The IPCC, UNFCCC, IGBP announcement [19 11 2013] of 250 Billion Tonne Global Carbon Budget In the light of The UK Climate Act [395 Gt C].
"For a likely chance of achieving the two degree target, societies can emit another 250 Billion Tonnes of Carbon [Gt C]."
On the 19th of November UNFCC, IPCC, IGBP, co-posted a short film summarising the Policy Makers Summary of IPCC AR5 WG1.
That UNFCC, IPCC, IGBP, group represents the top table on 'climate science and policy'. It is unprecedented for them to co-publish any 'policy statement' at all, let-alone this. That quantum [250 Gt C] is the most stringent of the carbon-budgets published in AR5: -
Their film ends with the comment affirming that global contraction budget limit to future emissions is '250 Billion Tonnes' [Gt C], if the 2 degree limit to warming is to be held. This is nearly half the budget in the UK Climate Act [395 Gt C].
Here is an image accurately comparing the 250 Gt C budget with the budget in the Act:-
It is now a widely shared and even consensus view that runaway rates of climate change are unavoidable above two degrees.
This is corroboration of advice given by GCI to EAC over the last 5 years in the face of sustained resistance from UKMO. The IPCC IGBP UNFCCC statement is more closely consistent with the advice given by GCI since 2009 to EAC's enquiries into the UK Climate Act than that given by UKMO: - here and here
"UKMO’s omission in UKCA of major feedback effects from calculation of ‘Contraction & Concentrations’ scenario & CCC giving only 44% odds for success avoiding more than a 2° temperature rise.
Emissions ‘Contraction’ should be complete globally by 2050 if, once ‘feedback effects’ are included, we are to give better than 50:50 odds for keeping within the 2° rise."
Has there ever been a better moment, to unite behind C&C - Contraction and Convergence - as the 'design tool' to inform the negotiation of the architecture and engineering of a "Bridgehead into the Future" - for all children of all species all time; seeing as Nature (and Maths) won't be fooled. And THE only time is now.
To help negotiate the climate peace deal Of all Time, Aubrey Meyer has created a Carbon Budget Analysis Tool (CBAT) freely available for all to examine and utilise until together we hit on a "deal" that is numerically sufficient, inherently fair, and altogether agreeable.
And thus give Rise to real Hope for everyone on Spaceship Earth.
To avert not just Ecocide but Extinction.
This video makes it clear we have just 250 GT carbon inaction 'sand' left in the hour glass. That's just 25 years if we smoke on, without kicking the carbon habit. 'Game Over' for the Kids, as soon as 2038?
The Global Carbon Detox of a Lifetime, for a Lifetime, CAN start TODAY. We have the technology, the analysis tool, CBAT, ("here's one Aubrey prepared earlier" just for this moment,) we've done the Maths, we're all agreed on what we need to do, and Nature won't be offering us this opportunity again, to make climate amends.
WILL YOU JOIN - in uniting behind this popular framework now - so that 7 billion people around the world can chant "The Future is C&C"
The Bridge to The Future starts Today. Can we fix it?
(Yes we can)
IF you agree with this, reader, please do everything in your power to raise awareness of C&C, of CBAT and of the WORKABLE DEAL on the table, that could make History (last a little longer)
28 November 2013 - "Future Budget 250 Billion Tonnes max for 2° " say IPCC, IGBP and UNFCCC together, here [in 366 words].
IPCC IGBP and UNFCC have chosen the toughest [i.e. the smallest] carbon budget from AR5 for two degrees.
Here they say is the IPCC AR5 WG1
Summary for Policy Makers "in 366 words."
It is significant that they choose the
smallest of the Badgets computed [resting on the unsourced 616 Gt C].
And no feedbacks etc [as Lord Hunt finally and grudgingly confirmed to APPGCC yesterday].
As this GCI document circulated yesterday to the All Party Parliamentary Group meeting shows,
the UK Climate Act is about 2 times too large [slow heavy] to keep within two degrees: -
28 November 2013 - "C&C; well received internationally; strong policy impact in UK." Swiss Government December 2012
Developing countries usually advocate a program for budget allocation proportional to population. The industrialized countries, which fear an excessive burden, prefer proportions consistent with previous levels of emissions (Grandfathering). Quantitative objectives under the Kyoto Protocol are formulated thus compared to 1990.
A compromise between the population criterion and the criterion of previous emission levels, requires that all countries whose emission levels per capita are very different, converge to a common level. The Global Commons Institute has developed a proposal for this entitled "Contraction and Convergence"
This was very well received in international negotiations and had a strong impact on policy climate of Britain.
A target of reducing emissions global greenhouse gas emissions by 90 percent through 2080 and convergence per capita emissions by 2050, the common level would fall to 0.6 tonnes éqCO2. Developing countries have even for a few years the right to increase their per capita emissions, while industrialized countries should immediately reduce theirs.
For Switzerland, spend 6.7 tonnes CO2-eq in 2009 to 0.6 tonnes CO2eq 2050 , a reduction of 0.15 tonnes CO2 eq per year. Given the probable population growth , this means reducing emissions of greenhouse gases emissions by 20 percent by 2020 compared 1990 and 90 percent by 2050.
The OcCC make recommendations on issues related to climate and climate change to the attention of the political and Administration Advisory Body on Climate Change (OCCC) is mandated.
