Everyone on the planet could get identical greenhouse gas emission rights as part of a drive to halve emissions by 2050, according to a study by Chinese scientists on Monday.
The proposal, presented on the sidelines of a December 1-12 U.N. conference on fighting global warming, would force nations such as the United States which have used most fossil fuels since the Industrial Revolution to buy emission rights from poor nations.
"Developed countries shall take the lead in reducing emissions," said Su Wei, head of climate change at China's National Development and Reform Commission.
The Carbon Budget Proposal suggested that emission allowances could be set at 2.33 tonnes of carbon dioxide per year for each person on the planet in the period 1900 to 2050 as part of a goal of halving world emissions by 2050.
Most rich nations have already far exceeded their budgets and would have to buy emissions rights to keep on emitting until 2050. U.S. emissions now exceed 20 tonnes per capita.
"The accumulative historical emissions in the U.S. is about three times its total carbon budget," according to the study, by scientists at the Chinese Academy of Social Sciences.
Other countries such as Britain or Germany are also overdrawn.
Poor nations, such as many African states where emissions are below one tonne per person, were far below their 1900-2050 quotas and would receive cash from the rich....MORE
The O'Jays nailed it: