Climatic Change

, Volume 91, Issue 3–4, pp 275–290 | Cite as

Contraction and convergence: an assessment of the CCOptions model

  • Alice BowsEmail author
  • Kevin Anderson


Well before President Putin ratified the Kyoto Protocol, the debate had begun as to the appropriate form of any post-Kyoto agreement. Amongst the emission reduction regimes being considered is that of Contraction and Convergence; conceived by Global Commons Institute (GCI) as a practical interpretation of the philosophy that “every adult on the planet has an equal right to emit greenhouse gases”. To support the Contraction and Convergence regime, the GCI have developed a computer model, CCOptions, to correlate CO2 stabilisation levels with global, regional and national carbon reduction targets. This paper analyses the model, concluding that, whilst the aim of CCOptions is laudable, the application of the model in its current form is unnecessarily ambitious and as a consequence potentially misleading to all but the well-informed user.


Climate Sensitivity Cumulative Emission Dynamic Global Vegetation Model Global Carbon Budget Dangerous Climate Change 
These keywords were added by machine and not by the authors. This process is experimental and the keywords may be updated as the learning algorithm improves.


Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.

Unable to display preview. Download preview PDF.


  1. Bows A, Anderson K, Upham P (2005) Growth scenarios for EU & UK aviation: contradictions with climate policy. Tyndall Centre Publications: WP84Google Scholar
  2. Cameron J, Evans A (2003) What happens after Kyoto? More of the same or ‘Contraction & Convergence’? New Eco 10(3):128–131CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  3. CDIAC (2004) Global, regional and national fossil fuel CO2 emissions: Cited 2003
  4. COMM (2005) Winning the battle against global climate change. European Parliament CommunicationGoogle Scholar
  5. Cox PM, Betts RA, Jones CD et al (2000) Acceleration of global warming due to carbon-cycle feedbacks in a coupled climate model. Nature 408:184–187CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  6. Cox PM, Huntingford C, Jones CD (2006) Conditions for sink-to-source transitions and runaway feedbacks from the land carbon-cycle. In: Schellnhuber HJ, Cramer W, Nakicenovic N, et al. (eds) Avoiding dangerous climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 155–161Google Scholar
  7. Cranmer W, Bondeau A, Woodward FI et al (2001) Global response of terrestrial ecosystem structure and function to CO2 and climate change: results from six dynamic global vegetation models. Glob Chang Biol 7:357–373CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  8. DEFRA (2006) Climate change: the UK Programme 2006. UK Government Publication. DEFRA, London, HMSO, NorwichGoogle Scholar
  9. Den Elzen MGJ, Lucas P (2003) FAIR 2.0: a decision-support model to assess the environmental and economic consequences of future climate regimes. RIVM report 550015001Google Scholar
  10. DTI (2003) Our energy future – creating a low carbon economy. Energy White Paper, Department of Trade and Industry, Stationery Office, LondonGoogle Scholar
  11. DTI (2006) Our energy challenge: securing clean, affordable energy for the long term. Department of Trade and Industry, LondonGoogle Scholar
  12. Eggleston HS, Salway AG, Charles D et al (1998) Treatment of uncertainties for national estimates of greenhouse gas emissions. AEAT-2688-1Google Scholar
  13. Friedlingstein P, Bopp L, Ciais P et al (2001) Positive feedback between future climate change and the carbon cycle. Geophys Res Lett 28:1543–1546CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  14. Friedlingstein P, Cox PM, Betts RA et al (2006) Climate-carbon cycle feedback analysis, results from the C4MIP model intercomparison. J Climate 19:3337–3353CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  15. Grassl H, Kokott J, Kulessa M, Luther J, Nuscheler F, Sauerborn R, Schellnhuber H-J, Schubert R, Schulze E-D (2003) Climate protection strategies for the 21st century: Kyoto and Beyond. German Advisory Council on Global Change, BerlinGoogle Scholar
  16. Houghton JT, Meira Filho LG, Callander BA et al (eds) (1996) The science of climate change, contribution of working group 1 to the second assessment report of the IPCC. Cambridge University Press, CambridgeGoogle Scholar
  17. IPCC (2007) Climate change 2007: the physical science basis. Contribution of Working Group I to the Fourth Assessment report of the IPCCGoogle Scholar
  18. Jones CD, Cox PM, Huntingford C (2006) Impact of climate-carbon cycle feedbacks on emissions scenarios to achieve stabilisation. In: Schellnhuber HJ, Cramer W, Nakicenovic N et al (eds) Avoiding dangerous climate change. Cambridge University Press, Cambridge, pp 323–331Google Scholar
  19. Lenton TM (2000) Land and ocean carbon cycle feedback effects on global warming in a simple Earth system model. Tellus B 52:1159–1188CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  20. Lenton TM, Huntingford C (2003) Global terrestrial carbon storage and uncertainties in its temperature sensitivity examined with a simple model. Glob Chang Biol 9:1333–1352CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  21. Matthews HD (2005) Decrease of emissions required to stabilise atmospheric CO2 due to positive carbon cycle-climate feedbacks. Geophys Res Lett 32:L21707 doi:10.1029/2005GL023435 CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  22. Matthews B (2006a) Java climate model.
  23. Matthews HD (2006b) Emissions targets for CO2 stabilization as modified by carbon cycle feedbacks. Tellus B 58(5):591–602CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  24. Meyer A (2000) Contraction & convergence - the global solution to climate change. Green books, DevonGoogle Scholar
  25. Raupach R, Marland G, Ciais P, Le Quere C, Canadell JG, Klepper G, Field CB (2007) Global and regional drivers of accelerating CO2 emissions. Proc Natl Acad Sci 104(24):10288–10293CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  26. RCEP (2000) Energy- the changing climate. 22nd report: CM4749. The Stationery Office, LondonGoogle Scholar
  27. United Nations (2002) World population prospects, revision 2002. Cited May 2005
  28. White A, Cannell MGR, Friend AD (1999) Climate change impacts of ecosystems and the terrestrial carbon sink: a new assessment. Glob Environ Change 9:S21–S30CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  29. Wigley TML, Richels R, Edmonds JA (1996) Economic and environmental choices in the stabilisation of atmospheric CO2 concentrations. Nature 379:242–245CrossRefGoogle Scholar
  30. Zeng N, Qian H, Munoz E et al (2004) How strong is carbon cycle-climate feedback under global warming? Geophys Res Lett 31:L20203CrossRefGoogle Scholar

Copyright information

© Springer Science+Business Media B.V. 2008

Authors and Affiliations

  1. 1.Tyndall Centre for Climate Change ResearchUniversity of ManchesterManchesterUK

Personalised recommendations