
Cap and Dividend - a system where carbon credits are issued to limit carbon emissions. The revenues resulting from the credits and penalties are returned to the taxpayers as dividends, thereby increasing common wealth while suppressing the tendency for the private sector to manipulate credits and enclose (privatize) air resources
1. USA: Peter Barnes testifies to the US Ways and Means Committee on the benefits of paying carbon dividends to every American via a Sky Trust,
2. International: A worldwide agreement to secure drastic cuts, negotiate benefits to be shared equitably. Global Cap and Share proposal from FEASTA.
Contraction & Convergence [C&C] - conceived in the 1990’s by the Global Commons Institute to reduce atmospheric greenhouse gas [ghg] concentration. To this end, global ghg emissions are decreased each year [contraction], while the international quota shares of this are predistributed by moving to equal per capita shares globally by an agreed date [convergence].
Equity-Based Money System - system where creation and usage of money is based on, and determined by, existing commons assets (reserves), rather than assumed future assets (fractional reserves) based on debt and interest rates. Thomas H. Greco, Jr., "The End of Money and the Future of Civilization", 2009, or download an overview of his work.
Debt-Based Money System - the dominant economic paradigm, pervasive across the planet. Richard Greaves, The Negative Consequences Of The Debt-Based Money System.
Declaration of Respect for Life and Human Security across the Global Commons - Respect for the entire Sacred Web of Life: All human beings, all species, all flora and fauna, and the Earth, its elements and minerals, are required for survival and prosperity. The laws of cause and effect, energy, biodiversity and interspecies ethics have taught us to recognize and legitimate the essential rights of all of Earth’s life forms. To this end, we declare our rights to the sustainability and security of this Global Commons, encompassing local, national, regional and global stability and the environmental and economic threats to our survival as societies, groups, and individuals. We have no need to petition government for entitlements or businesses for permissions to these rights – we claim them in partnership as our legal and moral birthrights and our responsibilities as Sovereign Beings on Earth.
08 May 2012 - "C&C the only truly equitable model for international action." Senator Chrisine Milne Australia
Contraction and convergence is the only truly equitable model for international action, under which the world moves to a position where every person is entitled to the same emissions as everyone else. This is a fair and equitable model when high per capita emitters agree to act fast to come down to the level of others. Garnaut, however, has used it, based on Australia’s high population growth projections, to argue that Australia should move slowly to reduce our per capita emissions. Green Senator Christine Milne Australia
With PM Julia Gillard [Microphone] & others
How can the burden of emissions reductions be shared equitably between nations? The Global Commons Institute argues that the only fair way to share it out is to give every person in the world the same allocation of carbon dioxide emissions. That is shown in the diagram as applying from the year 2030; between now and 2030 is the period of ‘convergence’. That is a very radical proposal; for instance the allocation to someone in the UK would be less that 20% of our current average per capita emissions. The only way it could be achieved would be through carbon trading between nations.
Industrialized nations would buy carbon credits from countries in the developing world, where the per capita rate of carbon emissions is below the target average so that the carbon gap progressively narrows ultimately to zero. This proposal well illustrates the problem and the type and scale of action that is necessary; it is also one that meets to a good degree the four principles that need to underlie such action are: -
the Precautionary Principle,
the Polluter Pays Principle (e.g. through measures such as carbon taxes or capping and trading arrangements),
the Principle of Sustainable Development and lastly
a Principle of Equity across the nations and across the generations.
Figure 1.5 comes from the Global Commons Institute – the proposal it describes is called contraction and convergence. It shows emissions of carbon dioxide in the past, in the present and predictions for the next 100 years, the sources of emissions being divided into major country groupings. The overall envelope is an emissions profile that would stabilize carbon dioxide concentrations in the atmosphere at 450 ppm, not dissimilar to the curve in Fig. 1.4. It peaks within a few decades from now and then comes rocketing down to well below today’s value of emissions by the end of the century.
08 May 2012 - "C&C can apply to other resources and not just carbon." The Future Public Health Hanlon et al
Changing our current paradigm ― the way we conduct ourselves, our expectations and the way we are governed ― from one that is not sustainable to one that is sustainable will require radical adjustments and adaptations. With an adequate safety net, there is no need to see the change as resulting in winners and losers. Under the principle from ecological economics of “contraction and convergence,” we can all be winners. Change will be required at both the individual level and collectively, not only as global citizens, but also in our personal and professional lives.
