Why is action needed?
We can already see the damaging impact of climate change in the news headlines everyday.
How bad climate change will become, and how society reacts, is all in the future, but has been modelled by some of the most advanced computers available to science. There is no one definite outcome. A thriving new renewables-based economy or doom and destruction – read more…
All the evidence indicates that God is an inveterate gambler and that he throws the dice on every possible occasion.Stephen Hawking
What is the fundamental problem?
Climate change is a cumulative problem: the total carbon dioxide emitted over time matters, not just the emissions in any given year.
Climatologists have calculated that globally we can emit no more than 420 gigatonnes of CO2 (Gt CO2e) from now on – effectively a ‘global carbon budget’ – beyond which the impact of emissions will be catastrophic. We are currently on target to hit this level in 2028.To avoid climate change getting out of control, in 2015 the Paris Climate Agreement set a target to hold the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C (or 3.6°F) above pre-industrial … Continue reading
Whether we pass this level, hold it by cutting out fossil fuels, or come back to it in the future by building massive CO2 capture machines, what is important now is simply to reduce the burning of fossil fuels.
How can we radically cut down the burning of fossil fuels?
The 2015 United Nations Paris Climate Agreement was good, because it is something the whole world must do, but the desired results didn’t happen. The inability of all members of society to willingly reduce their emissions of CO2 means a mandatory reduction mechanism is needed.
What difference can a single person make?
Obviously governments should be stepping up and leading. The main take-home from the last global climate conference was this: our action on the ground is what will prompt leaders to act.
Starting at the smallest scale, we all have our own personal carbon footprint and we need to start reducing it. EcoCore works with our sister organisation EcoCounts to facilitate a local group approach which aims to normalise sustainable and climate-friendly lifestyles within our group. The EcoCounts group is not just doing this for itself. Action as a group demonstrates what is possible to decision-makers. What the EcoCounts group does directly helps us to promote the idea of national carbon allowances and that people will accept such levels of intervention when it counters the threat of climate change.
Our proposal for a carbon currency based on carbon allowances
We propose to set a national carbon budget served by a carbon currency and from it, allocate every citizen an allowance of carbon tokens. Whenever a person buys goods or services, in addition to the financial cost, the person must pay a carbon price that reflects the amount of CO2 generated through those goods or services. This duty is not paid in money, but in carbon tokens from their carbon allowance.
Such a system would revolutionise our approach to reducing CO2 emissions. It would give us:
- equal responsibility in reducing our emissions
- freedom to spend our carbon allowance on what is important to us
- a strong carbon price signal throughout business and industry
It will motivate companies to find the products and services with the lowest carbon price to attract customers, and it will drive manufacturers and other industries to seek out or develop low-carbon technologies to reduce their own carbon costs.
|↑1||To avoid climate change getting out of control, in 2015 the Paris Climate Agreement set a target to hold the global average temperature rise to well below 2°C (or 3.6°F) above pre-industrial levels, and ideally 1.5°C (2.7°F).|