Select Committee on Environmental Audit Minutes of Evidence

Annex 4



1.1  Indian Environment Minister, Kamal Nath, COP 1, April 1995

  ". . . equity should guide the route to global ecological recovery. Policy Instruments such as `Tradable Emissions Quotas', `Carbon Taxes' and `Joint Implementation' may well serve to make matters worse unless they are properly referenced to targets and time-tables for equitable emissions reductions overall. This means devising and implementing a programme for convergence at equitable and sustainable par values for consumption on a per capita basis globally."

1.2  Chinese State Councillor Climate Change & Population, Dr Song Jian, October 1997

  "When we ask the opinions of people from all circles, many people, in particular the scientists think that the emissions control standard should be formulated on a per capita basis. According to the UN Charter, everybody is born equal, and has inalienable rights to enjoy modern technological civilization."

1.3  The Africa Group, August 1997

  "As we negotiate the reduction of GHG, the countries of Africa believe that there should be certain principles that need to be clearly defined.

  There must be limits on all GHGs if the danger to our climate is to be averted. The IPCC scientific assessment report provides us with the basis for global consensus on such limits.

  A globally agreed ceiling of GHG emissions can only be achieved by adopting the principle of per capita emissions rights that fully take into account the reality of population growth and the principle of differentiation.

  Achievement of a safe limit to global GHG emissions can be achieved by reducing the emissions of Annex One while at the same time ensuring that there is controlled growth of future emissions from Non-Annex One countries, reflecting our legitimate right to sustainable economic growth. We strongly believe that this will take us along a path to responsible climate management that allows us to reach our goal of defining a mutually agreed point of convergence and sustainable development. Such a convergence Mr Chairman must ensure that we maintain a global ceiling on emissions to prevent dangerous interference with the climate system.

  When we look at time frames, we believe that insufficient commitment by Annex One countries will only result in delaying our influence on the climate system. If this course is maintained, then we will all suffer and the burden will be even greater for humanity in general. The burden for any future mitigation efforts on those of who have not been historically and currently responsible for creating the problem will be greater.

  Mr Chairman, we must focus our attention on the most appropriate, reasonable and acceptable time frame for action. There is an over-riding pre-requisite. The time frame cannot be too far away into the future if we are to avoid at all costs the dangers that global climate change poses. The current scientific evidence indicates that Africa faces decline in water resources, agricultural production and economic performance. It is therefore for this reason that we wish to register the seriousness with which we view the effective implementation of the Convention and future agreements emanating from it."

1.4  The Africa Group, COP-3 Kyoto, 3 am 10 December 1997

  ". . . we do support the amendment that is proposed by the distinguished delegation from India, and just to emphasise the point of the issues that still need a lot of clarification, would like to propose in that paragraph the inclusion, after "entitlements" that is the proposal by the delegation of India, the following wording; after "entitlements, the global ceiling date and time for Contraction and Convergence of global emissions. Because we do think that you cannot talk about trading if there are not entitlements. Also there is a question of Contraction and Convergence of global emissions that comes into play when you talk about the issue of equity . . ."

  1.5   Non-Aligned Movement, Heads of Government Conference, (NAM), September 1998

  In August and September the NAM held a heads of Government conference in South Africa. Combining the logic of "Contraction and Convergence" with the trade Article 17 of the Kyoto Protocol (KP), the NAM agreed the following statement:

    "Emission trading for implementation of (ghg reduction/limitation) commitments can only commence after issues relating to the principles, modalities, etc of such trading, including the initial allocations of emissions entitlements on an equitable basis to all countries has been agreed upon by the Parties to the Framework Convention on Climate Change."

1.6  Indian Prime Minister, Shri Atal Bihari Vajpayee, October, COP-8, 2002

  "First, our per capita Green House Gas emissions are only a fraction of the world average, and an order of magnitude below that of many developed countries. This situation will not change for several decades to come. We do not believe that the ethos of democracy can support any norm other than equal per capita rights to global environmental resources."

1.7  Kenyan Minister for Planning and National Development, Anyang Nyong'o, April 2004

  "It is now apparent that the world has to urgently agree to a more equitable method of reducing greenhouse gas emissions based on per capita emission rights allocations. This brings me to the concept of Contraction and Convergence. This concept embodies the principles of precaution (contraction of greenhouse emissions) and of equity (convergence at to equal share per head through a globally agreed date) in the reduction of greenhouse gas emissions between industrialized countries and developing countries."

