CarbonSense has, in the past, given time to long-term thinking, and has been involved in a number of pivotal events that have shaped climate change thinking.
In light of this we have now launched The CarbonSense Foundation. The CarbonSense Foundation is a not-for-profit organisation whose purpose will be to build upon this valuable work, and develop new projects.
The CarbonSense Foundation has been set up with the following aims:
- to research, create, and communicate innovative responses to climate change and related issues and consequences; and
- to inform and influence policy to assist society’s effective transition to a low carbon future
The CarbonSense Foundation is currently seeking funding for the following three projects:
1) The Carbon Quilt
The Carbon Quilt is a universal tool to make greenhouse gases visible, in a way that is useful and meaningful for monitoring, policy development, international negotiation and public communication. It uses a computer graphics technique which is scaleable, accurate and fair.
The core benefits are as follow:
- brings to life the abstract concept of a ‘carbon footprint’
- is scientifically accurate – shows actual size and area of any GHG quantity
- works on all scales – people can ‘see’ the carbon footprint of a whole continent or a single light bulb
- can show historical and future carbon emissions, with consequential temperature, sealevel and other local and global impacts
- when animated, can be used to tell any ‘carbon story’.
Our aim immediate aim is for the Carbon Quilt to make a significant contribution to the UN climate negotiations at Copenhagen in December 2009, and to influence the effectiveness of campaigns, communications, negotiations and policy development in the run-up to the summit. We have developed a prototype web tool which you can find at www.carbonquilt.org
2) Carbon for Monetary Debt Swap
One of the obstacles in global climate negotiations is the historic responsibility for greenhouse gases in the atmosphere: how can under-emitting countries be compensated for the prior emissions of the industrialised world?
The CarbonSense Foundation has a solution which we would liketo investigate more thoroughly with academic and economic partners. Initial unfunded work, using publicly available emissions & population data, and certain assumptions about the Earth's natural capacity to absorb carbon dioxide emissions, has led us to make the following observations:
- Between 1992 and 2007, under-emitting countries generated a carbon credit valued at approximately $1.295 trillion
- Over the same period, over-emitting countries generated a carbon debt valued at approximately $3.9 trillion.
Three courses of action are possible:
- By international treaty the World could set up a means of accounting for the value of carbon debt and so arrange for the transfer of $3.9 trillion (calculated carbon debt of over emitters) into a climate change adaptation fund for use in those countries hardest hit by climate change, and
- The carbon credit of the under-emitting countries could be transferred into country-specific climate change adaptation funds compensating them to a value of $1.295 trillion.
- The carbon credit of the under-emitting countries could be accounted for in consideration of existing monetary debt, compensating for $1.295 trillion off the outstanding total of $2.5 trillion. The residual ($1.205 trillion) could be compensated for by the partial annulment of the over-emitting countries’ carbon debt.
This thinking is detailed in a 3-page overview which you can download here.
3) Carbon Depletion Protocol - how oil, coal & gas suppliers can solve climate change
The causes of climate change over the past 200 years can be identified quite simply as the combustion of oil, coal and gas, in addition to net deforestation. To counter these simple causes, we have created a complex financial and political solution, requiring many players and opaque accounting.
The problem is that we are trying to solve climate change by focusing our attention and solutions upon the most complex part of the system. We are trying to measure and understand the emission profiles for millions of individuals and companies who sit at the lower part of our complex carbon system. We are aiming our efforts at the wrong place. We need to manage the source of the carbon that comes from the few organisations and countries that extract and sell oil, gas, coal and other indirect forms of carbon release such as net deforestation.
So what do we do? We need to start challenging the assumption that our current approach is the best and most effective way. It is clear from a systemic perspective that the simplest, most effective solution is to manage the production and sale of fossil fuel based energy, (as well as net deforestation etc) upstream. OPEC and other major suppliers of carbon intensive fuels are certainly in a position to manage the supply – they just need to understand the importance of acting now and in a way that supports global intergenerational environmental stability and their economic viability.
The CarbonSense Foundation would like to receive funding to support an investigation into the economic impacts of a climate change solution based upon the solution as above.
For a 3-page overview of the project proposal please click here.
For further information please contact:
The CarbonSense Foundation
Devon TQ14 8TL