Together, we can work towards a sustainable future, one of hope, peace, justice and happiness throughout the world. The Earth Charter is a road map – a soft-law instrument – to achieve this end. This course is for people who have an intuitive sense that all is not well with the world and are up for the challenge of imagining new paths to sustainability.
This interdisciplinary course exposes a world destined to collapse under the weight of humankind’s current practices. It draws attention to the urgency for a change in how we live, work and play. What do we value and how ethical is our conduct under current trends? The course strives to provide a comprehensive understanding of what sustainability is at the local and global levels, and how crucial sustainability is to both present and future generations around the world. What are some of the economic, environmental, ecological, philosophical and legal issues associated with moving towards sustainability? How do we vision our future? Is it our hypocrisy as individuals that contributes to the status quo? Or, are we hypocrites because “the system” makes us such? What influences do values and ethics have on our individual and collective behaviours, our institutions, and on social policy? Who derives benefits and who takes risks as we maintain the status quo? What hopeful signs are there for our collective movement towards a more sustainable future?
This course is a “light” version of an interdisciplinary, graduate-level course that Dr. Soskolne coordinated for the School of Energy and the Environment in the School of Business in the Fall term of 2008 and the Winter term of 2010. It is an update of the course taught as EL 55 in 2009. The last week will be taught by David Thompson with a focus on multiple dimensions of urban sprawl, a focus from his 2010 ELLA course. It ties into the first two weeks as we consider how we plan our cities as one needed change in the ways in which we live our lives.
Course Coordinator: Colin L. Soskolne, PhD (Epidemiology)
Professor, Department of Public Health Sciences
School of Public Health
3-266 Edmonton Clinic Health Academy
University of Alberta
04 May 2012 - "C&C provides a process for testing out new ideas." Syhstemic Governance Janet McIntyre-Mills
04 May 2012 - "C&C puts flesh on Common but Differentiated Responsibility." Politics of Climate Change, Giddens
"The Kyoto agreements have been widely dismissed - with a goodly dose of irony - as 'hot air'. Apologists for them offer several arguments in their favour by way of riposte. It has been said, for instance, that they are, above all, a learning process. In the post-2012 period, the world can come up with more universal and rigorous formulae - negotiations for a post-Kyoto regime are already under way; they began in Bali in 2007. The principle of 'common but differentiated responsibility', it is argued, provides a way forward for the world community. Contraction and convergence puts flesh on this idea. The website of the Global Commons Institute led by Aubrey Meyer, provides detailed background information" Politics of Climate Change Anthony Giddens on C&C
04 May 2012 - "C&C - among the most intriguing plans" The Rough Guide to Climate Change Robert Henson
"Among the most intriguing plans offered to date is the contraction and convergence (C&C) model developed by the Global Commons Institute, a British group headed by Aubrey Meyer. It was introduced by the Indian government in 1995 and adopted by the Africa Group of Nations in 1997 during the run-up to Kyoto. The plan has also received votes of support from the European Parliament and several UK and German advisory groups." Rough Guide to Climate Change Robert Henson on C&C
04 May 2012 - "C&C - brilliant, imaginative and simple." How We Can Save the Planet Dr Mayer Hillman
“A brilliant, imaginative and simple means of reaching such an agreement on emission reductions has been put forward. Known as Contraction and Convergence (C&C), it was first proposed by the Global Commons Institute (GCI) in the early 1990s. Recognition of its unique qualities as a framework for combating climate change has grown at an astonishing rate since that date. It is thought by an increasingly influential number of national and international institutions to be the most promising basis for global negotiations.” How We Can Save the Planet Mayer Hillman on C&C
04 May 2012 - Prof Brian Greene at TED - Great Audio-Visual on String Theory - nicely linked to music.
Physicist Brian Greene explains superstring theory, the idea that minuscule strands of energy vibrating in 11 dimensions create every particle and force in the universe.
Brian Greene is perhaps the best-known proponent of superstring theory, the idea that minuscule strands of energy vibrating in a higher dimensional space-time create every particle and force in the universe. Full bio
“Einstein comes along and says, space and time can warp and curve, that’s what gravity is. Now string theory comes along and says, yes, gravity, quantum mechanics and electromagnetism — all together in one package, but only if the universe has more dimensions than the ones that we see.” Brian Greene
Despite having been offered the chance to own a Guarneri, Einstein preferred to play a much less distinguished violin, leaving the great instruments to those whom he felt really needed their power and complexity. Towards the end of his life, as he felt facility leaving his left hand, he laid down his violin and never picked it up again. However, Einstein never lost his love for the instrument.
