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Climate Change

Climate Change

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Published by progov08
Paper produced for the Progressive Governance Summit, London, April 2008
Paper produced for the Progressive Governance Summit, London, April 2008

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Published by: progov08 on Apr 05, 2008
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09/27/2012

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A progressive global deal on climate changeA paper by Nicholas Stern (LSE) and LaurenceTubiana (Iddri/SciencesPo)
 
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Executive Summary
Climate change represents the greatest marketfailure the world has seen. For the first time inhistory every country and every region faces acommon threat that has no solution without broadcollective action.An international agreement is essential. It must bebased on the criteria of effectiveness, efficiency andequity. Effectiveness demands a long-term globalgoal capping global emissions and providing a long-term trajectory for investment in low carbontechnologies. This should be at least a halving of global emissions by 2050. A pragmatic principle of equity would require an equalisation of per capitaemissions by then. This will require developedcountries to cut by around 80%. But it will still alsorequire significant reductions over business as usualtrajectories from emerging economies to allow spacefor the least developed to grow. Developing countrycommitments could include energy intensity or sectoral targets, and will need to be graduatedaccording to the stage of economic development.Efficiency requires the use of economic instrumentsto achieve emissions reduction, particularlyemissions trading through a global carbon market. Toachieve stringent targets, developed countries willneed to purchase some of their emissions reductionfrom developing countries through a reformed CleanDevelopment Mechanism, which can at the same timeprovide finance for such countries’ low carbon growthand the transfer of technology.
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There are seven key elements to an equitable,efficient and effective global climate deal: defining aglobal target for 2050, with intermediate targets tokeep countries on track and provide certainty to theprivate sector; building a genuinely global carbonmarket, through linking regional schemes; developingand reforming the emissions credit system toaccelerate low-carbon growth in developingcountries; establishing sectoral agreements toprovide for partial commitments in emergingcountries and address concerns over tradecompetition and ‘carbon leakage’; funding thedevelopment, demonstration and transfer of low-carbon technology; financing reduced emissions fromdeforestation; and funding adaptation, particularlygiven climate change’s disproportionate impact onthe poorest and most vulnerable.The political dimension of climate change isbecoming increasingly visible. It is public demandwhich will promote action. Climate change needs notadjustment but a profound transformation of our societies. As a common risk, it can create thepolitical space for social change. Progressive leadersseek equity and social justice as well as growth. Therisks of climate change mean that must now includethe protection of environment. Without thatprotection neither sustained growth nor global justicecan be achieved.
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