It was created in 1996 by the Federal Department of Home Affairs (DHA) and the Federal Department of Environment, Transport, Energy and Communications (DETEC). The mandate for the creation of this body has been entrusted to the Swiss Academy of Sciences (SCNAT), which invited thirty personalities of research, economy and the Federal Government to work within this advisory body and follow this mandate by the Federal Government responsible for the Federal Office for the Environment (FOEN).
28 November 2013 - "C&C resolves moral political issue?" Chartered Institute of Insurance Centenary Report [CII 1912-2012].
There is a moral and political issue associated with demanding that certain countries reduce emissions just at a time when they are trying to catch-up with more advanced economies. One potential way of resolving this is to adopt a policy of “contraction and convergence”. Under this framework, developing countries would be allowed to grow emissions while developed countries contract theirs until the figures converge. For a discussion of this see Meyer and Crichton (Jan 2005) “Weathering the Storm”, article for Post Magazine, and CII Report (2009) “Coping with Climate Change” Future risk: Climate change and energy security – global challenges and implications
28 November 2013 - "Human influence on the climate system is clear." Sleek Movie Summary of IPCC AR5 WG1
27 November 2013 - "Rather than send everybody to jail I propose C&C" Erik Buitenhuis Transition Norwich
Some of the deaths in the Philippines are attributable to climate change, that makes all of us murderers.
Rather than send everybody to jail, I propose restorative justice: Contraction and convergence.
fasting in solidarity with climate change victims, present and future. summary:
Some of the deaths in the Philippines are attributable to climate change, that makes all of us murderers. Rather than send everybody to jail, I propose restorative justice: Contraction and convergence.
On Tuesday I learned that the climate change negotiator for the Philippines, Yeb Sano, was fasting in solidarity with the victims of Typhoon that hit the Philippines and future victims of climate change.
I immediately thought I should try and add my voice to his. Since I already have a sustainable ecological footprint (i.e. use less than one 7 billionth part of the resources that nature produces), doing more must take the form of convincing others, therefore, since Tuesday I've been fasting as well.
So, who to convince? Obviously, those who are convinced there is a climate change problem that we're causing but that predominantly others will suffer from, but who are still using more than their fair share of resources, i.e. most of the readers of resilience.org. I'm not asking you to start fasting as well. I'm asking you not to buy anything unless it's to survive. So, only buy food if it's organic, only buy clothes if you haven't got any without holes in. Pretty much everything else you can do without. I say this from six years of experience.
Give the money that you'll have left over to charities.
One of my pet peeves is people who do something for a year, write a book about it, then forget about it. Climate change is going to be with use for at least the next 7 generations. So the changes that you make need to be changes that you keep at. It's fine to experiment, and find that some things don't work for you. But do things with the intention to keep decreasing your footprint until greenhouse concentrations are going down. We're all different, it took me 8 years from the intention to the reality.
I'm talking equity here. We only have the one biosphere, and if you get/take more than your fair share, someone else will have to do without, it doesn't matter whether that someone else is alive now or still to be born, it's the same direct relationship that equates to murder. So no, I'm not trying to convince you how great it will be. There will be compensations, but all in all I think there comes a point where you have to put maximizing your own convenience in the balance against other people's right to life. For some in the Philippines it's already to late, but at least their deaths could be our call to action.
26 November 2013 - "China & India at odds with Bangladesh & Small Islands." [Bloomberg] & how C&C gets past this latest glitch.
"China and India’s success in weakening the latest global warming agreement created friction with other developing nations that are seeking to step up the fight against climate change. The two countries insisted on single-word changes for a deal at a United Nations conference involving 190 nations on Nov. 23. Instead of making “commitments” to roll back fossil fuel emissions, they signed up for “contributions,” a formulation that allows more flexibility in their action. Those last-minute revisions at a meeting that ran overtime by almost 30 hours underscored the reluctance of China and India to join in the sort of emissions cuts that the European Union is making. It puts the two largest developing nations at odds with their smaller brethren, especially island states and Bangladesh that are the most threatened by rising temperatures."
GCI does not presume to prescribe what the rates of C&C must be. GCI’s role has simply been 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’ [see here].
However, GCI feels it would certainly facilitate policy negotiations if India and China [& others] grouped together as regions in the way for example the EU acts as a region, as this would remove intra-regional negotiations from the COPs to the UNFCCC and negotiations would be more ‘strategic’.
21 November 2013 - Still the best short movie about C&C, the 'what & how', from Tangent Films
20 November 2013 - "Many support C&C." Four Degrees of Warming; Australia in a Hot World Edited by Peter Christoff
Claims about climate change, wealth and inequity are founded on the egalitarian view that individuals should have rights to an equal share of the atmosphere, sometimes termed the ‘per capita emissions rights’ principle. According to this view, the historical benefits of fossil-fuel-based economic development are inequitably distributed because clusters of individuals have appropriated more than their fair share of global emissions space. Many developing states support the idea that, at a minimum, future access to remaining emissions space should be shared on a per capita basis, using a Contraction and Convergence model that would allow them to increase or stabilize their emissions while major developed country emitters make considerable reductions, all converging at an equal per capita emissions level at some future point [Meyer 2000]. Four Degrees of Global Warming: Australia in a Hot World edited by Peter Christoff
19 November 2013 - COP-19 Warsaw; "Historical Responsibility & C&C never got a look in." Kennedy Graham NZ Green Party
Our 20 years of climate talks – for that is essentially what they are – are strewn with high-sounding phrases: Rio Earth Summit and its Framework Convention, Berlin Mandate, Kyoto Protocol, Buenos Aires Action Plan, Marrakech Accords, New Delhi Work Programme, Bali Action Plan, Copenhagen Accord, Durban Platform, Doha Gateway.