As he once said, “I know that the most joy in my life has come to me from my violin”.
04 May 2012 - "C&C will increase local processing in developing world." The Clash of Globalizations Ray Kiely
Each country in the world order would be allowed a certain amount of greenhouse gas emissions, and any that fell above an annual quota would have to be paid for by buying a specified amount of another country’s quota. One likely effect of this implementation of the principle of ‘contraction and convergence’ would be an increase in local processing within the developing world, as the costs of such processing would be cheapened as compared with foreign processing. Much of this processing would add value to the goods produced in the developing world.
The Clash of Globalisations Neo-Liberalism, the Third Way and Anti-Globalisation by Ray Kiely
04 May 2012 - Now on-line, 'Prosperity without Growth' 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
04 May 2012 - US Climate Sceptics step-up heat just like the Vatican stepped-up the heat on Galileo
04 May 2012 - More from Jelle Hielkema at 'Wake Up World' on Pythagoras, the partnership vibration '26' & C&C.
"In addition to the name ‘Pythagoras’ significant human ‘26’ vibrations are found in the persons of ‘Ernest Henry Shackleton’ and ‘Martin Luther King’. Furthermore, the fact that ‘Kyoto Protocol’ is an 8/26 speaks rather for itself even if that required Partnership has serious trouble to bear fruit for the short-sightedness and greed of (western and now rapidly eastern) Man!! Also the Latin expression ‘unicuique suum’ ‘To each his-her own’ is a ‘26’ and exemplifies most aptly the ‘Contraction and Convergence’ (C&C) philosophy and approach to preventing runaway climate change in a globally equitable way and which is based on Pythagorean vibrational thinking."
04 May 2012 - Daniel Barenboim talks to John Snow at SOAS about the East West Divan Orchestra
Daniel Barenboim talks to John Snow at SOAS about the East West Divan Orchestra.
The work of EWDO as a example of peaceful co-operation is deeply inspirational.
Also see more about EWDO mission and Beethoven concerts here
EWDO was a significant influence on the conception and projection of C&C as here: -
"Surviving Climate Change" Editors Mark Levene & David CromwellSouthampton University Crisis Forum
"Climate change is a pressing reality. From hurricane Katrina to melting polar ice, and from mass extinctions to increased threats to food and water security, the link between corporate globalization and planetary blowback is becoming all too evident. Governments and business keep reassuring the public they are going to fix the problem. An epochal change is called for in the way we all engage with the climate crisis.
Key to that change is Aubrey Meyer's proposed "Contraction and Convergence" framework for limiting global carbon emissions, which he outlines in this book."
From Chapter One
"Early on my interest was focused by music. By the time I was 21, I was making my living playing and writing music in Europe. Still under this influence by the age of 40, I had become a parent and also very scared by the deeply asymmetric politics of global warming and climate change. There was nowhere to escape this. I became involved in efforts to correct these trends and 20 years on I am still.
To musicians integration is everything. How music and musicians fit together, how we make the shared energy work to make music, is all about intelligent time measurement and design. Though creatively alive, music is very precise about counting. Timing and tuning to shared reference points are fundamental to the power of live music. It was not obvious to me when I was younger that principle precedes practice, and that this has both timeless stability and political relevance.
A current example of this is the East West Diwan Orchestra. It was started in 1999 by the late Edward Said and Daniel Barenboim for children of Arab and Jewish families in the conflicts of the Middle East. The young players’ attraction to music makes it possible for them to come together as equals from two sides of a conflict into the shared framework of music making. The Diwan Orchestra sets a global standard of peaceful cooperation, based on the musical principles of measuring and common reference points, and of working together despite differences, to produce something beautiful."
04 May 2012 - Oil Depletion and C&C Climate Policy set out by Ian Dunlop of ASPO Australia
Concentration Maximum Global Atmospheric Carbon Concentration
Current atmospheric carbon dioxide concentrations are around 380ppm CO2, having risen from the 190 – 280ppm range in pre-industrial times. If other greenhouse gases, such as methane and nitrous oxide, are factored in, today’s atmosphere contains the equivalent of 430ppm CO2e. Concentrations are increasing at a rate in excess of 2ppm annually, accelerating. Recent scientific analysis suggests that once atmospheric concentrations of CO2e rise into the 450-550ppm CO2e range, the risk of dangerous climate change increases rapidly.
