Thursday, April 14, 2011

Spending Our Allowance

Just heard a short but interesting interview with David Karoly about his fairplay approach to carbon emissions.

To contain global warming to 2°C, we need to restrict emissions to about one trillion tonnes, between now and 2050. (One trillion is a 1 with 12 zeroes after it - and yes, it feels odd using 'restrict' and one trillion in the same sentence).

But as big as a trillion sounds, if we divide it fairly amongst the 6.8 billion people on planet earth, it comes to about 147 tonnes per person (by my calculations). That's our "allowance" - to last us until 2050.

Now with countries like Australia, US and Canada pumping out 20-something tonnes per person each year, it becomes obvious that our "allowance", will only last about 7 years. After that we're really taking what is someone else's fair share.

It's David Karoly's opinion (and i can see his point) that developed countries should be paying for taking what fairly belongs to someone else. Either that, or start making some serious emissions reductions - starting now.

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