Zero Carbon, Zero Poverty – The Climate Justice Way, a major new report written for the Mary Robinson Foundation: Climate Justice by Sivan Kartha and Paul Baer of the Climate Equity Reference Project, breaks new ground in global climate justice theory and analysis. Here, from the executive summary, are its main conclusions:
• There is strong evidence that a rapid and total or nearly-total carbon phase-out will be technically feasible, both for developed and developing countries.
• Economic analyses suggest that a rapid carbon phase-out can be achieved at an aggregate global cost that is affordable, and much less than the potential costs of climate impacts.
• Nonetheless, a rapid carbon phase-out will be very demanding for all countries, especially developing countries, and presents potential risks to human rights.
• Even greater risks to human rights than the risks posed by aggressive mitigation action arise from the profound impacts of climate change, especially if temperature increase exceeds 2°C, which becomes increasingly likely if mitigation is delayed.
• There is good reason to believe that risks posed by mitigation can be dealt with, provided there is an ambitious and fairly shared global effort to achieve a rapid carbon phase-out while preserving human rights, and a commitment to integrating human rights and equity in all national climate policies.
Is all of this already clear? Perhaps it is, or perhaps not. In any case, these points are rarely made as clearly, or defended as well, as they are here.