There is a chance we shall have the Warsaw Stepping-stone soon, though mercy may intervene.
Either way we shall retroactively apply a label to convey, to an increasingly fearful world, a particular flavour – a charm – to the on-going purgatorial experience that is the annual conference of the parties to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change.
For without diplomatic exegesis we shall all be astray, falling about ourselves in recrimination and concern over the fate of the planet. With annual labels we can reason our way – develop an explanatory framework – as to why it has taken the two critical decades to essentially miss the boat.
Why the sea ahead is stormy, even if we are in fact on the same boat. We actually got it right at Rio back in ’92 with the statement of global objective in the Framework Convention – stabilisation of greenhouse gases in the atmosphere at a level that will prevent dangerous anthropogenic interference with the climate system. Perhaps that was the easy part. And rich country emissions (from the North) would immediately commence reductions within the context of stabilising global emissions – thereby allowing the poor (the South) to develop ‘low-emission trajectories’ for their economic development.
The two main principles underpinning the ‘global bargain’ – common but differentiated responsibility on the one hand; and precaution on the other – would underpin the future negotiations.
But the diplomatic theory was never internalised in the political world. The US President, stepping off the plane at Rio, warned that the US lifestyle was ‘not up for negotiation’ when in fact it was, or at least its black-energy underpin certainly was. So when the Kyoto Protocol, five years later, sought to have the US and the North accept a legal obligation to cut emissions while China and the South would not, the US spat the dummy.
‘Historical responsibility’ and ‘contraction & convergence’ never got a serious look-in.
19 November 2013 - "C&C - A promising alternative." Limits to Environmental Justice; Philosphical Frontiers
An alternative to geoengineering is a so-called Contraction and Convergence scenario, in which developed countries cut their emissions, and developing countries’ slowly converge upon the reduced emissions of their more industrialized global partners, is a promising alternative. Contraction and convergence invokes an ethic of restraint, specifically, a collaborative effort by rich and poor nations to constrain their economic development for the sake of reducing greenhouse gas emissions, easing environmental burdens on the Global South and ensuring the continued survival of the human species. Dewey and Leopold on the Limits of Environmental Justice
Shane Ralston -
Pennsylvania State University-World Campus
17 November 2013 - "Ethical Issues at the Heart of COP-19 Warsaw." Professor Don Brown Widener University
The Ethical and Justice Issues At the Center of the Warsaw Climate Change Negotiations-Issue 2, Equity and National GHG Emissions Reductions Commitments in the Medium- to Long-Term
This is the third paper in a series which is looking at the ethical and justice issues entailed by the Warsaw climate change negotiating agenda. This paper looks at issue two, namely, the ethics and justice issues entailed by the need to find a global solution to climate change that includes national ghg emissions targets after 2020. The last entry looked at ethical issues entailed by the need to increase the ambition of national emissions targets before 2020 when a new climate change treaty that will be negotiated by 2015 comes into effect.
The issues of long-term national commitments to reduce ghg emissions is being negotiated in Warsaw under the Durban Platform. The Ad Hoc Working Group on the Durban Platform for Enhanced Action (ADP) is a subsidiary body of the UNFCCC that was established by a decision of the Durban COP in December 2011. The mandate of the ADP is to develop a protocol, another legal instrument, or an agreed outcome with legal force under the Convention applicable to all Parties, which is to be completed no later than 2015 in order for it to be adopted at the twenty-first session of the Conference of the Parties (COP) and for it to come into effect and be implemented from 2020. Among many other issues, the new treaty will need to take a position on several issues relating to national ghg emissions obligations after 2020.
The last entry in this series examined some of the most recent scientific evidence that has concluded that the world is rapidly running out of time to prevent dangerous climate change. The staggering magnitude of the challenge facing the international community to limit warming to 2 degrees C can be visualized by understanding the following chart that depicts three ghg emissions reductions pathways which would allow the world to stay within a specific remaining budget to achieve a specific atmospheric concentration of ghgs. As we explained in the last entry, the IPCC has in September of this year described a budget that would give the world a 66% confidence of preventing the 2 degree C warming limit which the international community has agreed upon.
Any atmospheric ghg concentration target can only state the warming that will be experienced at the concentration limited by a probability statement because there is scientific uncertainty about climate sensitivity, a term which is used to describe the warming that will be caused by different concentration of atmospheric ghgs. The level of certainty that we should seek to limit warming to a specific atmospheric concentration is itself an ethical question, not just a scientific question which often goes unexamined by the scientific community when discussing warming limits and emissions budgets to achieve warming limits.
