Can we still comply with the maximum limit of 2 °C? Approaches to a New Climate Contract

10. “Withdrawal” of the Private Sector
Funds can be raised voluntarily by the private sector in order to further reduce the allowable emission rates in cooperation with the nations, e.g. by withdrawing emission certificates from the market without using them under a regional cap-and-trade system. This is theoretically possible as long as the reduced emission levels remain compatible with further (moderate) economic growth in the OECD nations and quick catch-up growth in the other nations. The political side of the issue focuses on this aspect.21,22 We will probably not be able to fully exploit the estimated potential of maybe 300 billion tons of emissions by 2050 since the precise fixing of the existing potential (known as limit reduction graph) turns out to be difficult. However, avoiding approximately 250 billion tons of emissions by 2050 seems possible and pragmatically feasible (lowering of the negotiation graph (2) down to the (pragmatic) limit reduction graph (3) in figure 1). These approaches and considerations on the procedure may be found in more detail in the unabridged version.23

“We need to advocate a climate neutrality movement in the private sector in order to implement the mechanisms of emissions “withdrawal” and “negative emissions generation” on a broader scale.”

11. Generation of “Negative Emissions” by the Private Sector
Voluntary funding for negative emissions generation is a feasible option. Negative emissions remove CO2 from the atmosphere. This can be achieved especially through biological carbon sequestration. This includes efficient forest protection, grassland management, wetlands management, and in particular international reforestation programs in the tropics. The generation of negative emissions must render a reduction of atmospheric stress by approximately 250 billion tons of CO2 emissions by 2050 if the upper limit value of 2 °C is yet to be complied with (transition from the (pragmatic) limit reduction graph (3) to the 2 °C graph (4) in figure 1). This is very ambitious, however, still feasible with great efforts. In terms of reforestation, the above calls for the reforestation of 500-1,000 billion hectares of degraded soil. As per analyses carried out by the World Resources Institute, areas of this size are available worldwide, especially in the tropics.24

12.(Co-)Funding of the Green-Climate-Fund / Funding of International Cooperation in the Climate Sector through the Private Sector
There is an extensive funding for the Green-Climate-Fund via contributions from the private sector, in particular in the context of “withdrawing” emission rights.25,26,27 At the same time, developing nations are promoted under the framework of climate partnerships via the funding of negative emissions generation.28 As described above, the justice gap between premium consumers with per-capitum emissions rates far beyond 8 tons of emissions per year and the other citizens in terms of climate issues will thus in particular be closed.29 This amends the closure of the justice gap in the climate sector between the developed and the developing nations by way of the targeted global climate contract.

13. Advocating a Climate Neutrality Movement in the Private Sector
We need to advocate a climate neutrality movement in the private sector in order to implement the mechanisms of emissions “withdrawal” and “negative emissions generation” on a broader scale. Already today, there is a strong movement towards this direction in the context of CSR action and an orientation towards sustainability in companies. This is even promoted by the shopping behavior of enlightened consumers in the context of “moralization of markets.” (issue of reputation)30

14. Proposal for a “Globally Neutral Program” of the United Nations
We encourage the United Nations to quickly initiate a (voluntary) Globally Neutral Program analog to the Global Compact. This program is to motivate companies worldwide to position themselves climatically neutral based on an individual schedule over a maximum of 10 years, on a voluntary basis and exceeding legal stipulations. Apart from the increase in energy efficiency, the use of green energy and a change in behavior, the instruments of “withdrawal” and “negative emissions generation” are particularly useful in this regard. The annual reduction increments towards climate neutrality should at least be linear, if not larger. This means, for example, that the climate gas emissions of a company which participates in the GLOBALLY NEUTRAL program must be cut at least by half over the first 5 years.

The 2013 Klimaneutralitätsbündnis Vorarlberg is a good example for such a program.§

15. Border Tax Adjustments
We need a stipulation of a regime of border tax adjustments in a manner that is compatible with the WTO requirements on imports into contract nations of the targeted global climate regime from nations which do not participate in a global climate regime.31 In this way free-riding will lose its economic charm in the climate sector. Nearly all nations are expected to participate in the agreements on border tax adjustments against free-riding under a global climate contract. This is important since the cross-border, trade-induced, indirect exchange of responsibilities in terms of climate gas emission generation continues to gain importance.32 What is more, in the way described, we will finally be able to achieve a carbon-leakage-free international climate regime, which is not even the case within the realm of the European Union today.33

§ Translator’s remark: Vorarlberg alliance on climate neutrality
20. Solving the climate dilemma.
21. F.J Radermacher and B. Beyers, Welt mit Zukunft – Die Ökosoziale Perspektive (Hamburg: Murmann erlag, 2011).
22. L. Hölscher and F.J. Radermacher, Climate Neutrality.
23. Radermacher, Can we still comply with the maximum limit of 2 °C?
24. “Global Map of Forest Landscape Restoration Opportunities,” World Resources Institute 2010
25. F. J. Radermacher, “Klimapolitik nach Doha”.
26. L. Hölscher and F.J. Radermacher, Climate Neutrality.
27. G. Peters, J. Minx, Ch. Weber and O. Edenhofer, “Growth in emission transfers via international trade from 1990 to 2008,” PNAS
28. F.J. Radermacher, Global Marshall Plan.
29. S. Chakravarty et al., “Sharing global CO2 emission reductions”.
30. H. Meffert, P. Kenning and M. Kirchgeorg, Sustainable Marketing Management (Springer Verlag, to be published in 2014).
31. A. Leidwein, “Die Umwelt im WTO-Recht. Grundlagen, Judikatur und politischer Handlungsspielraum,” Agrarische Rundschau 4 (2005):10-27.
32. G. Peters, J. Minx, Ch. Weber and O. Edenhofer, “Growth in emission transfers”.
33. “Carbon Leakage: The Relocation of Production and Emissions as a Challenge for Emissions Trading?,” German Emissions Trading Authority (DEHSt) at the Federal Environment Agency 2014

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