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The Opportunity and Challenge
Today there are just over 7 billion people on the planet Earth. By 2050 it is estimated that there will be between 8.3 and 10.9billion.
All these people represent the potential for economic growth and progress. This economic potential will be realised by businesses and their employees.All these people also present an increasing threat to the environment and communities of people who are not directly connected to the economic value chain in this population growth.The challenge of the 21st Century is to decide how the environmental costs will be equitably distributed amongst the beneficiaries. Who should pay, consumers, producers or taxpayers; and how much should they each pay?
The Kyoto Protocol of 1997 committed signatory Parties to adhere to internationally set emission reduction targets.
Implementation rules were adopted in the Marrakesh Accords of 2001 and the Protocol entered into force in 2005. A commitment period to the Protocol began in 2008 and ended in 2012.
In December 2012, the Doha Amendment to the Kyoto Protocol was adopted. Under the Amendment, Parties to the Protocol agreed to make a second commitment, between 2013 and 2020, in relation to specific actions to be taken to reduce emissions. The monetary value of these actions is $100 billion in financial support to developing nations. The second commitment only covers 14% of global emissions, which means that there remains a great challenge to create a comprehensive solution that is widespread and successful. At least 100 Parties need to ratify the Doha Amendment for it to work.
During the first commitment period, 37 industrialized countries and the European Community committed to reduce Greenhouse Gas (GHG) emissions to an average of five percent against 1990 levels. During the second commitment period, Parties committed to reduce GHG emissions by at least 18 percent below 1990 levels in the eight-year period from 2013 to 2020.The composition of Parties in the second commitment period was different from the first.
The Cancun Agreements of 2010 committed signatories to maintain the global temperature within two degrees Celsius of its “pre-Industrial” levels by the year 2050. This Agreement implicitly accepts the principle that Global Warming is directly attributable to Greenhouse Gases. At the policy maker level there is no further debate needed, only action to be taken. The acceptance of the importance of Global Warming has therefore already been accepted; and concrete steps have already been taken by policy makers. These steps have broad implications, which need to be understood by all those will be impacted.
The 2013 UN Framework Convention on Climate Change in Warsaw has taken the process further. “Loss and Damage” mechanisms have been authorised in 2015 to utilise $100 million in developed nation commitments to developing nations.
The Big Issue
The main questions of who will pay and how much each will pay of the $ 100 billion in commitments, to be made to developing nations by 2015, remains unanswered.
The objectives of the Project are to stimulate and participate in the debate about the question of who should ultimately pay for environmental protection; focusing on the demographic aged between eleven and eighteen.
Introducing “Generation Carbon”
This demographic has been alive since the UN Framework Convention on Climate Change began with the Kyoto Protocol in 1997. This is the important demographic who have a growing awareness of the environmental issues that they have inherited; and the fact that they will have to deal with them as adults. They will thus have a strong impact on environmental decision-making; first by their parents and second as they become adults. Understanding how this demographic thinks and behaves is of great interest to companies and policy makers. I will be conducting a survey of this demographic, which I have named “Generation Carbon”, to understand how it is thinking; and how it will behave in relation to environmental issues. “Generation Carbon” will then be compared against other demographics in the survey. An essay which introduces and gives more explanation about “Generation Carbon” was published by Global Economic Intersection on February 4th 2014. The full essay can be found using this link Introducing “Generation Carbon” v4.