A major new report, just released today by the Stockholm Environment Institute and Friends of the Earth Europe, shows that — despite an increasingly widespread sense that climate catastrophe can no longer be averted — radical action, on the necessary scale, is still a very much within the realm of possibility. [Read more…]
Greenhouse Development Rights: A Proposal for a Fair Global Climate Treaty, differs in at least four ways from other academic treatments of GDRs. First, it is written almost entirely by Paul Baer, rather than by the “GDRs author’s group.” Second, it goes beyond the standard exposition of GDRs to situate it philosophically, and to speculate about its philosophical and political implications. Third, it focuses on our attempt the ground specific, and pragmatically critical quantitative choices — e.g. the value of the “development threshold” — on ethical judgments. And, forth, it is accompanied by a number of responses, which variously support it and take it to task. [Read more…]
Click here to download a PDF of this paper.
The first phase of the 350 campaign has been a wild success. “350” is now an international symbol of emergency climate stabilization. More importantly, the 350 target reflects a scientifically-grounded assessment of what global climate protection really means. But what would it actually take to bring the atmospheric carbon-dioxide (CO2) concentration back to 350 parts per million? This memo provides a quick, up-to-date overview of the issues here, which are significant to any plausible emergency emissions-reduction effort. It focuses on the extremely limited size of the global CO2 budget that would remain to us in a 350 ppm future, and on the shape of the emissions pathway that’s needed if we’re to keep within that budget. In particular, it specifies a representative emissions pathway consistent with a 350 ppm concentration target. By way of context, it then compares this 350 pathway to an emission pathway consistent with a 2°C temperature target, and to other, supposedly 2°C-compliant pathways that have significantly lower odds of actually satisfying their target. Finally, it offers a brief glimpse of the challenges that all true emergency climate-reduction targets raise in this North / South divided world.
Earlier this year, in preparation for a pre-Copenhagen NGO policy summit, we prepared a framing and background paper called Principle-based Annex 1 Differentiation in the Copenhagen Accord. It’s quite interesting, we think, as a guide to thought and debate, but do note that it was written with an expert audience in mind.
The conference was, we think, quite a successful one. At least it was successful for us, for at it we realized that there was a clear need, one widely perceived within the NGO community, for a new kind of GDRs study, one designed to cast as much light as possible on the effort-sharing debate as we now know it. To move forward with that study, we prepared a detailed Terms of Reference for a study which we call Principle-based burden sharing in an MRV world.
We are now moving ahead on this study, and plan to have it completed prior to the Cancun summit.