  The world must go an extra mile to avoid climate change, as it is cheaper than adapting to the damages. This in no way under estimates what the Kyoto Protocol aims to achieve from the flexible mechanisms. Kyoto should continue but due to the increasing and unbearable negative impacts of climate change on developing country economies, in particular Africa, the world must begin to evaluate other globally equitable approaches.

  The concept of Contraction and Convergence therefore needs to be assessed and evaluated by the United Nations Framework Convention on Climate Change particularly, its Subsidiary Body for Scientific and Technical Advise or the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change. I am certain that our Ministers for Environment here present will see the need to bring this agenda very urgently to the attention of the Climate Change Secretariat."

1.8  Kenya, Director General of the ruling NARC, Alex K Muriithi, April 2004

  "Avoiding dangerous rates of climate-change from fossil fuel dependency must be strategically guaranteed with appropriate structural adjustment of the international system."

  "The Contraction and Convergence" (C&C) scheme presented by the Africa Group at COP-3 in Kyoto, is the basis of this."

  "Combined with international currency arrangements, C&C determined carbon shares create an inclusive global standard for sustainable resource use."

  "The full rent for the use of the environmental and atmospheric space of Developing Countries, can be paid by the Developed Countries helping the world move from uneconomic growth to sustainable development for all,"

1.9  Indian Minister of Food Processing Industries, Shri S K Sahay, October 2004

  "We have to find an acceptable and equitable way to reduce emissions that involves every society but recognizes differentiated responsibilities. I suggest that the way forward should be based on the fundamental principles of equity incorporated in the proposals known as `Contraction and Convergence.'

  In this increasingly interdependent world, there is no reason to suggest that any individual in any country should have a lesser right to see prosperity or comfort involving green house gas emissions than any other. On what basis is it acceptable that an American or European should have a greater right to consume the World's precious resources than an Indian, an African or indeed any other human being?

  Thus, if the principle of `Contraction and Convergence' is acceptable, then it may be possible to develop a system of carbon trading that would allow those already over dependent on the use of environmentally damaging energy to plan their emissions reduction more slowly by transferring renewable energy technologies to those countries presently less dependent on the carbon emissions."

1.10  USA, COP-3 Kyoto, 3 am 10 December 1997—Transcript.pdf

  ". . . It does seem to us that the proposals by for example India and perhaps by others who speak to Contraction and Convergence are elements for the future, elements perhaps for a next agreement that we may ultimately all seek to engage in . . ."

1.11  European Parliament, 1998

  ". . . calls on the Commission & Member States to take the lead in brokering an agreement on a set of common principles & negotiating framework beyond BA based on:

    agreement to have a worldwide binding limit on global emissions consistent with a maximum atmospheric concentration of 550 ppmv CO2 equivalent;

    initial distribution of emissions rights according to the Kyoto targets;

    progressive convergence towards an equitable distribution of emissions rights on a per capita basis by an agreed date in the next century;

    across-the-board reductions in emissions rights thereafter in order to achieve the reduction recommended by the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC);

    an agreement to have a quantitative ceiling on the use of flexibility mechanisms that will ensure that the majority of emission reductions are met domestically in accordance with the spirit of articles 6, 12 and 17 of the Kyoto protocol; in this context trading must be subject to proper monitoring, reporting and enforcement; and

    an adequately financed mechanism for promoting technology transfer from Annex 1 to non-Annex 1 countries."

1.12  Danish Environment Minister, Svend Auken, April 1999

  "The approach of `Contraction and Convergence' is precisely such an idea. It secures a regime that would allow all nations to join efforts to protect our global commons from being over-exploited, without the risk that any country would be deprived of its fair long-term share of the common environmental emission space. And it allows for consistent and efficient management of the global emissions that would enable us to strive for constraining global interference with the climate below fixed ceilings"

1.13  Swedish Minister of the Environment, Kjell Larsson, September 2000

  "On the issue of equity, Sweden strives for a global convergence, meaning that the long term objective of the international community should be a per capita emissions target equal for all countries. The work towards sustainability embraces the right for the poorest countries to continue their development and requires that the developed world contribute to this. In other words the industrialised countries must reduce their emissions in order to enable the least developed countries to develop."

1.14  Belgian Minister of the Environment, Olivier Delouze, COP6 November 2000

  "We are conscious that in the end, we will have to inevitably evolve towards a more equitable partition between the north and south, of the capacity of our common atmosphere to support green house gases, by a gradual convergence of the levels of emissions on a per capita basis."

