Contraction and Convergence
83. Such calculations provide an interesting and
important perspective on the context in which negotiations on
a post-2012 framework should take place. The Global Commons Institute
(GCI) has been promoting the concept of equal per capita emission
allocations since its foundation in 1990, and it has coined the
term "Contraction and Convergence" (C&C) to describe
its approach. C&C involves two distinct stagesfirstly
defining the level to which global emissions need to be reduced
to avoid dangerous climate change, and secondly allocating this
level of emissions to countries on an equal per capita basis.
84. The C&C model put forward by the GCI does
not in itself define the mechanisms by which emission reductions
are to be achievedwhether through emissions trading, international
taxes, or regulatory approaches. Nor does it stipulate the actual
level at which emissions should be stabilised, or indeed the timescales
over which the targets should be set. It does, however, graphically
illustrate the consequences of varying these parameters, and provides
a useful framework within which to set targets and frame policy
responses. The real strength of the model, however, arises from
the manner in which the concept of equity underpins it.
85. Given the scale of the reductions which are needed,
there is now a growing awareness of the need for a 'full-term'
framework such as the one C&C provides. Indeed, it is difficult
to argue with the fundamental principle of equal per capita allocations,
and various witnessesincluding the Under-Secretary of State
of the Foreign Office and the Director-General of the CBIacknowledged
the viability of the model.
This is also reflected in the joint memorandum submitted by DEFRA
and the FCO, 
and in the recent report from the International Climate Change
Taskforce which explicitly accepted that equal per capita emissions
allowances should form the basis for a long-term solution.
While, in their memorandum to us, Barclays Capital set out a
vision of an all-embracing international ETS involving 60 year
targets determined by a C&C approach.
86. Any framework
which involves radical emission reductions would in practice resemble
the Contraction and Convergence approach advocated by the Global
Commons Institute. Indeed, in terms of domestic policy aims,
the UK Government has already implicitly accepted this approach
in adopting the 60% carbon reduction target for 2050; and it is
therefore inconsistent not to adopt such an approach internationally.
We do not see any credible alternative and none was suggested
in evidence to our inquiry. We therefore recommend that the UK
Government should formally adopt and promote Contraction and Convergence
as the basis for future international agreements to reduce emissions.