Half a croissant, on a plate, with a sign in front of it saying '50c'
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Kyoto Protocol

Solution to global warming problems
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Everyone agrees that there is little immediate incentive for polluting countries to cut their CO2 emissions. This proposal gives them a direct, near immediate monetary incentive:

The top 10 polluting countries enter a competion to reduce their carbon emissions (representing around 90% of global emissions) Each country agrees to forward an ante toward the prize pool that represents a small percentage of that countries GDP (richer countries pay more but overall the burden is balanced).

The idea is that the prize pool is given to the country that reduces it's carbon emissions the most over the competition period - say, 1-3 years, adjudicated by an international body like the UN.

The biggest advantage of this is that it gives participants a direct financial incentive to reduce carbon emissions - a factor that is completely lacking in the Kyoto Protocol... (Sure there are carbon credits but that system seems completely arbitrary, unmeasurable and unworkable)

The catch is that the winning country must reinvest a large proportion of the prize money into renewable energy technologies. The added incentive is that the renewable energy technologies developed from the prize pool can be sold internationally for a profit - big business. Also, because that country has reduced their C02 emissions they are likely to no longer be a part of the top 10 emitters per capita - even if they still are they are given a moratorium of 3 years before they are required to participate and put in their ante.

Case scenario: The US pays an ante of $1 billion in a prize pool of $5 billion (US pays more proportionally as they have a bigger GDP) Their incentive is to win back their $1b and the other $4b up for grabs. If they win then they get cash, reduce their C02 emissions, bolster their green energy industries, increase their green technology exports and have a moratorium from forking out more cash for the prize pool for the next few years...

And in case you're wondering, there's greater financial incentive for countries to stay out of the top 10 than to be in it.

Obeardedone, Sep 16 2005

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       I'm sure there's a very fundamental flaw with this very cool idea, but as I can't find it I am duty bound to give you a bun. Nice work.   

       EDIT - Oh yes, persuading the electorate that gambling with the countries wealth is a good idea. The bun remains however.
wagster, Sep 16 2005

       Ok, lets say that the US plays the game and decides to be a "good loser" in all of this using their $1 million ante as permission to pollute all they want to.
Jscotty, Sep 16 2005

       There's already something called the "Kyoto Protocol", how about "Kyoto Lottery" as a name for this?
krelnik, Sep 16 2005

       Would the UN be able to enforce and maintain such a 'contest'?
chocolateraindrops, Sep 16 2005

       Number of posts 'til referred to Overbaked...
Detly, Sep 16 2005

       A slippery slope, this national gambling. Soon entire countries might become addicted. Small, debt ridden countries would buy lottery tickets every week, losing every week, finally going bust, but so what? You want my people? yells the dictator. You got em!
ldischler, Sep 16 2005

       US: "Okay. We'll stop packing our ammunition with CFC and use nitrogen instead. We win!"
reensure, Sep 16 2005

       Perhaps my reference to "ante" and "prize pool" raised unnecessary concerns regarding gambling. Think of it more as a "participation fee" to win a contract. Unlike gambling, the winner of the contract must spend a large portion of the money on developing renewable energy technologies (for which they were contracted) as opposed to spending it on drugs, hookers and more gambling from which the gambling industry tends to get its bad name.   

       Participation fee - It's all in the marketing.
Obeardedone, Sep 17 2005

       Jscotty - True, but they would be more than likely to not even pay the ante (participate) and pollute all they want to anyway. If they do pay then there's a stronger incentive for them to actually want to reduce emissions. Perhaps a certain amount of national pride would come into play whereby they wouldn't want to be seen as being flogged in the green energy tech field by say, by China. Don't forget about the knock on effect of the new technologies developed being a direct economic advantage both in internal cost reductions associated with green energy and sale of those products to other countries.
Obeardedone, Sep 17 2005

       //Perhaps a certain amount of national pride would come into play whereby they wouldn't want to be seen as being flogged in the green energy tech field by say, by China.//   

       I think China is too concerned with becoming a superpower to be too concerned with environmentally friendly tech, unfortunately.
Adze, Sep 17 2005

       "there's greater financial incentive for countries to stay out of the top 10 than to be in it."   

       if they don't want to play this lottery, they just wont pay into it- just like the US isn't somehow obligated to sign in to the Kyoto Protocol. Also, $5b is a rounding error in the US budget.
thebigo195, Sep 17 2005

       Those countries that have little or no interest in reducing emissions would just ignore this completely. My guess would be that a fair number of the 10 biggest polluters fall into this category.
hidden truths, Sep 17 2005


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