Carbon budgets and Canada’s share of global reserves

By Marc Lee

The idea of a global carbon budget is not new, but has been growing in prominence. Carbon Tracker picked up on it in its seminal Unburnable Carbon report, and Bill McKibben amplified that message in his landmark Rolling Stone article, Global Warming’s Terrifying Math, which launched the fossil fuel divestment movement. Then more recently, the Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change for the first time set out a carbon budget (or a few possible budgets with associated probabilities of staying below 2 degrees C). This carbon budget is, for all intents and purposes, forever — at least until we can figure an efficient way of pulling carbon from the atmosphere besides trees. In personal life and government fiscal planning, budgets are more likely to annual in nature; so a more accurate analogy for climate policy might be a carbon “trust fund.”…more

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