Tuesday, April 03, 2007

Please take part in climate change bill consultation


The Government is circulating a draft Climate Change Bill for public consultation. It is available at: - Please respond to this consultation, and please write to your MP and ask that he or she calls for government support of Contraction and Convergence.

To find out more, see and .

You can edit and send off a 'standard' letter via this website:


Dear Sir/Madam,

Re: Draft Climate Change Bill

I wish to respond to the draft Climate Change Bill. The bill’s intention to provide leadership in avoiding dangerous rates of global climate change is good and I support this intention. However, I have serious reservations about the vacuous context in which this UK-only target figure has been selected.

Lacking any globally numerate rationale for emissions control, it is at best symbolic and in reality wholly inadequate and deeply misleading. Concentrations of greenhouse gas in the atmosphere are an expression of cumulative emissions. The rate of concentrations rising is accelerating as a result of two factors:

-1. emissions from human sources – such as fossil fuel burning - are still rising, 2. the natural sinks for these gases – such as the oceans and the forests – are slowly failing with result that an increasing fraction of emissions is staying permanently in the atmosphere. These factors make the situation increasingly urgent as we continue to cause the problem of climate change much faster than we are acting to avoid it.

The relationship between concentrations, sources and sinks for emissions can best be understood like that of a bath [the atmosphere] into which water from a tap flows [source emissions] and from which water drains away through a plug-hole [sunk emissions]. The tap-is flowing faster than ever; the plug-hole is getting increasingly blocked and the bath is threatening to over-flow. If there is still to be any meaningful chance of achieving the objective of the UN Treaty, very deep cuts in human emissions and the restoration of natural sinks are needed globally, quickly and organised in a globally rational and equitable mechanism.The only emissions reduction mechanism that can be deployed to this purpose is Contraction and Convergence (C&C) as devised by the Global Commons Institute which already has enormous support: -

A leadership role on the international stage by definition requires C&C as, in the words of the Climate Treaty Secretariat the objective of the Treaty inevitably requires it. Failure to organise and achieve this imperils modern civilisation, the lives of billions of the people and the biodiversity on Earth. The Government must adopt Contraction and Convergence without further delay.

Yours faithfully,



Please either write a similar letter to your MP, or send a copy of your response to the Defra consultation and ask him or her to support calls for the government to support Contraction and Convergence without delay and to raise my concerns both in Parliament and with the Government.

You can email your MP via .


At 9:02 PM, Blogger Philip said...

The 'consultation' on the climate bill is underway and provides an opportunity to also raise the issue of C&C and Simultaneous Policy. I raised this on my blog on 20th April - there is also a comment post by Aubrey Meyer.

Given the urgency of the situation with regard to climate change and the challenges presented by achieving 100% multilateral agreement on a solution, I think the way forward needs to be using Simultaneous Policy. Ian Pearson has already noted his support for Contraction and Convergence and that he would support it when a reasonable number of parties have indicated a similar willingness.

I am disturbed to hear that the UK would not be in the business of initiating simultaneous policy with regards to climate change. I have written seeking clarification on this and would urge others to also do this.

It would be very interesting to know at what stage would the Government be prepared to join a Simultaneous Policy for Contraction and Convergence process if it were to be initiated by some other country?

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