Zero Emission Plan for Paris

Category: PARIS COP21


Zero Emission Plan for Paris


A simple & fair plan for a predictable worldwide reduction of carbon emissions by 2050 - with Zero Emission Profits.


25 years of negotiations for a worldwide climate change treaty are finally culminating in the Paris conference in December this year. Stakes are high since this is the last chance for a carbon dioxide reduction treaty that would still allow the world to limit currently rising temperatures to 2 degrees Celsius, beyond which tipping points would likely trigger devastating weather conditions on earth - the HEAT-AGE (1).




But, how would a climate change treaty look like and how can it be achieved?


A treaty would need to achieve these goals:




  1. Reducing carbon emissions by 80% by 2050, through

  2. a massive worldwide installation of renewable energies




The world carbon emissions currently peak at around 40 billion tons, every year. Carbon emissions, that accumulate and continue to stay in the atmosphere trapping heat for Centuries to come (2), until eventually raining down on earth in the form of acid rain.


To systematically reduce carbon emissions a worldwide cap-and-trade system is proposed, i.e. carbon dioxide pollution allowances (carbon certificates) that every polluter would need to buy to cover its annual emissions. These carbon certificates could be emitted by an international organization once a year with reducing the worldwide annual emissions by say 2% per year, thereby predictably reducing worldwide carbon emissions by 2050. Our proposal is to couple existing markets into a worldwide carbon certificates market by 2020. All countries shall have by then either joined existing or newly to be established carbon markets.


Item no.1 for the Paris Treaty: establishment of a worldwide carbon certificates market by 2020




Now, there are two problems to be solved: Countries that don’t want to participate and Developing Countries that claim additional allowances for their future economic development.




Let’s first consider Countries that deny a participation. Recent discussions in the New York Times have proposed a carbon import tax for all goods from Countries not participating in a worldwide carbon certificates market (3). The collected revenue can then be used to buy the missing certificates.


Item no. 2 for the Paris Treaty: implementing a carbon import tax for denying Countries beyond 2020, i.e. for imports from Countries refusing to participate in the worldwide carbon certificates market.




The long term goal for developing as well as for industrialized Countries is the allocation of 1 ton of carbon emissions per person, with 10 billion people in 2050 resulting in 10 billion tons of annual carbon emissions, down from 40 billion tons today. Such amount would likely allow the world temperatures to stay at or below the 2 degrees target.


Item no. 3 for the Paris Treaty: Define a carbon reduction goal for the world of an annual 10 billion tons by 2050.




Now, here comes the crucial point of 25 years fruitless climate change negotiations: How are carbon certificates allocated? There are 2 opposing proposals, status quo allocations and equal allocation per capita. In the latter would each Country obtain the same ton per capita carbon allowances, going down over time. Sounds fair, but, industrialized countries will not agree. Not only would they carry the reduction burden, but would also have to pay developing countries for their extra certificates ontop.


The alternative proposal is to allocate carbon certificates based on the status quo emissions, say each countries 2010 emissions, with annual 2% haircuts. Developing countries will not agree, claiming their right for future economic development linked to increasing carbon emissions. They first want industrialized countries alone –the main polluters- to reduce their carbon footprint.


Zero Emission-Think Tank therefore is proposing the following „Zero Emission Plan for Paris“ which is a combination of both approaches:




Firstly, industrialized countries would receive status quo allowances, i.e. 75% of the carbon certificates based on their 75% emissions today. At least initially, developing countries would receive 25% of the certificates for their status quo emissions – industrialized countries happy -




Secondly, we are proposing a 5 year interims period until 2020 whereby developing countries would receive an annual 1% higher allocation of certificates, i.e. more than they need, with industrialized countries receiving an annual 1% lower allocation – developing countries happy.


Industrialized countries shouldn’t complain either as most of them have reduction targets until 2020 anyways. The key point is that developing countries now get more certificates than they need today. Much appreciated income to develop their own energy infrastructure.




Thirdly, there is no reason beyond 2020 to not only reduce allocations to industrialized countries, until the level of developing countries is reached, but keep developing countries allocations constant at the higher level just described. The latter can then sell their surplus certificates to industrialized countries on the worldwide carbon certificates market, and surely love to generate these additional profits. However, these profits will only continue as long as their own carbon emissions stay low.


Item no. 4 for the Paris Treaty: Carbon certificates allocation: i) Interims period 2015-2020: all countries initially receive status quo allocations, with allocations for industrialized countries decreasing 1% p.a. and developing countries increasing 1% p.a. ii) Reduction period beyond 2020: Allocations for industrialized countries decreasing at a predictable rate of 2% p.a. with developing countries constantly receiving 2020 level surplus allocations.




Will this impact the economic development of developing countries?


