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The 17 Sustainable Development Goals from a Universal Carbon Credits Perspective

The UN Sustainable Development Goals (SDGs) provide a framework to guide humanity from now through to sustainability. This is how Universal Carbon Credits / Carbon Account Mechanism (Compte carbone) fit into the SDG framework.

The 17 SDGs and their 169 sub-goals are a call for action by all countries – poor, rich and middle-income – to promote prosperity while protecting the planet. They recognize that ending poverty must go hand-in-hand with strategies that build economic growth and address a range of social needs including education, health, social protection, and job opportunities, while fighting inequalities, tackling climate change and ensuring that no one is left behind.

The United Nations website

The UN adopted the SDGs by unanimous resolution in 2015 with a target date of 2030. All countries are called upon to address the urgent challenges facing our planet, together, across all parts of society, the economy and the environment.

SDG 1 – No Poverty

Universal Carbon Credits, being exchangeable, would benefit those who are the most frugal with their CO2 emissions, as those wanted to undertake more high emissions activities than their allocation allows must purchase more from those who can sell. Most people living in poverty have very low emissions and will be able to sell their carbon, generating a flow of money from the wealthy to the poor.

If annual global CO2 emissions shrink from 53 Gigatonnes of CO2e in 2020 to less than 10 Gt in 2050, the average personal allowance shrinks from 8 tonnes to 1 tonne. If the billion human beings currently living in poverty can give up 0.5 tonnes per year and the global price of carbon rises to US$1000 per tonne, it will result in a net flow of US$500 billion from the wealthy to the poor. These payments would make reparation for two centuries’ usage of Earth’s carbon sinks.

SDG 2 – Zero Hunger

One of the 2015 UN Paris Accord is to keep global warming under 2°C. The UN IPCC reports increasing loss of agricultural productivity worldwide as the globe warms.[1]Download the IPCC 5th Assessment Report “Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and … Continue reading

Climate change-induced extreme weather, fires, heatwaves and droughts have already impacted many crops around the world, illustrating keenly how agriculture is dependent on a stable climate. Sea level rise is pushing salt water into low-lying lands in deltas and islands, destroying farmland. This is clearly the opposite direction to the goal of zero hunger.

The flow of resources to poorer nations as payment for carbon credits allows for investment in more sustainable and resilient forms of agriculture, such as agroforestry.

SDG 3 – Good Health and Well-being

A long-term increase in average ambient temperature will cause increases in discomfort, disease, parasitic infestations and the spread of pest species (e.g. Asian hornet, tiger mosquito). Increased CO2 levels impact human brain functioning, causing 15% loss of memory capacity, reaction speed, recognition at 500ppm CO2 and 21% loss at 1000ppm.[2]See Business Insider 2019 “Our ability to complete complex, strategic tasks could drop 50% by 2100, scientists warn. Indoor carbon dioxide is to blame.” … Continue reading The world went from 270ppm atmospheric CO2 in the 19th century to 421ppm in 2021. Ideal human cognitive functioning across the world population, at less than 350ppm, provides levels of social development and quality of life that is impaired at higher CO2 levels. This implies massive removal of CO2 from the atmosphere, which the Universal Carbon Credits framework would administer through the funding of carbon sinks with carbon credits.

SDG 4 – Quality Education

Education is a human right, and in terms of the education of girls and women, this will play a key part in the struggle against climate change and lead to a halt in population growth on a global scale. In terms of climate change and the need for every global citizen to become far more aware of their role in creating the greenhouse gas emissions, the use and experience of dealing with UCCs as a carbon currency on a daily basis are likely to be the most effective educational tools in increasing people’s carbon literacy. However, it is education that is the primary force, and it is quality education that will enable the global citizen to grasp the concept of prosperity, the etymological origins of which word come from “make” (pro-) and “hope” (sper), meaning the need for knowledge, culture, personal exchanges, and not always “more”. These are the fundamental dynamics for guaranteeing the progress of civilisation in the face of climate change.

SDG 5 – Gender Equality

Male predominance has started to fade since 1945 but remains marked by violence, religious cultures and varying disparities according to continent. Levels of discrimination against women correlate directly to poverty levels. Yet research shows women have inherent advantages in decision-making with multi-criteria choices and that in many economies are the traditional business leaders. There is a synergy here with the introduction of UCCs and the carbon currency, through which the UCC economy would stimulate and be stimulated by increases in gender equality. Women can be expected to adjust easily to the framework and enhance its impact on decarbonisation, while the framework simultaneously gives them more influence in the struggle against toxic patriarchy.

SDG 6 – Clean Water and Sanitation

There is a direct link in many regions between climate change and water supply, whether it is from glacier loss, desertification, or sea water encroachment into delta farmland.

Modern consumer products do not only have a hidden CO2 emissions cost, they often also carry a hidden price in terms of water for production that comes from regions where there are water supply problems. Worldwide, many local aquifers have become seriously depleted through overexploitation for commercial purposes. This leads to significant impacts on local people, in both rich and poor countries.

Pierre Calame, the French polymath and Limatour Prize winner, suggested that society unnecessarily constrains itself by limiting itself to one currency. A carbon currency is simply an additional currency – and a water currency could be put in place relatively easily once the infrastructure to have more than one currency exists, to apportion access to water fairly. Such a water currency could be linked in the same way to supply, to guarantee universal access.

SDG 7 – Clean, Affordable Energy

Under this framework, UCCs limit the supply of fossil fuels. The increasing substitution of fossil fuels for all forms of clean renewable energy reduces CO2 emissions and other damaging pollutants. The increased demand for clean energy stimulates innovation in new technologies such as stratospheric wind turbines or thorium reactors. It also allows nations to reduce their dependency on fossil fuel imports and the risks from volatile prices on international markets. The everyday management of UCCs also drives efficiency measures by people wanting to stretch their carbon budgets.

SDG 8 – Decent Work and Economic Growth

Economic growth in the 2020s is something of an anachronism due to the limited applicability of Gross Domestic Product as an indicator of thriving, prosperous economies, however the intention of the authors when the phrase was adopted is clear. The carbon currency could create an estimated 5 million jobs in France. The reduction in fossil fuel consumption demands more human labour in general, hence increased employment. Compared to other policies such as carbon taxes, emissions trading schemes and targetted regulations, the carbon currency is liable to be more effective and efficient, leading to greater socio-economic development and the creation of greater numbers of more sustainable jobs.


Translated from the original French at Compte carbone by Armel Prieur & Adam Hardy.

To be continued…

Please come back to read the rest soon.

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Universal Carbon Credits as a Carbon Currency
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References

References
1 Download the IPCC 5th Assessment Report “Climate Change and Land: an IPCC special report on climate change, desertification, land degradation, sustainable land management, food security, and greenhouse gas fluxes in terrestrial ecosystems” Chapter 5 “Food Security” – https://www.ipcc.ch/site/assets/uploads/sites/4/2021/02/08_Chapter-5_3.pdf
2 See Business Insider 2019 “Our ability to complete complex, strategic tasks could drop 50% by 2100, scientists warn. Indoor carbon dioxide is to blame.” https://www.businessinsider.com/carbon-dioxide-indoors-could-reduce-cognitive-abilities-2019-12

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