Beyond Kyoto, plan B: a climate policy master plan based on transparent metricsBeyond Kyoto, plan B: a climate policy master plan based on transparent metrics
Faculty of Applied Economics
Ecological economics. - Amsterdam
68(2009), p. 2930-2937
University of Antwerp
Many scholars analyze the KyotoCopenhagen process, and offer corrective suggestions for identified flaws in the present design. Based on various proposals in the literature, this article adopts a global master-plan perspective, leaving executive architecture to sovereign participants. Transparent, flexible and fair top-down rules must synchronize the numerous bottom-up initiatives while addressing the diversity of national circumstances in the drastic transformation of the world's energy economies. Plan B refutes absolute emission reduction targets on old or speculative baselines. It criticizes global tax and permit trade instruments for being ineffective, inefficient and unfair when uniformly applied on a tremendous differentiated world. Plan B is built on three annually observed variables measuring percentage progress against rolling baselines (the variables' values in the previous year): the ratio of net climate tax revenues to GDP, the commercial energy intensity of GDP, and the carbon intensity of commercial energy use. The three variables together indicate countries' progress affecting emissions per person, a metric that must converge to lower bands when climate change is addressed seriously. Long-term scenarios of global convergence funnels serve as guidance to frame near-term actions rich and poor countries individually propose to take. The global regime is common for all countries, and is ranked by GDP per person to determine whether a nation is a donor or a beneficiary in a Global Climate Transfer Fund. Fund payments and drawing rights depend on that ranking but also on the performances of the countries in realizing committed progress. The transparent mechanisms of the design and of the fund persuasively invite countries to participate in a fair, self-enforcing agreement.