We envisage the relationship between CapGlobalCarbon and the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change as complementary
- The first principle of the Convention, stated in Article 3.1, is that the states signing the Convention “should protect the climate system for the benefit of present and future generations of humankind, on the basis of equity,...”. CapGlobalCarbon would provide a structure to help enable states to implement this principle.
- Although established independently, the Trust could use the UNFCCC as the forum for seeking to obtain the necessary agreement of individual nation-state governments to implement the Trust’s scheme or schemes within their jurisdictions.
A defect of the UNFCCC process is that it lacks any procedure for taking urgent action in the event of an emergency. Climate change was recognised by the UN General Assembly in 1988 as ‘a common concern of mankind’ and this was the general understanding at the time the UNFCCC was set up in 1992 and when the Kyoto Protocol was signed in 1997: it was not seen as a crisis requiring immediate action. Since then, due to human-induced forcing, the emission of CO2 in particular, having triggered a number of positive feed-back systems including the melting of Arctic ice and release of methane from permafrost, the situation has become far more critical. We now have an emergency on our hands: what we need now is urgent action to staunch the haemorrhage of global warming gases into the atmosphere. The UNFCCC was not designed to provide this sort of emergency operation, CapGlobalCarbon on the other hand, is.
“The UN process for agreeing an international emissions reduction treaty has been set up in a way which guarantees its failure. The most fundamental problem with it is that because climate change is caused by the way our economic system operates, halting it can only be achieved by making profoundly radical changes to that system” – Richard Douthwaite