Not at all anymore, because the world is not the fossil-based Kyoto world of the 90ies anymore. For 95% of the world population, today, new renewable energies –especially wind and solar- show already better economics than conventional structures (4). This is a dramatic change in paradigms. Especially, if fossil structures’ subsidies amounting to an annual $ 5 Trillion or 6% of the world’s GDP according to the IMF (5) were to be reduced step by step:


Item no. 5 for the Paris Treaty: Extinguishing the annual $5 Trillion in worldwide subsidies to non-renewable energies until 2020.




In the wake of the past 25 years of climate change negotiations, renewable energies have now come of age. For developing countries today, it makes much more economic sense from the beginning on to develop cheap decentralized, distributed renewable energy systems, especially in light of wind and solar systems being fueled by the sun, with almost zero marginal costs after its amortizations. A great economic advantage for renewables.


And with their surplus carbon certificate allocations for the next decades to come, developing countries can now finance these already cheaper wind and solar systems. A great double profit: income from certificates and already cheaper renewable energy structures with zero marginal costs. Zero emission profit at its best.




This change in economic paradigms with new renewable energies being now cheaper than fossil structures is indeed dramatic for the world economy: Everybody that doesn’t get it will continue to pay more now. And, everybody that knows the numbers will now go for cheaper renewables! Will go for “Energiewende”, the energy transition to 80% renewables by 2050 chancellor Merkel is working on in Germany already. With good economic reasons (6).


And to put this change of paradigms into the appropriate context: This is the first time in history, a climate change conference doesn’t have to talk about the costs to fight climate change anymore, but instead can talk about profits. This is the key message for Paris: let’s talk about Profits. Zero Emission Profits, with renewables.


The ball is back in politics – just make it work now!




Item no. 6 for the Paris Treaty: Define the goal for increasing renewables to 80% worldwide by 2050. And define worldwide renewable targets like, 20% by 2020, 30% by 2030, 50% by 2040 and 80% by 2050. For Zero Emission Profits.




Executive Summary


The „Zero EmissionPlan for Paris” proposes to reduce our carbon emissions with a worldwide carbon certificates market by 2020 (Mechanism) with annual allocations resulting in a predictable 80% reduction by 2050 (Goal). Importantly, the plan is fair for both, developing and industrialized countries, resolving the carbon certificates allocation problem -status quo versus per capita allocations- the underlying reason for 25 years of unsuccessful climate change negotiations (Fairness): We are proposing an interims period 2015-2020, starting with status quo allocations to each country –industrialized countries happy- with lowering industrialized allocations 1% p.a. while increasing developing countries` allocations 1% p.a., resulting in a surplus for developing countries –developing countries happy. Beyond 2020, allocations of carbon certificates are annually reduced for industrialized countries and kept constant at the 2020 surplus level for developing countries. Reductions are achieved by switching fossil structures into by now more economic new renewable energy structures – both happy.


Developing countries will also profit from renewables: They can now sell their surplus allocations to finance already cheaper renewable, zero emission energies with almost zero marginal costs once amortized, in decentralized/distributed systems. Developing countries will want to install zero emission renewable energies to keep their surplus allocations. Therefore, Developing Countries can profit twice, firstly by surplus allocations and secondly by installing already cheaper new renewable systems.


New renewable structures are now cheaper than conventional ones, and this is key to the plan. To put this into the appropriate context: This is the first time in history, a climate change conference doesn’t have to talk about the costs to fight climate change anymore, but instead can now talk about profits (Change in Paradigms). This is the key message for Paris:


Forget about costs, there are no costs, let’s talk about Profits! Zero Emission Profits!




A renewables point of no return.




Dr. Ingo Stuckmann, Zero Emission-Think Tank article on www.zepface.it



Zero Emission Plan“by Zero Emission - Think Tank





Vorschlag einer fairen Verteilung der CO2-Zertifikate zwischen Industrie- und Entwicklungsländern. Letztere erhalten anfangs höhere Zuteilungen, um den Aufbau mittlerweile kostengünstigerer Erneuerbarer Energien in dezentralen Strukturen zu finanzieren.










  1. 2 degrees target:


Climate change on the way to Paris / Zero Emission-Think Tank - article on www.zepface.it




  1. Half life of accumulating CO2 in atmosphere:


Zero Emission People and the breath of Columbus - Dr. Stuckmann - article on www.zepface.it




http://www.ipcc.ch/pdf/assessment-report/ar5/syr/AR5_SYR_FINAL_SPM.pdf, page 16


  1. Carbon import tax proposal:




  1. Renewables energies show better economics than conventional:


Zero Emission People – CO2 free living (2015), chapter 5, Author: Dr. Ingo Stuckmann, book on www.ZeroEmissionCalculator.com/zep-shop


  1. Global energy subsidies fuel climate change, says IMF study




  1. Paris and the „point of no return“ / Zero Emission-Think Tank / Article on www.zepface.it




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