Carbon Emissions Are Steadily Increasing and Governments Have No Effective Solutions in Sight

By Sarah Beaver, Simpol supporter and blogger.

According to the IEA (International Energy Agency), the prevention of a temperature rise of more than 2 degrees Celsius is very unlikely to happen, considering the increasing greenhouse gas emissions over the last year. This increase has been mostly caused by burning fossil fuel. According to Professor Lord Stern (London School of Economics), this increase in emissions and the unlikelihood of remaining below 2 degrees, indicates that emissions are now again almost the same as they used to be.

This clearly shows that governments cannot implement effective policies to reduce carbon emissions; otherwise they would have done so already! The problem is that they are powerless to do so, because if they would, this would mean economic loss and would cause a country to become internationally uncompetitive.

In yet another article regarding increasing emissions, the Guardian writes about the link between increased GDP and energy use, and how the gap between rich and poor needs to be reduced by a major transfer of wealth in order to achieve effective emission changes.

The Guardian has rightly stated that all nations (developed or developing) are united in the threat of carbon emissions and climate change. It looks like the message, in the face of global catastrophe, is slowly but finally slipping through. The richest countries who have made their wealth through industry which is based on fossil-fuel, are most likely wanting to make a change (because opposed to other countries they don’t have to worry about things such as improving living standards etc.) but just as developing countries aren’t likely to make the change because they have other things to worry about, developed countries can’t make the change in the face of global economic competition.

If they are so dependent on wealth through production, cutting carbon emissions, would mean businesses moving to other countries, and them losing out, experiencing decreased GDP – and in turn less energy use. This clearly shows the powerful link between GDP and energy use, and how only a change in the contribution of wealth will be able to achieve efficient emission regulations.

As a solution, the Guardian gives:

Put starkly, it is nothing less than using the engine of the world economy, energy, to tackle the world’s poverty. It could be done by agreeing binding, global goals for cash and carbon: a top-down approach. But that would require unprecedented political leadership.”

As a Simpol Supporter, I believe that the only effective solution would be a GLOBAL policy, which would not require unprecedented leadership. Unprecedented leadership will most likely not happen since corporate lobbyists are in control of political leaders because corporations fund political parties, and own money as well as the media.

I believe that in order to achieve global goals (i.e. saving our earth), we need global policies, implemented in every country simultaneously so that no country will have to worry about becoming economically uncompetitive.

One of these policies could be Contraction and Convergence which would solve the problematic link of GDP and carbon emissions, which detains developing countries from wanting to focus on climate change solutions. Contraction and Conversion proposes for all governments to make a binding agreement how to distribute the global cap (estimation of how much more of the fossil fuels can be burnt without causing harm) across all countries, and to allocate an emissions quota for each country based on how much they are consuming at the moment. In this way, over time, each country would have equal rights to the resources of the earth.

In order to achieve global goals through global policies, the same political leadership can be maintained. The only thing needed is a driving force, a change within the system coming from bottom-up. This is Simpol’s aim. Driving governments to work together to solve global problems. This drive will be peaceful, simultaneous and truly democratic. All that needs to be done is for each individual to adopt Simpol, and to ask their MP to sign the Simpol Pledge, and letting them know that they will only be voting for MPs who have adopted it. In this way politicians and governments will be driven to cooperate with other countries, and eventually the whole world, to solve global problems. The power will come from the people and will eventually also give power to governments, taking it out of the hands of corporations.

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22 thoughts on “Carbon Emissions Are Steadily Increasing and Governments Have No Effective Solutions in Sight

  1. Hi there,

    It was you that proposed C&C for Simpol, was it not? Good to see you here. 🙂

    At any rate, C&C remains on the Simpol policy agenda and has been consistently approved by Simpol supporters. We believe that a simultaneous policy apporach to C&C is the approach most likely to bring it to fruition globally.

  2. The US refusal to endorse the Kyoto Protocol from 1997 to the present day was – yes – precisely because what they called ‘globality’ [all countries in] and what you have said here in other words around ‘simultaneity’, was not being observed or even contemplated with the Kyoto Protocol.