1.15  French President, Jaques Chirac, COP6, November 2000

  "Since 1992, we have fallen too far behind in the fight against global warming. We cannot afford any further delay. That is why, I can confirm to you here, Europe is resolved to act and has mobilized to fight the greenhouse effect. Europe calls upon the other industrialized countries to join with it in this fight. And Europe proposes to the developing countries to join it in a partnership for sustainable development.

  Let us start thinking about the post-Kyoto period without further ado. Tomorrow, it will be up to us to set forth the rights and duties of each, and for a long time to come. In order to move forward while respecting individual differences and special circumstances, France proposes that we set as our ultimate objective the convergence of per capita emissions. This principle would durably ensure the effectiveness, equity and solidarity of our efforts."

1.16  Netherlands Environment Minister, Jan Pronk, Chairman of COP-6, July 2000

  ". . . Suggestions have been made for commitments for those developing countries in the period after 2012 in terms of increased energy or greenhouse gas efficiency. In other words: not an absolute cap, but a relative efficiency improvement in the production structure of developing countries. This strategy would imply that developing countries gradually start participating, as they achieve a certain level of economic development. That is a reasonable and realistic option. However, it can be argued that such gradual participation would only lead to a slow decline of global emissions, even if current industrialized countries would drastically decrease their emissions. As a result global average temperature increase would significantly exceed the 2 degrees centigrade limit that could be seen as the maximum tolerable for our planet.

  There are alternatives for this scenario. Some developing countries have argued for an allowance of equal emissions per capita. This would be the most equitable way to determine the contribution of countries to the global effort. If we agree to equal per capita emissions allowances for all countries by 2030 in such a way that global emissions allow us to stay below the 2 degrees global temperature increase (equivalent to about 450 ppmv CO2), then the assigned amounts for Annex B countries would be drastically reduced. However, due to the fact that all countries would have assigned amounts, maximum use of global emissions trading would strongly reduce the cost of compliance. So, in such a scenario, industrialized countries would have to do more, but it would be cheaper and easier . . ."

1.17  Sweden's 3rd national communication on Climate Change, 2001

  "Emissions should ultimately converge towards a common international target, expressed as emissions per inhabitant.11" 11 Gov. Bill 1996/97:84, p 74.


2.1  Corner House, Briefing No 3—Climate and Equity, December 1997

  "Trading emissions only have a place if they are set in the discipline of contraction and convergence."

2.2  Financial Times, 30 November 2001

  "Many politicians—and businesses making long-term investment plans—would prefer to agree on some overarching principles that would determine future emissions targets. For some policymakers, the answer is `contraction and convergence'."

2.3  ENDS, Blair leadership claim on climate change March 2003

  ". . . the RCEP said, future global climate agreements should be based on the so-called `contraction and convergence' approach, under which national emission allocations converge towards a uniform per capita figure. The Government has accepted the RCEP's 60% figure—but not the underlying logic."

2.4  New Scientist, December 2003

  "For the past two weeks, representatives from around the world have been in Milan, Italy, for COP9, the ninth annual meeting of signatories to the 1992 Framework Convention on Climate Change. Many of them now privately admit that C&C is what we have been waiting for."

2.5  ICE, Proceedings of the Institution of Civil Engineers, Paper 13982, December 2004

  "Contraction and convergence" is an ambitious yet widely supported plan to harmonise global greenhouse gas emissions to a safe and sustainable level."

2.6  Reason Online, Ronald Bailey, 3 November 2004

  "While the climate talks in Buenos Aires will deal with the minutiae of implementing the Kyoto Protocol, they will also turn to considering what the next steps might be. And there will have to be next steps, because even when fully implemented the Kyoto Protocol will have next to no effect on any actual global warming trends. My bet is that negotiations will start to consider contraction and convergence".


3.1  Raul Estrada, Chair Kyoto Negotiations, February 2000

  "Long before the end of the Framework Convention negotiation, the Global Commons Institute has presented a proposal on "Contraction and Convergence", aimed to reach equality in emissions per capita. We all in this room know the GCI model where contraction is achieved after all governments, for precautionary reasons, collectively agree to be bound by a target of global GHG emissions, making it possible to calculate the diminishing amount of greenhouse gases that the world can release each year in the coming century, subject to annual scientific and political review. The convergence part of the proposal means that each year's global emissions budget gets shared out among the nations of the world so that every country converges on the same allocation per inhabitant by an agreed date."

