In the last year, GDRs has been decisively mainstreamed into the energy research, climate policy, and climate ethics literatures. A perusal of the Notices and Reviews page of this website provides the details — some of which are quite striking — but the overall trend is notable in itself. It includes the established environmental networks (both Friends of the Earth and Greenpeace have in the last year released major energy policy reports that include GDRs as part of their core analysis, and WWF continues to suggest that something like GDRs is going to be seen as necessary, as soon as we become serious about trying to stabilize the climate), the policy literature (including the literature in India and China, where the climate equity debate is heating up), and of course the academic literature, where GDRs in now established within the core of the expanding equity debate.
Prior to Copenhagen, we published The 350 Emergency Pathway, a technical brief designed to help movement and policy activists understand the implications of extremely stringent emissions-reduction targets. Such targets are now a major part of the debate, but are poorly understood — neither their associated trajectories nor their political implications have been well explored.
The brief was extremely well received. The folks at 350.org printed many copies, and distributed it to bother their network activists and developing country negotiators. It was debated and then adopted as part of a core position by Climate Action Network Latin America. And it was a major input into a high-profile scientists statement — The Copenhagen Prognosis — that was released at COP15.
The new GDRs paper is being circulated for comment. It’s called Principle-based, comparable Annex 1 targets and you can download it here. We’d like to hear from you — write us at firstname.lastname@example.org.
It is difficult to overstate the importance of Going Clean, which was produced by a high-level group that included analysts from both the West and the Chinese Economists 50 Forum. Nor is it easy to overstate the role that the GDRs analysis plays in Going Green’s underlying analysis of the climate challenge.
Among its most notable points, Going Green provides a clear estimate the emissions budget that would be available to China in a world that was seriously committed to holding the 2ºC line:
“If the industrialized (Annex 1) countries were to commit to more ambitious targets of reducing their emissions to 40 per cent below 1990 levels by 2020, and 95 per cent below 1990 levels by 2050, their future emissions would amount to 200 Gt CO2. This would leave 460 Gt CO2 for the non-Annex 1 countries. If we assume that China’s part of this remaining budget is proportional to its share of current non-Annex 1 emissions, its future budget would be 220 Gt CO2.”
Just as significantly, it shows that this is an achievable goal, though only in the context of a fair global regime. [Read more…]
For several years now, the Greenhouse Development Rights group has been working closely with southern analysts — notably analysts from the Third World Network and the South Centre — supporting them in their development of a rigorous analysis of historical debt. This support has been primarily of a technical nature, though there has also been a fair amount of political debate.
This relationship continues, and has considerably enriched the GDRs analysis. It is also fundamental to an evolving analysis — projected for released in Cancun — that, for the first time, lays out a detailed comparison of the Climate Debt and GDRs analyses.