Whilst the Stern Reviewxvii states that stabilisation at 450ppm CO2e is already almost out of reach, it also acknowledges that there is a high price to delay and significant dangers in the 450- 550ppm range.
Further, the most recent IPCC evidence, highlighting the emergence of non-linear climatic responses, strongly suggests that, Stern notwithstanding, the target for the maximum global atmospheric carbon concentration should be 450ppm CO2e.. This implies that we have barely 10 years before that maximum is reached, probably somewhat less.
It is proposed that 450ppm CO2e be adopted as the maximum acceptable global atmospheric carbon concentration and the target for global climate change policy. This implies a mean global temperature increase, relative to pre-industrial times, of 2oC (range 1-3.7oC). Of this, 0.7 oC has already occurred and a further 0.6 oC is inevitable as the climate has not yet fully responded to historic emissions.
Contraction - a Global Carbon Budget
This maximum CO2e concentration provides the basis for determining an annual global carbon emissions budget. Analysis indicates that achieving 450ppm CO2e will require the annual global emissions budget to contract from 8 GigaTonnesCarbon (GTC) at present to 3.5 GTC by 2050, a reduction of 55%. Periodic review should be provided, such that the global budget can be adjusted if scientific evidence of climate change dictates that it become more, or less, stringent.
Convergence – a National Carbon Budget
The annual global budget must then be allocated amongst nations equitably to establish national carbon budgets. The simplest, most equitable means of doing this is to converge linearly from today’s unequal per capita carbon emissions to equal per capita emissions globally by a fixed date to be negotiated. If that date is set at 2040, the implications for contraction and convergence of emission reductions from 2005 to 2050 are shown, indicatively, in Box 2. Thus Australian emissions would have to reduce by 50% by 2025 and 90% by 2050.
04 May 2012 - UNESCO 'Engineering - Issues, Challenges & Opportunities.' Picks up on Garnaut's 'Modified C&C'
Garnaut's 'Modified C&C' makes China an exception to the rule, as his hand-drawn diagram above shows.
The difficulty with this 'economic realism' is that it reverts to the mathematically
arbitrary and politically divisive model of the Kyoto Protocol. So once again, everyone becomes an exception to the convergence rule and consequently, the UNFCCC remains in the divisive negotiating nightmare of trying to be all-things to all-men as experienced at COPs 1 - 17 for the last seventeen years.
For UNFCCC-compliance, in the sequence given, negotiate the: -
overall concentration target e.g. 450 ppmv/two degrees [UNFCCC objective]
contraction-budget for global emissions consistent with that outcome [fairly simple 'science']
2 groups: over-consumers [OC] & under-consumers [|UC] against per capita average [simple arithmetic]
rate of convergencepre-distributing budget onto this average [sooner favours under-consumers and vice versa]
re-negotiate within regions re-distributing between China & India for example and between US & EU for example.
GCI feels it would facilitate policy negotiations if India and China [& others] grouped together as regions in the way for example the EU acts as a region.
If primarily guided by the above 'global-agreement', UNFCCC-negotiations would become more ‘strategic’ while the derived intra-regional negotiations would be removed from the COPs to the UNFCCC altogether.
GCI does not presume to prescribe what the rates of C&C must be.
GCI’s role is primaruily to demonstrate [quantify & visualize] linking the range of contraction-rates examined in the global ‘science-debate’ to the convergence-rates involved in the international ‘policy-debate’.
Here are two inter-active animations that are 'hueristic devices' for exploring this set of interlinked calculations: -
03 May 2012 - "C&C highlights the historical imbalance." History at the End of the World Mark Levene
The principle of Contraction and Convergence.
In seeking a route to an internationally negotiated reduction of carbon emissions to a scientifically-determined stable level founded on the principle of per capita equity, Meyer envisages a timeline in which the necessary global 'convergence' would be dependent on explicit rates of deep emissions (‘contraction') made by the high carbon-emitting countries. In other words, Meyer, in considering humanity's predicament in its totality, implicitly highlights the historical imbalance between the powerful, industrialised West and the subordinate South.
