Why C&C can work
C&C is designed to meet the aims of the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change by delivering a precautionary and equitable global climate deal. It is fair because it entitles every man, woman and child to the same share of a finite global carbon budget. It is financially viable because it creates market incentives for all nations to avoid carbon emissions. It is precautionary because its carbon budget covers an agreed period (e.g. 40 years) and is determined by science-based data, not politics. C&C is flexible because it is based on a transparently equitable and proportionate formula. If new scientific data requires it, the annual per capita entitlement and the rate of global emissions reduction can be speeded up or slowed without the need to renegotiate, since each nation will be required to act in proportion to its population and emissions.
Unlike Kyoto, C&C is simple and mathematically coherent. Because C&C’s unit of account is carbon (annual per capita carbon entitlements), not dollars, it is possible to quantify the amount of carbon that it avoids. Just as importantly, C&C puts all nations on the same carbon account, so it will be simple for countries to compare their emissions performance. This will create international peer pressure to conform and will leave no scope for political fudge.
The simplicity, inherent justice and scientific logic of C&C are why it is increasingly recognised as the only formula for a global climate deal which has a chance of reconciling the USA, India, China and the rest of the world. During Kyoto's final session in 1997, India proposed C&C and the US lead delegate, Jonathan Pershing, said "C&C contains elements for some future agreement that we all, ultimately, may want to engage with". Sixteen years on, there has been no breakthrough and it is hard to imagine any other basis on which nations can reach consent on action to cut emissions.
C&C has been endorsed by governments in Asia, Africa, Latin America and Europe. Lord Adair Turner (former chair, UK Independent Committee on Climate Change) has confirmed that C&C provides the rationale for the UK’s existing carbon targets (Environmental Audit Committee, March 2009).
In 2009, a few months before the Conference of the Parties to the UNFCCC in Copenhagen, a paper by economists from the State Committee for Research in Beijing commented that C&C was an important concept and compatible with China’s policy on climate change. (cf: Greenhouse Gas Emissions Reduction – a theoretical framework and global solution, Project Team of the Development Research Centre of the State Council, People’s Republic of China, 2009)
Professor Ross Garnaut confirms his support for the principles of C&C in Section 3 of his 2011 update of the 2008 Garnaut Review:
" The advantages [of C&C] were discussed at length in the 2008 Review. The advantages of a comprehensive and binding international agreement that adds up to the global emissions budget are as strong in 2011 as they were three years ago. Such an agreement remains the Holy Grail."
C&C is backed by leading health professionals as the fairest and most rational basis for a global climate deal. In 2009, the UCL/Lancet Commission described climate change as the \greatest threat to global health of the 21st century'. We have filmed interviews with leading experts on climate change and health which can be seen under 'Pro C&C Views'.
C&C’s common metric and per capita carbon entitlements provide a formula for sharing the burden of cutting global emissions between nations in a timely and fair way. C&C is the best kept secret of twenty years of climate negotiations and we believe it must and can set an urgent new agenda at the UNFCCC.