One might ask why the budget prepared by IPCC was not based upon achieving the 2 degree C with much higher levels of certainty, a question which is not discussed in the IPCC report, yet one might speculate that IPCC’s failure to discuss a budget that would assure 100% certainty that the 2 degree C warming limit would not be exceeded was because it would leave no remaining budget for additional ghg emissions. The international community has already emitted so much CO2 that limiting warming to 2 degrees C with very high levels of certainty would mean that future emissions must be negative emissions, that is activities which remove ghg from the atmosphere while immediately ceasing ghg emissions activities.
As we have seen in the last entry, if the IPCC budget would have included all ghgs that have been emitted, it would have concluded that there remains only 269 billion tons of CO2e left to be emitted by the entire global community to stay within an emissions budget that will give a 66% confidence that the 20C warming limit would not be exceeded. Achieving the global reductions entailed by this budget is a civilization challenging problem of the highest magnitude.
The following chart prepared by the Global Commons Institute provides a visualization of the enormity of the challenge entailed by a budget of approximately 242 billion tons. This chart shows 3 different potential missions reductions pathways which will stay within the budget which differ depending upon how fast the needed emissions reductions are begun. The later global emissions peak and begin to be reduced, the steeper the emissions reductions pathways must become. This fact alone leads to the conclusion that any delay in emissions reductions has ethical significance because the steeper emission reductions are needed, the more difficult, if not impossible, it becomes to achieve the needed reductions. For this reasons, those who have been advocating for a delay in implementing a very aggressive ghg emissions policy can be understood to be engaged in ethically troublesome activities because it is alreadly likely to be too late to prevent some very serious consequences from climate change to hundreds of millions of people around the world.
This chart, being a depiction of total global emissions reductions pathway, does not attempt to display what the emissions reductions pathway in any one nation would be if equity and justice were to be taken seriously by nations. High emitting nations will need even steeper reductions in global missions than those depicted in the above chart. If there is any hope of achieving the global emotions needed to limit warming to 2°C, as we explained in the last entry in the series, nations will need to limit their emissions based upon equity. Yet, equity-based emissions for high emitting developed countries will lead to an even greater challenge for high emitting nations. The following chart, also prepared by the Global Commons Institute, depicts what the US share of total global missions must be if United States were to agree on a per capita allocation of the remaining global budget to satisfy its clear obligations to take equity into account although this chart would change depending upon when nations would agree on equal per capita shares and when global emissions peaked. Nevertheless it is helpful to demonstrate the enormity of the challenge entailed by the undeniable need to take equity into account by depicting the consequences for one nation as this chart does.
This chart uniquely shows why the United States and other high-emitting nations likely do not want to discuss “equity” in the Warsaw climate negotiations. If United States and other high-emitting nations were to take seriously its obligation to reduce its emissions based upon equity or distributive justice, such a decision would create an enormous challenge for them. And so, it would appear that the United States and several other developed countries have entered the Warsaw negotiations as if they can ignore the equity and justice issues while justifying their national ghg reductions commitments ultimately on the basis of national economic interest.
However, emissions reductions commitments based upon national economic interest can not be understood to satisfy any reasonable definition of equity or plausible formula for distributive justice.
Distributive justice does not require that all parties be treated equally. But distributive justice does require that parties who want to be treated differently justify their different treatment on the basis of morally relevant criteria. For instance, according to theories of distributive justice, I cannot justify my desire for more food on the basis that I have blue eyes. The color of my eyes it not a relevant basis for unequal treatment when it comes to food distribution. For the same reason, a justification for national ghg emissions reduction target commitments based upon national economic interest alone that does not consider global responsibilities does not pass minimum ethical scrutiny. It is totally ethically bankrupt.
Many commentators on the “equity” issue arising in international climate negotiations dismiss any plea for “equitable” allocations on the basis that because different people reach different conclusions about what equity requires the search for an equitable global solution to climate change should be abandoned. For instance it has been reported that the United States has resisted discussing equity on the basis that there is no objective way of determining what equity requires.
Yet the fact that different people reach different conclusions about what equity means does not mean that all opinions about what acting equity means or entitled to respect. As we’ve seen, theories of distributive justice require that people want to be treated differently identify morally relevant criteria for being treated differently. As we have seen, the color of my eyes is not a morally relevant criteria were being treated differently. Similarly my race is not a morally relevant justification for giving me the right to vote above others.
The world urgently needs a deeper conversation about equity and justice and national climate change policies.
To move the equity debate along, nations should be required to specify specifically how their emissions reductions commitments deal with both the enormity of the challenge entailed by the global emissions budget identified by the IPCC and how their emissions reductions target specifically can be justified on the basis of equity and justice.
Although reasonable people may disagree on what equity and justice may require of any national ghg emission reduction commitment, there are only a few considerations that are arguably morally relevant to national climate targets. This entry will end with the identification of a few equity frameworks that have received serious attention in the international community. It is important to stress, however, that although there is some legitimate disagreement about which of these formats to follow in international negotiations, almost all national emissions reductions commitments of large emitting countries fail to pass any reasonable ethical scrutiny. In discussing equity and the distributive justice of national commitments, the relevant criteria for being treated differently that have been recognized by serious participants in the debate about equity include: (A) per capita considerations, (B) historical considerations, (C) luxury versus necessity emissions, (D) economic capacity of nations for reductions, (E) levels of economic development, and (E) and combinations of these factors.
