To keep the planet from overheating, there’s just so much more carbon that humans can pump into the atmosphere. From the onset of the Industrial Revolution until today, humanity has used up approximately 83 percent of its “carbon budget”—the amount of carbon the atmosphere can absorb and not exceed the Paris climate agreement’s aspirational goal of a 1.5C degree increase in global temperatures since the pre-industrial era. At the current rate of emissions, the budget will be used up within the next decade.
Equally troubling has been the distribution of those carbon emissions. “With just below 20 percent of the world population, the Global North has overconsumed 70 percent of the historic carbon budget,” notes Meena Raman, president of Friends of the Earth Malaysia and head of programs at Third World Network, at a Global Just Transition webinar. “Those who became rich in a world unfettered in terms of emitting greenhouse gasses are responsible for much of the destruction we’re facing today.”
Because of this large disparity in emissions and in wealth earned alongside those emissions, the rich countries of the north owe the poorer countries a kind of “climate debt.” Now, when carbon emissions have to be controlled severely, the north …read more
Source:: Institute for Policy Studies