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Strategies for climate change: Contraction

The aim is to maintain GHG emissions at levels that do not increase the average global temperature.

A third strategic front involves going beyond mitigation. The aim is to maintain GHG emissions globally and systematically stabilised at levels that do not increase the average global temperature due to anthropogenic causes above 2.5º. This is the contraction and convergence approach (C&C).

Impacts of the climate changesThe proposal is to establish an emission value per person toward which all humanity should converge, setting a convergence year and organising the global contraction process for emissions which each country would follow based on their respective starting point. This proposal works with an ethical principle: all the planet's inhabitants have a right to similar development and wellbeing that would be expressed in a similar emissions figure per capita. Is a contraction in global GHG emissions possible? A favourable response seems necessary looking toward 2050: at this time, the population of the Earth will be over 9 billion inhabitants and the standard of living in emerging economies will have increased along the path of industrialised nations, since they are expanding at an annual rate of 10%.

A good indicator of the emissions contraction trend would be compliance with the 8 UN Millennium Goals (including a reduction in poverty or guaranteeing drinking water for all humanity) since its would bring about a change in attitude with regard to sustainability and sufficiency in richer societies.

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