3.2  Sir John Houghton, Former Chair IPCC Working Group One, 26 April 2003

  "Admiration is frequently expressed, regarding the elegance and simple logic of Contraction and Convergence and it has been widely supported by policy makers as a basis that should underlie the next stage of policy formulation."

3.3  Lord Bishop of Leicester, November 2003

  "Contraction and convergence, therefore, is a simple yet radical solution, and one that I suggest we should be brave enough to support."

3.4  Lord Bishop of Hereford, 9 February 2004

  "Contraction and Convergence meets every single objection raised by the United States to Kyoto."

3.5  Michael Meacher MP, Former Minister for the Environment, December 2003

  "The best proposal so far is the "Contraction and Convergence" from the Global Commons Institute and Globe Parliamentarians."

3.6  George Monbiot, Manifesto for a New World Order, ISBN: 1565849086, 2003

  "Contraction & Convergence . . . "the only just and sustainable means of tackling climate change"

3.7  Myron Ebell, CEI reports on COP-9, 12 December 2003

  "This so-called `Contraction and Convergence' approach appeals to both unreconstructed communists and to human rights absolutists. It has a certain moral force for those lost souls who have completely lost their bearings in the world. So it ought to be the winner in these darkening times."

3.8  Dick Lindzen, After a good meal at "A New Global Vision" Conference, Pisa, July 2004

  "If you really have to stabilise concentrations, a 60% contraction of emissions would be necessary. As for the convergence requirement that follows from this, well I have no faith in the ability of humanity to organise anything like this."


4.1  Africa Group, Mrs Rungano Karimanzira, Chair, February 1998

  "The approach of contraction and convergence presents a new economic development paradigm for the 20 first century and beyond."

4.2  European Parliament Resolution, October 1998

  ". . . a set of common principles will have to be based on agreement to have a worldwide binding limit on global emissions consistent with a maximum atmospheric concentration with progressive convergence towards an equitable distribution of emissions rights on a per capita basis by an agreed date with across-the-board reductions in emissions rights thereafter."

4.3  Royal Society on Environmental Pollution, Sir Tom Blundell; Chairman, June 2000

  "The government should press for a future global climate agreement based on the `Contraction and Convergence' approach, combined with international trading in emission permits. These offer the best long-term prospect of securing equity, economy and international consensus."

4.4  UK Chartered Insurance Institute, Report on Global Climate Change, March 2001

  "The most realistic way to bring about the required reduction in ghg emissions (which will have the combined effect of reducing the damage imposed on the insurance industry and encouraging the transition to renewable energy) is that proposed in the concept of Contraction and Convergence."

4.5  IPCC WG3, Third Policy Assessment, Chapter 1, Section 3.2, 2001

  "A formulation that carries the rights-based approach to its logical conclusion is that of contraction and convergence."

4.6  Green Party, October 2001

  "The Green party of England and Wales strongly endorses the GCI/GLOBE campaign for Contraction and Convergence as the key ingredient in a global political solution to the problem of Climate Change."

4.7  New Economics Foundation, Ed Mayo, Director, October 2002

  "We regard Contraction and Convergence as no less than the logical starting point for any sustainable future."

4.8  Performance and Innovation Unit, The Energy Review, February 2002

  "The RCEP suggested that a 60% reduction for the UK by 2050 would be needed within a contraction and convergence agreement"

4.9  UNEP Finance Initiatives, 7 October 2002

  "For the long-term, policy makers should reach consensus on a global framework for climate stability based on the principles of precaution and equity such as Contraction and Convergence which would aim to achieve equal per capita emissions for all nations by an agreed date."

4.10  UNFCCC, Secretariat, COP-9, 4 December 2003

  "Stabilization inevitably requires `contraction and convergence'."

4.11  World Council of Churches, David Hallman, Programme Coordinator, October 2003

  "A fair distribution, establishing the concept of per capita emission rights for all countries, as proposed in the `Contraction and Convergence' scheme."

4.12  Climate Network Africa, Grace Akumu, Director, 28 April 2003

  "Many governments around the world have accepted the concept of Contraction and Convergence as the only equitable response mechanism to the threat of climate change."

4.13  UK Environment Agency, Sir John Harman; Chairman, 9 December 2003

  "I support the concept of `Contraction and Convergence', as does the Environment Agency."

4.14  World Nuclear Association, John Ritch, President, December 2003

  "I not only support the C&C concept, I find it inconceivable that we will avert climate catastrophe without a regime built on some variation of this approach. In the debate about climate change, an impression has been created that the problem is too daunting and complex to prevent. Contraction and Convergence provides a way forward that is both fair and feasible."

