Emissions caps must be accompanied by justice-promoting measures
Legal action may provide key to effective climate justice
In response to the IPCC’s Fifth Assessment Report on the dangers of climate change, the climate group of Feasta points out that binding emissions caps are essential to effective climate change policy and that such caps need to include a mechanism for fairly distributing the funds generated by the sales of emissions permits. In addition, a system needs to be devised for protecting carbon stored in forests and increasing the carbon content of soils.
They claim that the economy will need radical re-adjustment in order to overcome its current dependency on fossil fuels but that if this restructuring is carried out in a timely and competent manner, the overall wellbeing of most people could actually improve.
“An enormous amount of human suffering which, on the face of it, seems to have nothing to do with climate, could nonetheless be alleviated by an effective climate change policy” said Caroline Whyte, co-author of the group’s 2012 book Sharing for Survival: Restoring the Climate, the Commons and Society.
Group members warn that legal action may be necessary in order to compel fossil fuel companies to observe emissions caps. They are exploring the possibility of pursuing climate-related legal action in the UK in partnership with other NGOs.
Sharing for Survival: Restoring the Climate, the Commons and Society is a collection of essays by nine Feasta climate group members, taking the premise that the climate is a type of commons which everybody has a share in and that this needs to be reflected in climate policy.
Cap and Share (framework proposed by Feasta energy group and and developed in Sharing for Survival, which combines emissions caps with fund distribution):
Note: Feasta is a forum for exchanging ideas. By posting on its site Feasta agrees that the ideas expressed by authors are worthy of consideration. However, there is no one ‘Feasta line’. The views of the article do not necessarily represent the views of all Feasta members.