About the Big UN Climate Conference in Paris

by Mike Sandler, Co-founder of The Climate Center  |  Oct. 9, 2015

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You may have been hearing about the big climate conference
coming up in Paris in a few months. It is called COP-21, short for the 21st
UN Conference of Parties (COP) to the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change
(UNFCCC).

The group has already convened 20 times, and are still
struggling to find a solution. Many observers have given up on the UNFCCC
producing an international “top down” treaty and are focusing instead on
nationally adopted actions that can be added up. Unfortunately, each nation’s
“intended” action plan, or INDC, reflects its leaders’ views on what is
politically feasible, not what is scientifically required. In many cases, the
actions are voluntary and would be implemented by future administrations, so
there is no assurance the pledges will be fulfilled. Therefore, some groups are
now putting forward an idea for a backup to the UNFCCC’s official work in the form
of a citizen-led movement to establish a global regulator for the atmospheric
commons.  

One such proposal is called “CapGlobalCarbon” (www.capglobalcarbon.org). The goal is
for non-governmental actors to establish an independent Global Climate Commons
Trust to act on behalf of humanity as a whole. Based on the advice of climate
scientists, the Trust decides the total amount of fossil carbon from coal, oil,
and gas that can safely be extracted each year, with the quantity diminishing
each year.

The Trust would introduce a global permit system to control
the introduction of coal, oil, or gas anywhere in the world, through what is
known as an ‘upstream cap’. The permits are valuable and must be purchased by
fossil fuel extraction companies. Having paid market price for the permits, the
fossil fuel extraction companies pass on the cost to their customers. The net
proceeds collected for the permits would then be distributed directly to the
people throughout the world in equal shares.

This proposed new global system ensures that the necessary
reductions in total global carbon emissions are achieved in a way that addresses
global poverty and reduces inequality. It is similar to the carbon pricing
approach that The Climate Center (CCP) has been advocating for
in California, called “Cap & Dividend.”

Stay tuned!

Mike Sandler is co-founder of The Climate Center (CCP) and part of CapGlobalCarbon’s Steering Committee.

CCP invites you to support Mike’s trip to Paris to promote CapGlobalCarbon at COP-21. CCP is collecting donations on behalf of the project. Make sure to note that your donation is to support Mike Sandler/CapGlobalCarbon in Paris. He has also set up a crowdfunding webpage for CapGlobalCarbon (coinciding with his 40th birthday) at http://www.plumfund.com/birthday-fund/mikesandlercop21.

Mike will be blogging about Paris on Huffington Post, and CCP will be watching the talks closely. Please contact CCP if you are interested in joining or supporting this effort.

CCP recently became an affiliate with the CapGlobalCarbon project.

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