The fact that reasonable people may disagree about the importance of each one of these criteria does not mean that anything goes as a matter of ethics and justice. In addition, the positions actually been taken by nations on these issues in the negotiations utterly fail any reasonable ethical scrutiny. For this reason, concerned citizens of the world should focus heavily on the obvious injustice of national positions on these issues rather than worrying about what perfect justice requires.
In addition, in all probability, a global framework for equity would include some forward looking considerations including per capita considerations and backward looking considerations such as historical responsibility from a specific date, modified by certain economic considerations including economic ability to respond rapidly and perhaps differences between necessity emissions and luxury emissions.
We would stress, it is not as necessary to get immediate agreement on the final framework as it is to achieve a wider understanding of the utter failure of national commitments thus far to deal with the equity and justice issues. Along this line each nation should be asked to answer a series of questions about their commitments which include:
A. What specifically is the quantitative relevance of your emission reduction commitment to a global ghg emissions budget to keep warming below the 2°C warming target. In other words how does your emissions reduction commitment in combination with others achieve an acceptable ghg atmospheric concentration that limits warming to 20C.
B. What is the atmospheric ghg concentration level that your target in combination with others is aiming to achieve?
C. How specifically does your national commitment take into consideration your nation’s undeniable obligation under the UNFCCC to base your national climate change policy on the basis of “equity.” How have you operationalized equity?
D. What part of your target was based upon “equity.”
E. Are you denying that nations have a duty under international law to assure that:
the “polluter pays,”
nations have a duty to assure that citizens in their country not harm other people outside their national jurisdiction,
nations should have applied the precautionary approach to climate change policy since 1992 when the UNFCCC was adopted?
F. How does your national ghg target commitment respond to these settled principles of international law?
As we have noted, citizes of the world need to increase international understanding of the failure of nations to respond to equity and distributive justice. The following equitable framework formats are among others in serious discussion in international climate negotiations about what “equity” requires. However, as we have argued, it is more important in this moment in history to achieve a higher level of understanding of the utter injustice of national ghg emissions commitments than it is to get agreement on what perfect justice requires. This is particularly because, the international media, for the most part, is utterly failing to cover the obvious ethical unacceptability of most national commitments on climate change.
Contraction and Convergence (C&C) is a proposed global framework for reducing greenhouse gas emissions to combat climate change. Conceived by the Global Commons Institute [GCI] in the early 1990s, the Contraction and Convergence strategy consists of reducing overall emissions of greenhouse gases to a safe level (contraction), resulting from every country bringing its emissions per capita to a level which is equal for all countries (convergence). It is intended to form the basis of an international agreement which will reduce carbon dioxide emissions to avoid dangerous climate change, carbon dioxide being the gas that is primarily responsible for changes in the greenhouse effect on Earth. C&C does not require immediate per capita emissions per country but allows a later convergence on capita allocations to deal with other equitable considerations.
Greenhouse Development Rights is a framework wherein the burdens for supporting both mitigation and adaptation are shared among countries in proportion to their economic capacity and responsibility. GDRs seeks to transparently calculate national “fair shares” in the costs of an emergency global climate mobilization, in a manner that takes explicit account of the fact that, as things now stand, global political and economic life is divided along both North/South and rich/poor lines.
Equity in the Greenhouse, South-North dialogue is a global “multi-stage approach,” based on principles of: responsibility; capability; mitigation potential; right to development.
Brazilian Historic Responsibility is based primarily on historic responsibility for emissions: developed countries are each allocated emissions cuts based on the total contribution of their historic emissions (going back to 1800s) to the current global temperature increase.
Oxfam has proposed an approach, subsequently supported by various other NGOs, that uses a calculated responsibility and capability index to allocate an overall developed country target of 40%, and allows for a climate finance budget of $150bn to be allocated using the same method. Developing countries individual need for financing is assessed in line with available economic capability, taking into account intra-national inequality, and hence climate finance is provided on a sliding scale (below a minimum ‘available capability threshold’).
The EU has (e.g. EU Commission Proposal of 2009) suggested a method for distributing targets amongst Annex 1 countries that includes starting with an overall target for Annex 1 countries of 30% below 1990 levels by 2020 and allocating this target on the following basis: GDP per capita, addressing the capacity to pay for emission reduction within a country and through the global carbon market [capacity]; GHG per GDP, addressing the opportunities to reduce GHG emissions within one economy [capacity/mitigation potential]; Change of GHG emissions between 1990 and 2005, rewarding early action by developed countries to reduce emissions [reward early action/recognize latent mitigation potential]; Population trends over the period 1990 – 2005, recognizing different population trends between countries and as such different pressures on the projected emission evolution [equal rights to pollute]
There is a need to turn up the volume on the ethical dimensions of climate change for many reasons including the fact that ethically dubious positions of nations are being hidden in self-interested arguments made in opposition to climate change policies and there is no hope of meeting the 2 degree C warming target without a serious national response based upon equity.
One need not seek agreement on what ethics requires to get traction on ethical issues because most opposition to action on climate change fails to survive minimum ethical scrutiny. The key is to spot the injustice of positions not on getting agreement on what justice requires.
The longer the world waits to develop a global approach to climate change, the more central the ethics questions become about the most contentious issues in consideration.
