Contraction of CO2 output is the imperative for ecological survival.
Convergence distributes available future entitlements to emit CO2 so that they are equalised on a per capita basis globally
Global Commons Institute
"GCI has devised a greenhouse gas abatement methodology based on "Equity and Survival" . We call it "Contraction and Convergence"....
"Principle without practice is useless but practice without principle is dangerous." (Old Japanese Saying)
"This means devising and implementing a programme for convergence at equitable and sustainable par values for consumption of fossil fuel on a per capita basis globally." (Indian Environment Minister - COP1)
IntroductionLimits to growth - certainly of fossil fuel consumption - must now be observed if we are to avoid this climate crisis. Until now however, the limits-free expectations encouraged by the success of laissez-faire economics have been obscuring this. It will be impossible to observe these limits unless, from now on, implementation is internationally configured in a way which corrects the skewed distribution between the rich and poor . This converts a merely moral dilemma into a moral imperative. Because everyone - regardless of status - is now increasingly vulnerable to the impacts of climate change, the rich have little choice but to share the burden of contraction fairly.
Encouraged by the growing political recognition of this imperative, GCI has devised a greenhouse gas abatement methodology based on "Equity and Survival" . We call it "Contraction and Convergence". Early results of this were published to good effect at the Second Conference of the Parties (COP2) in 1996 and these have been distributed widely since then. Subsequently, the C&C campaign has received widespread support from many quarters (see list of references). To demonstrate the procedure, an all country graphic covering the period 1860 to 2100 was compiled as a demonstration example. It shows the history of fossil fuel consumption using data from Carbon Dioxide Information Analysis Centre (CDIAC). And it also shows a future budget of suggested "CO2 Emissions Entitlements" consistent with an outcome of CO2 concentrations in the atmosphere of 450 parts per million by volume (ppmv) by the year 2100.
This is "Contraction". Contraction of CO2 output is the imperative for ecological survival. We observe that such a global consumption path is less dangerous than a path with an outcome of 550 ppmv, but do not wish to imply that we regard the 450 ppmv as being without dangers. We are already taking substantial damages at the present concentrations of around 360 ppmv.
But the budget also distributes available future entitlements to emit CO2 so that they are equalised on a per capita basis globally by - in this example - 2045, the year of the UN Centenary. This is "Convergence" and convergence is the political equity imperative. We consider that a failure to face and secure a global commitment of this kind will result in a perpetual stalemate in the international political process to the extent that the agreement and delivery of global abatement targets will become less and less possible. This view has been strongly reinforced by the snail-like progress of negotiations since COP2 and the extremely limited achievments at Kyoto.