    Full-term C&C resolved that with ‘simultaneity’ [simultaneous over time and space] and it was widely supported at Kyoto: –
    http://www.gci.org.uk/COP3_Transcript.pdf

    and has been even more so since then: – http://www.gci.org.uk/endorsements.html

    However, negotiations at the UNFCCC have been completely poisoned by the ‘politics of blame’ with recriminations and demands for ‘reparations’ as a parody of the ‘Versailles Treaty’. It is no secret that VT led to Fascism and WWII.

    The ‘Climate-Action’ NGOs now of [can’t] ‘Stop Climate Chaos’ engendered this model of politics in the 1990s and it continues to fester to this day. So, with their continued yet wholly unexplained campaign against C&C, they are significantly responsible for this. Could it be because the US supported C&C at COP-3? http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcomment/charlesclover/3302927/Earthlog.html

    It is already certain that COP-17 in December when the KP expires, will for these same reasons, end in failure too.

    SIMPOL says: – “We believe that a simultaneous policy approach to C&C is the approach most likely to bring it to fruition globally.”

    Perhaps obviously, I agree with you. But the above gives you a hint of what you’re up against by supporting C&C. The ENGOs now say they support Greenhouse Development Rights. These require *negative emissions entitlement* for the US after 2029 in exchange for the futile rhetoric of no commitements for Developing Countries and a blank cheque for reparations to them as well: –
    http://www.gci.org.uk/public/COP_15_C&C.swf

    • When you refer to stop climate chaos I take it you are talking about this coalition: http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/?gclid=CILnjNL7lKkCFUQOfAodcUmCcg.

      Is that correct?

      Simpol is, as an organisation, a member of that coalition. We joined with the intention of allowing coalition members to globalise their concerns and campaigns. I must confess I am mystified as to why they would reject a proposal as eminently sensible as C&C…

      Perhaps I will invite them to respond…

  3. I emailed Stop Climate Chaos Central Office to offer them the chance to reply. Their response was as follows:

    “Different members of the Stop Climate Chaos Coalition support different frameworks for achieving a just and socially equitable climate agreement, including ‘Contraction and Convergence’ and ‘Greenhouse Development Rights’. But whatever the precise framework agreed by the international community, they must be based clearly on principles of justice and equity,
    for this and future generations.”

    “We’re certainly not against it… we just don’t actively campaign on it.”

    http://www.stopclimatechaos.org/scc_advocacy_platform_2010-11.pdf

  4. Many people including myself, welcome the support for C&C that comes from some members of Stop Climate Chaos [SCC].

    However, as a ‘coalition’ SCC doesn’t actively campaign on anything other than ‘climate-awareness’, precisely because [as their comment shows] the coalition can’t agree on anything other than the need for more ‘climate-awareness’.

    That’s fine. However, this SCC comment is rather disingenuous as their core members [the corporate NGOs who try and control it – Greenpeace, Friends of the Earth, RSPB, and WWF joined now by the likes of OXFAM] explicitly do and ‘simultaneously’ campaign for inadequate proposals like the Kyoto Protocol, and now for the even more divisive and hopeless proposals like GDRs. That said, throughout all the years since 1996 until now they have campaigned against unifying proposals like C&C and they show no signs of letting up in spite of the substantial support for C&C: –
    http://www.gci.org.uk/endorsements.html

    Even the Daily Telegraph commented critically on this a while back: –
    http://www.telegraph.co.uk/earth/earthcomment/charlesclover/3302927/Earthlog.html

    Perhaps these Corporate NGOs are prepared to recognise and disavow the sheer lunacy of arguing for *negative emissions entitlements” for the US as espoused in the GDR campaign. If UNFCCC-compliance is their mission, that would be a move in the right direction . However, if it isn’t, they have no place lobbying at the UNFCCC and their mission there so far considerably helps to explain the on-going and worsening political failure in that arena.

    • I am intending to contact those corporate NGOs to ask them for their position on this. I will invite them to respond directly here but, assuming that they probably won’t do that, I will repost any response here.

  5. We are building a new interactive Simpol-UK website whereby people around the world will be able to suggest, discuss and approve Simpol’s global policies. Also, using the Simpol’s voting tool people will be able to instantly drive their MPs (and candidates at election time) to co-operate globally implement their policies. Presently, C & C is popular among supporters. When the new website gets launched we expect many, many people to take part. Can we make it in time to avert the worst affects of climate change? Who knows, but I wouldn’t leave it to fate if I were you. So sign up as a Simpol supporter, take luck out of the equation and make it happen.