Donald A. Brown
Scholar In Residence and Professor
Widener University School of Law
Visting Professor, Nagoya University,
Nanjing University of Information Science and Technology
16 November 2013 - "Nature's laws dictated by the requirements of symmetry." The Equation that Couldn't be Solved. Mario Livio
"Oddly enough, in spite of his incredible intuition and deep insights in physics, Einstein's attitude toward pure mathematics was at first rather lukewarm. As a student in Zurich, his less-than-perfect attendance in the math classes of mathematician Hermann Minkowski (I864-1909) gained him the title ‘lazy dog.‘ Through an ironic twist of history, once Einstein published his theory of special relativity, it was none other than Minkowski himself who used symmetry to put the theory on a ﬁrm mathematical basis. Minkowski showed that space and time may be ‘rotated’ as a four-dimensional entity, just as a sphere can be rotated in three-dimensional space. More important, in the same way that a sphere is symmetric (i.e., it does not change) under rotation through any angle about any axis, Einstein's special relativity equations are symmetric (‘covariant‘ in the physics lingo) under these space-time rotations. This remarkable symmetry of the equations has become known as Lorentz covariance, after the Dutch physicist Hendrik Antoon Lorentz (I853-1928), who ﬁrst described these transformations in 1904.
You will probably not be too surprised to hear that the collection of all the symmetry transformations of the Minkowski space-time forms a group, similar to the group of ordinary rotations and translations in three dimensions. This group is known as the Poincare group, after the outstanding French mathematician who reﬁned the mathematical basis of special relativity. Suspicious at ﬁrst (‘ever since the mathematicians have invaded the relativity theory, I myself no longer understand it‘), Einstein slowly began to grasp the incredible power of symmetry.
lf the laws of nature are to remain unchanged for moving observers, not only do the equations describing these laws need to obey Lorentz covariance, the laws themselves may actually be deduced from the requirements of symmetry.
This profound realization has literally reversed the logical process that Einstein (and many of the physicists who followed him) employed to formulate the laws of nature. Instead of starting with a huge collection of experimental and observational facts about nature, formulating a theory, and then checking whether the theory obeys some symmetry principles, Einstein realized that the symmetry requirements may come ﬁrst and dictate the laws nature has to obey."
Perfect . . . .
16 November 2013 - "Mother: Caring for 7 Billion." Skillful, compassionate treatment of population & consumption patterns.
A skillful, intelligent, tactful, sensitive, caring & compassionate treatment of 'difficult' themes.
Well done Mother
13 November 2013 - DECC letter states, "RCP 8.5 a RELATIVELY MODEST increase." Really? . . . the scenario that goes to 12°
This DECC official [Ross Lewis from their 'Correspondence Unit', or whoever really wrote that letter] asserts that even RCP 8.5 [now published in IPCC AR5] has a 'relatively modest' GHG release from Permafrost Melt during the Century to 2100. But we end up in 2100 at well over 1000 ppmv and irreversibly opn-track for a 12 Degree Celsius temperature rise because of that.
13 November 2013 - "The climate crisis is madness. We need an emergency climate pathway." Philippine Head of Delegation statement to COP 19 read in New Zealand Parliament by New Zealand Green Party Co-Leader.
12 November 2013 - "WGBU recommends rapid integration of all states in C&C regime." Fighting Poverty per Environmental Policy
Given that negotiations on future commiment periods have not yet begun, estimates of potential financial transfers generated by emissions trading can only be hypothetical. WBGU has proposed committing all countries to limit their emissions and participate in emissions trading in the future in line with the contraction and convergence approach (WBGU, 2004). According to model calculations by WBGU, emissions trading would result in cumulative transfer payments of US$8,000,000 million to 12,000,000 million from OECD and transition countries to developing countries in the period up to 2100. This corresponds to annual average transfers of USS84,000 million to 128,000 million — whereby actual annual transfers are subject to considerable variation over time. These payments would make a significant contribution towards meeting the costs of emission reductions in developing countries (WBGU, 2003). For the upcoming negotiations WBGU recommends pushing for a rapid integration of all countries in a regime based on contraction and convergence to help mobilize the necessary funds in this way. World in Transition WBGU 
12 November 2015 - "Climate Change Could Bankrupt Us by 2065" CGNU Boss Dlugolecki tells UNEPFI at COP-6 2000 The Hague
Climate Change Could Bankrupt Us by 2065
THE HAGUE, The Netherlands, November 24, 2000 (ENS) - The sixth largest insurance company has warned that damage to property due to global warming could bankrupt the world by 2065. Dr. Andrew Dlugolecki, director of general insurance development at CGNU, told delegates attending the international climate change summit in The Hague that the rate of damage caused by changing weather will exceed the world's wealth.
CGNU is a top five European life insurer and the United Kingdom's largest insurance group.
"Property damage is rising very rapidly, at something like 10 percent a year," he told a briefing at the 6th Conference of Parties (COP 6) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change, yesterday.
"We've still not yet really begun to see the effects of climate change in the West. What we are seeing so far is largely the result of more people living in areas which are becoming more dangerous. But once this thing begins to happen, it will accelerate extremely rapidly, as the IPCC report makes clear."
Dlugolecki contributed to a Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) report due out next year. The IPCC consists of more than 2,500 scientists from around the world, and its first assessment report in 1990 was used as the basis for negotiating the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change (UNFCCC).