This, he argues, might only be comprehensively reconciled by a UN adjudicated process in which the West's annually diminishing entitlement to pollute would be traded in favour of the poorest (lowest carbon-emitting) countries' right to develop: that is until carbon equity- 'convergence' - is reached. The problem is one of time: and we are running out of it, fast. The science is clear that without radical deceleration of greenhouse gas emissions we are set on course for planetary disaster. Yet, for all the reams of information we now possess on climate change, the sort of social transformation necessary to meet the challenge hardly seems achievable on the basis of our current state of consciousness.
To arrive there would seem to demand something else: 'some utopian leap, some human rebirth, from Mystery to renewed imaginative life.' The words are that of social historian and activist, E.P. Thompson, not long before his death, writing of that great visionary, William Blake, who broke all the rules to imagine a new post-apocalyptic age for humankind. Should we now feel enjoined to think with Blake, with Thompson, with Meyer and all the other modern-and ancient- prophets about our full ethical potential in the world? History at the End of the World Mark Levene
03 May 2012 - "C&C one of the most popular strategies for global CO2 reductions." Turkey at the Threshold
The proposed approach here is Contraction and Convergence (C&C), one of the most popular strategies for global C02 reductions, which was conceived by the UK-based Global Commons Institute in the early 1991 for application in Intergovernmental agreements such as the Kyoto Protocol. C&C advocates measuringg national CO2 emissions on a per capita basis and contracting them to a sustainable level, for example 2 tonnes per capita by for example 2050. Turkey at the Threshold Michael Hensel, Defne Sungurogl Hensel Hulya Ertas
03 May 2012 - "The widely discussed C&C approach." Greenhouse Gas Inventories Thomas White et al Springer
The OECD's International Energy Agency formed a more pessimistic assessment, suggesting that existing commitments were heading towards 650 ppm. Frank Jotzo suggests that the Cancun commitments of others would trigger movement to minus 15 per cent in Australia within the conditional target entered at Cancun. The differences between the Garnaut Review and International Energy Agency assessments derive from different approaches to what happens after 2020. The point of difference is whether rapidly growing developing countries accept the suggestion that they should commit to reducing absolute emissions within a straightforward contraction and convergence framework once tbeir emissions per person have reached the (falling) average emissions per person of the developed countries. The Garnaut Review 2011 Australia in the global response to climate change
03 May 2012 - "C&C has most potential for acceptability." Energy Security Climate Change Era: Palgrave
One key conclusion is that since reducing the rate of emissions of GHGs is ultimately a global problem - although one whose resolution requires dispersed responses - quite a lot will almost certainly need to be done by the richer countries and richer communities to gain the collaboration of other countries and communities in addressing that challenge. A second conclusion is that rich countries will need to give up more of actual use, whilst the poorer communities and countries will need to surrender more potential growth. The conclusion of the Gamaut Report, which examines the resulting dilemma in some detail, is that to gain such collaboration there must at least be an agreed ultimate objective of moving emissions per capita to a common target. The position proposed is referred to as 'contraction and convergence'.
After canvassing a range of widely debated principles for allocation of emissions caps and reductions across the world, the Report (Garnaut, 2008, p. 202) concludes: -
"While all the approaches have strengths and weaknesses, the approach that seems to have the most potential to combine the desired levels of acceptability, perceived fairness and practicality is one based on gradual movement towards entitlements to equal per capita emissions. An approach that gives increasing weight over time to population in determining national allocations both acknowledges high emitters' positions in starting from the status quo and recognises developing countries' claims to equitable allocation of rights to the atmosphere."
03 May 2012 - "Australia well short of C&C as laid out by Ross Garnaut." Climate Change Liability: Lord QC et al
In January 2010, Australia submitted emissions reduction targets to the FCCC Secretariat in connection with the Copenhagen Accord. These involved an uncondition al pledge to cut emissions by 5 per cent on 2000 levels by 20 20, with additional reductions of up to 15 per cen t and 25 per cent contingent upon the level of action taken by other States. The 25 per cent reduction will apply if there is 'an ambitious global deal capable of stabilising levels of [GHGsj in the atmosphe re at 450 ppm CO2 equivalent or lower. The government has also committed to an emissions reduction target of at least 60 per cent below 2000 levels by 2050. Although the upper-range mid-term 2020 target follows the recommendation of the Garnaut Review, the long-term target falls well short of the 90 per cent reduction that Professor Garnaut found was consistent with a global contraction and convergence approach. Climate Change Liability
Richard Lord QC, Silke Goldberg, Lavanya Rajamani, Jutta Brunnee, Cambridge
03 May 2012 - "C&C Mechanism for Emissions Rights." Advances in Control and Communication Zeng Springer
Establish and Improve Mechanism for lnitial Allocation of Emission Rights. Carbon emissions trading is the most important issue in the initial allocation of emission rights, different distribution methods will generate different environmental and economic effects, thus affect the competitiveness of enterprises, cause a fair questions. Current international allocations of carbon emissions rights have: equal per capita allocation method and the contraction and convergence approach, allocation based on historical emissions, or based on latest data distribution and sale distribution and mixing distribution. The international allocation of carbon emissions on the distribution is both economic and also a political game: the role of each country varies.