4.15  FEASTA, Richard Douthwaite

  ". . . to say—as a growing number of people now do—that the right to emit carbon dioxide should be considered a human right and that emissions permits should therefore be issued to all humankind on an equal basis. `Contraction and Convergence', a surprisingly flexible plan is based on this idea."

4.16  WBGU, German Advisory Council on Global Change, Dr John Schelnhuber; Climate Protection Strategies for the 21 Century: Kyoto and beyond, November 2003

  ". . . WBGU recommends emission rights be allocated according to the `Contraction and Convergence' approach."

4.17  IPPR, Tony Grayling, Associate Director and Head of Sustainability, September 2003

  "The Prime Minister has already expressed his desire to create a global deal or `climate covenant' between North and South on the issue of climate change. IPPR's belief is that the Contraction and Convergence framework for global climate policy is the practical application of this aspiration."

4.18  Zululand Environmental Alliance (ZEAL), Prof James M Phelps, Chairman, 30 April 2003

  "Without equity considerations as devised in Contraction and Convergence, the Climate Change Convention and the Kyoto Protocol will remain un-implementable and leave all people on earth facing the devastating effects of climate change."

4.19  The Australia Institute, Dr Clive Hamilton, 29 April 2003

  "The idea of "Contraction and Convergence" is destined to be one of the most important principles governing international relations in the 21st century. It is a powerful ethic that incorporates global justice and sustainability and thereby bridges the dominant concerns of the last century and this one. It is the only way to accommodate the interests, ethical and economic, of developing countries and rich countries in the struggle to find a solution to the most important environmental problem facing the world."

4.20  DEFRA, The Scientific Case for Setting a Long-Term Emission Reduction Target, 2003—targetscience.pdf

  "Methodology: The framework of this study builds on the RCEP work which uses a convergence and contraction methodology. Whilst prescribed per capita emissions are retained, the flexibility is such that these are only a tool to constrain total emissions and this should not be considered a typical contraction and convergence (C&C)* approach (although any mechanism which brings all emissions to a level lower than today's will have an element of C&C)."

  "Contraction and convergence is an international policy framework for dealing with global climate change developed by the London-based Global Commons Institute."

4.21  WWF, Living Planet Report, November 2004

  "Contraction & Convergence (C&C) as proposed by Aubrey Meyer from the Global Commons Institute (Meyer 2001) provides a simple framework for globally allocating the right to emit carbon in a way that is consistent with the physical constraints of the biosphere."

4.22  GLA, Green light to clean power—The Mayor's Energy Strategy, February 2004

  "The recommendations of the Royal Commission on Environmental Pollution are based on a contraction and convergence scenario in which global emissions converge in 2050, and atmospheric CO2 concentration is stabilised at 550ppm by 2100. The Mayor believes that all national and regional emissions reduction targets, including those proposed in this strategy, must be seen as part of this long-term process. The Government's support for the commission's recommendations for a 60% reduction in emissions by 2050 implies an acceptance of the contraction and convergence scenario that produced the recommendation. The Mayor encourages the Government to acknowledge this.

  Policy 2 The Mayor supports the principle of contraction and convergence as a long-term international policy objective.

  The contraction and convergence proposal was developed by the Global Commons Institute, London. Details of its origins, methodology, and support are available online at"

4.23  Archbishop of Canterbury Dr Rowan Williams, 5 July 2004

  "This kind of thinking [C&C] appears utopian only if we refuse to contemplate the alternatives honestly"

  "The Prime Minister has already declared that his international priorities as chair of the G-8 in 2005 will include climate change and the future of Africa; Contraction and Convergence addresses both of these."

4.24  Scottish Environment Protection Agency, Report No SEPA 69/04, 12 October 2004

  "It is essential that the EU facilitates the exporting and uptake of energy efficient technologies to developing nations, to ensure that the growth of emissions from these countries is minimised and consistent with the principles of Contraction and Convergence."

4.25  Liberal Democrats, Charles Kennedy, 16 November 2004

  "If Tony Blair is really serious in making his mark in these areas, the greatest single achievement for the UK's G8 presidency in combating climate change would be securing agreement among G8 nations, including the United States, that the way forward will be based on this principle of contraction and convergence."

  Note: All references without a web-link can be found in the GCI Archive Document under their respective dates.

30 November 2004

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