Dlugolecki said that the current rate of growth of damage of 10 percent a year will exceed Gross Domestic Product by 2065. He added that the insurance industry was in danger of "running out of money," to deal with the disasters.
"This stark warning must help focus the minds of everyone sitting round the negotiation table at the climate summit," said Mark Johnston of Friends of the Earth. "We've all seen the storm warnings, now we are being told the financial forecast. These talks must not fail to produce a deal that will prevent future climate chaos."
Dlugolecki proposes a more radical approach to climate change than is being discussed at COP 6. The concept, known as contraction and convergence, has long been promoted by the London based group the Global Commons Institute (GCI).
GCI describes itself as an independent group of people whose aim is the protection of the "Global Commons." It fears the world may be driven beyond the threshold of ecological stability by the relentless pursuit of economic growth.
The 10 year old group has proposed a contraction and convergence framework under which all countries are allocated tradable quotas of a global emissions budget. As the global budget contracts the distribution between countries gradually converges, reaching equal per-capita levels.
Put simply, carbon dioxide and other greenhouse gases caused by human activity must be cut drastically, but every country should have an equal right to use the fuels which emit carbon. Huge cuts in emissions from developed nations should allow a corresponding emissions rise from developing countries.
"If Contraction and Convergence is adopted as the tool for managing CO2 and other greenhouse gases, there will be a transition to a point (convergence) where future entitlements to emit will have become proportional to population," says GCI on its website
In projections, GCI suggests 2045 will be the year of convergance. It says population forecasts could become critical and be the subject of negotiation. "However, it could be counterproductive to create an incentive for countries to increase their share of the global emissions budget through population growth," says CGI.
"We suggest that a starting position should be that Annex One countries are treated as stable from 2000 forward, and that non-Annex One countries are treated as stable from the Convergence year (2045) forward."
Annex One countries are the 38 industrialized countries, plus the European Union, committed to making cuts in greenhouse gas emissions under the 1997 Kyoto Protocol.
The vertical slider in CBAT will sweep the climate-damages curve through this potential footprint [as shown in this CBAT Domain 4 dummy].
The higher the concentrations chosen, the higher the curve of climate-damages will go.
Climate damages is clearly the 'most-sensitive-indicator' in the whole 4-Domain CBAT suite.
Unless we act - and the UNFCCC negotiates - in a C&C-coordinated way now [CBAT Domains 1 & 2 - Low Budget - Screen-Live example and below] to prevent these acceleration curves taking hold and causing the system to runaway out of control, Dlugolecki's predictions of global bankruptcy will become not inconvenient but unavoidable truths.
07 November 2013 - People let the Climate Change Committee get away with this - Why? IPCC AR5 figues show UKCA too weak.
Committee on Climate Change says IPCC report means no change to carbon budget
07 Nov 2013
The UK Committee on Climate Change (CCC) has issued a statement saying there is "no legal or economic basis" for loosening the UK's commitments. The government advisor appears to be readying for a fight with the Treasury: the Chancellor, who is due to announce this year's autumn statement in a few weeks, and who has previously indicated he wants to relax limits on emissions.
07 November 2013 - "Why campaigning on climate is difficult." Chris Rose Greenpeace Campaign Strategist
Some reactions to the C&C campaign over the last twenty years . . . .
05 November 2013 - “The Carbon Emissions Budget”. Emissions Gap Report 2013 UNEP
The CARBON BUDGET
The transient climate response to cumulative carbon emissions is a measure of temperature rise per unit of cumulative carbon emissions, and has not been previously reported in an IPCC assessment. The implication of this concept is that global average temperature can only be kept to a certain value if cumulative carbon dioxide emissions do not exceed a maximum amount, or budget, over time.
This is called the “carbon emissions budget”.
The idea of a budget is that if emissions are high now, then they have to be lower later. In general, the budget total cannot be exceeded. If it were exceeded, carbon would have to be subsequently removed from the atmosphere so that emissions returned to within budget limits. Conversely, if emissions were lower at the beginning, then they can be somewhat higher later. Thus, different emission pathways staying within the same budget will meet the same temperature target. This explains the trade-off between early and late emission reductions. UNEP’s emissions gap reports explore these trade-offs by taking into account many important factors that influence emission trends. The EMISSIONS GAP 2013 UNEP
05 November 2013 - Yvo de Boer - Mutually Assisted Suicide? - "We must remain optimistic." C Hedegaard EU Commissioner
SDC - it used to mean 'Sustainable Development Commission' - is it now becoming the 'Self-Deception Collective'?
Here's a round-up of recent statements by prominent people who've been leading the negotiations on changing the climate . . .
“There is nothing that can be agreed in 2015 that would be consistent with the 2 degrees. The only way that a 2015 agreement can achieve a 2-degree goal is to shut down the whole global economy.”
Yvo de Boer, who was UNFCCC executive secretary in 2009
“Rigidity is a potential roadblock. A system of strict rules and compliance might sound good on paper.
It would almost certainly depress the ambition of commitments and limit participation by countries.
The only way to broaden participation is to ensure that any new deal is flexible enough to facilitate negotiations as countries determine for themselves what commitments they would make. At the same time, those pledges must be clearly defined and subject to international review to promote ambition.”