Advances in Control and Communication
Dehuai Zeng - Springer
03 May 2012 - Sustainability Sc. Practice & Public Policy "Our Proposal an extension of C&C." Ohl et al Cornell
"In response to these circumstances, debates on sustainable consumption have recently begun to move in several new directions. Some scholars are examining the macroeconomic and political-economic context of consumption (Schor, 2005; Victor, 2008; Jackson, 2009; Cohen, 2010; Harris, 2010), the distribution of globally equitable allowances to emit greenhouse gases (McMichael et al. 2007; see also Meyer, 2000), and the notion of “de-growth” (Latouche, 2010; van Griethuysen, 2010). Other researchers are considering the prospects of transitions toward socio-technical regimes that could enable more sustainable modes of consumption (Chappells, 2008; Rohracher, 2008), the role of bounded sociotechnical experiments (Vergragt & Brown, 2007; Brown & Vergragt, 2008), and studies of social practices (Evans & Abrahamse, 2009; Røpke, 2009; Gram-Hanssen, 2010). The recent emergence of the “new economics” as a visible field is evidence that many of these threads are being woven together into a coherent paradigm (Boyle & Simms, 2009; Schor, 2010; Speth, 2010). Notably, this research is beginning to fuse with a range of social movement activity organized around localism, alternative food systems, post-automobile transportation systems, and community responses to peak oil (e.g., Hopkins, 2008; Hess, 2009; Dennis & Urry, 2009; Follett, 2009)." Individual Consumption and Systemic Societal Transformation: Introduction to the Special Issue
Maurie J. Cohen -
Graduate Program in Environmental Policy Studies,New Jersey Institute of Technology
Halina Szejnwald Brown -
Department of International Development, Community, and Environment, Clark University
Philip J. Vergragt -
Tellus Institute, Boston, USA,
Marsh Institute, Clark University, Worcester, USA
03 May 2012 - "C&C - Negotiating rate of Convergence Main Equity Lever" Science for Peace, Toronto Canada
Contraction and Convergence of per capita greenhouse emissions was first researched by Aubrey Meyer and then described by George Monbiot in Heat. Here are concise definitions of contraction and convergence from the website Global Commons Institute:
Contraction refers to the ‘full-term event’ in which the future global total of greenhouse gas [GHG] emissions from human sources is shrunk over time in a measured way to near zero-emissions within a specified time-frame. Calculating future emissions contraction, looking at concentrations and sink performance, is a non-random way of responding to the objective of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Convergence refers to the full international sharing of the emissions contraction-event, where the ‘emissions-entitlements’ for all countries result from them converging on the declining global per capita average of emissions arising under the contraction rate chosen. Converging at a rate to be agreed – the example shows 2030 – is a non-random way of responding to the principle of ‘equity’ in the UNFCCC, whilst still meeting its objective. Negotiating the rate of convergence is ‘the main equity lever’.
Judith Deutsch is the current president of Science for Peace.
Past Presidents of Science for Peace Published 2009-07-07 by Science for Peace in Home
Eric Fawcett 1981-1984
Anatol Rapoport 1984-1986
George Ignatieff 1986-1988
Tony Arrott 1988-1990
David Parnas 1990-1993
Derek Paul 1993-1995
Eric Fawcett 1995-1996
Peter Nicholls 1996-1997
Terry Gardner 1997-1998
Mel Watkins 1998-2000
Helmut Burkhardt 2000-2001
Mel Watkins 2001
Paul Hamel 2001-2004
Nancy Olivieri 2004-2006
Paul Hamel 2006-2008
02 May 2012 - "C&C a global framework for reducing GHG to combat climate change." The Corporate Greenhouse