Global Budget Sharing

In October 2018 the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change (IPCC) issued a special report which said that we must do everything possible to keep global temperature increases below 1.5 degrees. It calculated a carbon budget of 420 Gt CO2 for a likely (66%) chance. This is a global budget and must be distributed over all countries. One way to share the budget is on a per-capita basis. Here are alternative strategies.

Canada will exceed our fair share of this 66% budget by 2022. We must find some way of getting to net-zero by a number of actions: for example carbon capture and storage, reforestation and assisting developing countries to develop sustainably.

One other way to do that is to buy carbon budgets from developing countries. This will help both developed and developing countries because the developing countries will get money to develop sustainably and developed countries to buy time to reduce their emissions.

Of course this doesn’t give Canada an excuse to continue procrastinating.

The UN or some other independent organization could manage this as a Global Carbon Budget Trading Scheme. Countries with excess carbon budgets would offer them to be auctioned, and developed countries could bid for extra budgets.

The table on this page is the result of using 2017 populations and 2016 CO2 emissions for all 192 countries. The populations were used to calculate the carbon budgets and the emissions to determine how long it will take to use up the budgets (assuming the 2016 rate.) The table can be sorted.