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.