Debate 34 - Carbon Targets#2: will 20% get us to where we need to be?

Saturday, April 5th, 2008 | Debates

The Pareto principle warns us against absolute targets: 20% effort will take us 80% of the way there. The achieving the remaining 20% results in diminishing returns. Does any of this help us with climate change? Maybe?

Carbon Targets #2

Carbon Targets #2

We have a number of climate change targets to achieve. They are mostly domestic but with time they will become increasingly international. We can imagine that the amount of wriggle room we currently enjoy will begin to dry up, so that these become targets that we need to achieve. How does Pareto help?

Within the national targets will be sector targets, some of which may be easier/cheaper (investment cost vs opportunity cost) than others to achieve. Stark choices will be involved and the answer is likely to be utilitarian.

This debate is all about identifying the low hanging fruit in the built environment and asking is there enough and if not what do we do? Where do we put the balance of our effort and what are the implications in terms of our expectations of how the system performs?

Speaker 1: Chris Huhne

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