How can you solve the problem of a shared, common interest in reducing global carbon?
The idea he was defending was that scientists should specify a worldwide cap on global emissions of greenhouse gases — “a carbon cap” — that would apply if countries were serious about staying below an internationally agreed upper limit on global warming. It was just a single paragraph, but it had huge implications, and everyone in the room knew it. If it were adopted, it would make starkly clear how far the world remains from having any meaningful policy to tackle climate change.
“It was inconveniently simple,” Dr. Knutti would say a few days later.
The Intergovernmental Panel on Climate Change attempts a solution–with negotation on language and paragraphs rampant–as we would expect for such a diplomatic policymaking exercise.