Proportional emissions

Tim Burrows: UN overtaken by snail. Tim points out an interesting fact.

If China was to emit at the same rate as Australia, it would be responsible for about 90% of global emissions instead of the 30% or so that they account for at present.

China is taking an active stance on reducing emissions. As Al Gore points out in An Inconvenient Truth, it’s mileage standards for cars are far stronger than the US. And there are many other things they are doing. Not perfect, but a lot better than our country’s piss poor efforts.

He then goes on to talk about a proportional carbon allowance:

As George Monbiot points out in his book ‘Heat’, rather than stopping the clock and freezing everyone’s emissions at their current level, surely it would be fairer to base emissions caps on a proportional split of allowable emissions levels. That is, take the allowable total emissions of the world, divide that by the population of the world, then multiply by the population of each country.

On this basis, most developing countries would be allowed to actually increase their emissions slightly, while developed countries would have to make drastic cuts. This would allow developing countries some time to adapt to the new regime, while putting most of the burden on the countries that caused the problem in the first place.

I’ve seen this theory before (it’s not Monbiot’s creation I don’t think). But it makes intuitive and rational sense. And it shows how irrational some of the alternatives are. But that’s politics for ya…

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