  6. Sarah – its appropriate for you to have asked the corporate NGOs for their response. As Barnaby says, C&C is popular among SIMPOL s’ supporters. As you say, SIMPOL is a member of the ‘Stop Climate Chaos Coalition’.

    The corporate NGO’s don’t ‘own’ SCCC and many people would welcome a response and especially a change of attitude from those organisations, in favour of C&C.

    Is this forthcoming?

    News today from UNFCCC negotiations in Bonn predicts ‘no global climate deal will agreed by COP-17 in December this year, when the ‘Kyoto Protocol expires. So the prolonged North/South climate-stand-off now approaches an ‘event-horizon’, the other side of which is the ‘black-hole’ of unstoppable rates of climate change.

    Advocacy of the ‘extreme’ GDR arguments considerably explains this stand-off and the coporate NGOs that back them bear some resonsibility for enuring – rather than stopping – climate chaos.

    • Hi Aubrey,

      First off an apology and a slight correction. Although Sarah wrote this article I am not her. My name is Mark (some of the other articles on here were written by me and I run the blog itself).

      I have emailed FoE, Greenpeace, RSPB and OXFAM. I have only emailed them in the last couple of days so have received no response as yet. If I do get responses I will most certainly post them here (although I have also given the NGOs the link to this thread, I think it perhaps unlikely they will post directly).

  7. Hi Mark

    Thanks for the clarification.

    I wonder whether the corporate NGOs will respond to you. SInce they are the organising caucus of the ‘Stop Climate Chaos’, of which SIMPOL is a member, one would have thought that they would respond to you.

    What is certain is that while their present efforts to make climate change policy a function of justice is laudable, a global solution will only emerge from making justice a function of UNFCCC-compliance.

    This is a subtle but *crucial* distinction that appears not yet to have been grasped. The objective of the UNFCCC requires global-compliance to mean anything and that is the ‘ends’ to which ‘global climate policy’ and ‘international-justice’ is the means. In a disciplined and numerate process, while the ends justify the means, the means do not trump the ends.

    Efforts to reverse that amount to ecological blackmail and will take us over the event-horizon described above in what Ban Ki Moon now calls ‘a global suicide pact’.

  8. Dear Mark

    While waiting for any response from the corporate ENGOs, you may care to have a look at GCI’s analysis of the ‘ocean-CO2-acidification’ trends presented by HMG as part of the “UK Climate Act” [and its emissions:concentrations prescription ‘2016 4% Low’]: –
    http://www.gci.org.uk/acidification.html

    Its not reassuring at all.

    Cheers

    Aubrey

  9. Dear Mark

    While waiting for any response from the corporate ENGOs, you may care to have a look at GCI’s analysis of the ‘ocean-CO2-acidification’ trends presented by HMG as part of the “UK Climate Act” [and its emissions:concentrations prescription ‘2016 4% Low’]: –
    http://www.gci.org.uk/acidification.html

    Its not reassuring at all.

    Cheers

    Aubrey

  10. Hi Aubrey,

    I had a brief look – I’ll look in more detail when time permits – but I just had to confirm this, as it seems to bonkers to actually be true.

    Was that really a government agency predicting that ocean acidification would DECREASE with more CO2 in the oceans (and vice versa)?!

    If so, that is either a minor miracle or just depressingly stupid on their part.

  11. . . . well it is too bonkers to be true . . .

    But precisely what HMG have *projected* is that under global CO2 emissions-budget “2016 4% Low” [as in the UK Climate Act] atmospheric concentration of CO2 will DECREASE after 2050 so ocean CO2-acidification will stop increasing.

    That ‘s mad/bad enough. But there is an obvious book-keeping error beyond that.
    You should get that from a slow read through of: –

    http://www.gci.org.uk/acidification.html and here: –
    http://www.gci.org.uk/Documents/acid-critique_with_sources_2.pdf

    • Aha, well that does make more sense. That’s what ya get for reading thingsa too quick.

