Abstract for: Raising the Quality of Human Life - A Least Cost Route to Reducing Carbon Emissions: Insights from a System Dynamics Model

As the Kyoto Protocol approaches the end of its validity and as the international community prepares for designing its successor, the pressure to act, for both developed and developing countries, is inexorably building up. Developing countries emphasize that their total emissions may be significant and growing, but their per capita emissions are still very low -- far below those of the developed world. On the other hand, the industrialised countries claim that without some reduction in future emissions from emerging economies, global change cannot be contained within the limits that are considered safe. This paper looks at how rapid improvements in quality of life among the world’s poorest, and specific, carefully designed interventions, through their impact may provide the one common platform that would attract and bring together almost all parties. These interventions would identify leverage points in societies which have the greatest impact for the least cost and disruption. This paper presents a possible win-win strategy that can bring the competitors in the current game to play to agreed, logic- based and consistent rules. These rules would be derived from a systems analysis that attempts to overcome the northern consumption vs southern population related stand-offs that exist today.