Updated on 2022-01-03 by Adam Hardy
Compte Carbone is a French NGO that promotes carbon quota or rationing frameworks as the preferential climate policy over regulatory or taxation approaches. They asked me to take part in their recent Assises du Climat (Climate Jury), a series of 9 public debates with leading figures, with the overall question, “how can we guarantee a stable climate?”. Unfortunately being a wuss (not a French word) and concerned about the rustiness of my French, I declined but the whole, free, independent process offered a fascinating insight into how other different but similar European cultures cope with the challenge.
Pierre Calame, the French President of the Charles Léopold Mayer Foundation for the Progress of Man, and one of the organisers of the Assises du Climat recently wrote in a French newspaper about challenges that arose from France’s Climate Assembly. His criticisms mainly centre on the tendency of the organising body to influence the assembly’s discourse and reduce the focus to subjects within the organising body’s scope. This problem was also pointed out by Extinction Rebellion, on the British Climate Assembly as reported by the Independent and on the Scottish climate assembly, as reported by the BBC.
As Calame points out in contrast to the Assemblies, the Assises du Climat was not limited in this way and properly considered and debated the subjects of carbon quota frameworks and a carbon currency. Compte Carbone and Calame outline similar justifications for a carbon quota system as the basis for a carbon currency.
Their European co-ordination website: https://cequic.eu/
Pierre Calame wrote in his tract “Petit traité d’œconomie“ that a single currency economy suffers from the loss of much socially relevant information in pricing its wares and services in only one currency: local origin of goods; carbon emissions; labour standards etc. This veil over the environmental, social and governance issues behind any purchases is promoted as an advantage in convenience and efficiency, yet the reality is that society should only attempt to make all things fungible at its peril.