      I wonder if I might be presumptuous enough to make a request of you Aubrey. As more and more blog pieces are written this one will gradually slip further down the page. As it does so, fewer and fewer people will see this long and (IMO) interesting exchange of comments attached to it.

      So I wondered if I might be able to persuade you to write a piece on C&C for this blog. That piece will then be listed with you as author and will stay in the main list of blog pieces on the site. I’m quite happy for it to be whatever you want it to be as you are very much the expert here.

      What do you think?

  12. The UNFCCC goal or ‘objective’ is achieving a safe and stable greenhouse gas [GHG] concentration in the future global atmosphere. So with regard to the human GHG emissions raising those concentrations, the UNFCCC Executive said in 2004, “achieving the objective of the UNFCCC inevitably requires [emissions] contraction and convergence.”

    The key to understanding the Contraction and Convergence [C&C] event is that C&C is ‘full-term’. In other words it is not ‘short-term’ nor is it ‘long-term’, it is ‘full-term’ and a ‘full-term-contraction-and-convergence -event’ is needed for compliance with the UNFCCC goal or ‘objective.

    Moreover, as we continue to cause this climate problem faster than we have responded to avoided, this C&C-event may have to be shorter than many people realize and if it event is to happen at all, a rational ‘structure’ for it is inevitably required.

    The structure of string-length’ in music, as observed by Pythagoras 2,500 years ago, gives a clue as to how this is done: – http://www.gci.org.uk/music.html

    The discovery of this structure as a ‘universal constant’ was recently called by Stephen Hawking the first recorded law of ‘theoretical physics’. The understanding of ‘Simultaneous Policy’ here is key.

    Like music, the process is numerate and governed by two ‘reference rates’ where we are both: –
    [1] ‘in-tune’ – the global community is moving all together and
    [2] ‘in-time’ – on a global path to that completes soon enough for UNFCCC-compliance.

    Faced with this, any attempt to measure the necessary C&C-event in the unit ‘money’ is useless, as money doesn’t ‘know where it’s going’. Indeed, some economists still think that ‘string-length’ is like Woody Allen’s version of eternity – ‘a very long time, especially towards the end’. All they managed to do in the last twenty years was effect Kyoto’s ‘market-based-framework’. It has failed.

    However, measuring the C&C-event necessary for UNFCCC-compliance as, ‘carbon-per-person-per-unit-time-subject-to-the-objective-of-the-UNFCCC’ is as simple as all string-players knowing the length of a piece of string is exactly twice half its length: – http://www.gci.org.uk/animations/vibrating-strings.swf

    All music comes from that simple, numerate and beautiful structure.

    Rates of C&C are governed by ‘urgency’ and ‘equity’, where urgency requires ‘faster contraction’ and equity requires ‘faster convergence’: – http://www.gci.org.uk/animations/C1,C2,C3.swf

    C&C is governed by this structure and ‘money’ – assuming it is still relevant at all – is governed by C&C and the ‘framework-based market’ it can be seen as giving rise to.

    Protecting the future economy and eradicating poverty are now functions of this C&C agreement, as trying to ‘muddle through’ leads to doing-too little to-late leads to completion of failure where both rich and poor are liquidated in the consequences.

    SO C&C is classic ‘simultaneous policy’ and has much support: –
    http://www.gci.org.uk/endorsements.html

    With good reason, the structureless alternatives don’t: – http://www.gci.org.uk/public/COP_15_C&C.swf

    This is not least because their loudest advocates now include the Charitable GONGO CEOs in ‘Stop Climate Chaos’, whose salaries in excess of £100,000/yr, make personal carbon-footprints around 60 tonnes CO2/yr [!] . . .

    . . . .and that – as they probably realize – truly will “Stamp out Poverty”: –
    http://www.oxfam.org.uk/resources/policy/climate_change/downloads/assessing_alternatives_climate_change_nef_briefing.pdf

  13. Dear Mark –

    I didn’t have your email address to say that the above was the ‘draft article’ in response to your request.

    If you use it, it has a couple of typos that I’d need to be corrected.

    Cheers

    Aubrey

  14. Hi Aubrey,

    If you want to email me you can do so at: simpoluk [at] gmail [dot] com

    Alternatively I can just edit any typos you want and post it. Let me know which is best. 🙂

    Thank you again for this! 🙂

    Mark

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