Todd Stern. Special Envoy on Climate ChangeUSA
"The scarcity on budget for global carbon emissions raises serious conflicts about how to share the budget between Annex 1 and Non-Annex 1 countries. Given the global emission budget, increases in one country’s emissions can only be achieved at the expense of emissions from other countries (i.e. a zero-sum game). Developed countries, with 20% of global population, have already completed the industrialization phase through a period of high fossil fuel and resources consumptions. For the remaining 80% of global population, going through the industrialization phase in the same way as the developed countries will certainly generate GHG well exceeding this budget.
Ultimately, a relatively lower starting point with higher temperature will achieve the well acclaimed 2°C or below target. The second is to provide a practical policy initiative - a new two-track approach to facilitate this strategic transformation. Starting from a less ambitious but legally binding UNFCCC emission target, plus a voluntary Green Growth Club approach, we have made a case that this new two-track approach could face far less resistance from individual countries in international negotiations and could establish a mechanism of triggering green growth.
This could in turn encourage individual countries to take decisive early actions to mitigate. With sufficient local benefits emerging – and the theoretical research and amounting evidences have shown so, more and more counties will then voluntarily join the Green Growth Club. Ultimately, a relatively lower starting point with higher temperature will achieve the well acclaimed 2°C or below target."
Zongsheng Zhang. Development Research Council Government [DRC] of China
"There are strong practical reasons for not basing the negotiations on allocations of future emissions to nations. It treats carbon budgets as though it is a zero sum game, and would presume that there is no advance in technology [to reduce emissions]. We have made tremendous advances in the past ten years."
However, Ms Figueres became tearful when she reflected on the impact that climate change might have on coming generations.
"I'm committed to climate change because of future generations; it is not about us, right? We're out of here. I just feel that it is so completely unfair and immoral what we are doing to future generations, we are condemning them before they are even born. We have a choice about it, that's the point, we have a choice. If it were inevitable then so be it, but we have a choice to change the future we are going to give our children."
Christiana Figueres. UNFCCC Executive Secretary
In the face of all of this, one wonders if they will preside over 'no-climate-deal-in-2015' and complete the process of Mutually Assisted Suicide now underway?
“We must remain optimistic,” said: -
Connie Hedegaard European Commissioner [when asked recently if there was any way to reverse the melting of the Arctic].
05 November 2013 - "We introduce you to CBAT, the Carbon Budget Analysis Tool." GAIAN Economics Molly Scott Cato UKGP
4 November 2013 A New Carbon Budgeting Tool
In the light of our positive attention to 'Contraction and Convergence' we introduce you to CBAT, the 'Carbon Budget Analysis Tool'.
CBAT is the latest phase of C&C development: and is intended to be useful now that - following the IPCC's Fifth Progress Report (AR5) - 'carbon-budgeting' seems finally to be on the agenda.
For example, the analysis tool quickly shows the IPCC AR5 Contraction-to-Concentrations results as a result of the UK Climate Act (UKCA). This particular piece of analysis shows the emissions-budget-integral in the UK Climate Act is either: -
[a] twice too much (and that's without the feedbacks) or
[b] just a third too much or
[c] just right
This really gives one something to chew on over regarding IPCC's stated '1,000 Gt C' maximum for two degrees! Its also interesting to see/play that combined that with contraction-convergence-rates CBAT Domain Two. CBAT Domain Two perhaps explains why the prescribed global convergence date of 2050 in the UKCA was so inflammatory at COP-15. The convergence to equality by 2050 in the UKCA was something of a fig-leaf and using CBAT D2 animation quickly shows that. Its quite an eye-opener i.e. convergence by the time 80% of the budget has been used up makes no real difference at all.
GCI has always modelled that convergence for any rate of global emissions contraction should be at a negotiated in the light of 'historic responsibilities'. Subject to the UNFCCC-compliance rates of Contraction and Concentrations in D1, the animation D2 clearly shows the maths sub-division of this.
The CBAT is open to consultation and amendment so please take some time to look at it and comment on it. So far some others have and said supportive things, which is encouraging and which are available here.
01 November 2013 - "I propose a kind of Contraction & Convergence policy." Advances in Global Warming Research A Acton
By a News Reporter-Staff News Editor at The Business of Global Warming
Investigators discuss new ﬁndings in Environmental Ethics. According to news reporting originating from Linkoping, Sweden, by Vertical News editors, the research stated: -
“In this paper, I investigate the ethical problem of mitigation of climate change, to the extent this change is caused by animal production. First, I give an overview of various views of the nature and scale of the impact of animal production on climate change: the life cycle model, the complex impact model and the additional emissions model.”
Um news editors obtained a quote from the research from Linkoping University: -
“Second, I analyse various approaches to mitigation of climate change to the extent it is caused by animal production, such as different technological solutions and more or less radical proposals for reduction of livestock numbers. Third, I carry out a preliminary investigation of ethical aspects to be taken into consideration in assessing the mitigation approaches: intergenerational justice, intra-generational justice, animal welfare, potential, and Feasibility.”
According to the news editors, the research concluded: -
“Finally, I propose a kind of Contraction and Convergence policy i.e., a policy of 'reducing meat consumption to a certain level in developed countries while allowing people in developing countries to increase their consumption up to this level.”