The need

We need urgent and decisive action to tackle the climate crisis head-on. But simply calling for 'stronger action' is not enough. We need to adopt a specific tool to deliver what's needed: fair, fast and deep cuts in global emissions. This tool must be inspiring and positive; fair and transparent; straightforward and effective; powerful and resilient.

That may sound a tall order, but it can be extremely simple. Here's how to do it.

The proposal

Emissions only happen because fossil fuels are extracted from the ground and subsequently burnt. Cut the fossil fuel extraction and you cut the emissions.

Cap & Share sets an annual limit on total global carbon emissions, and issues permits for fossil fuel extraction to match this cap. The permits are bought at auction by the corporations that extract fossil fuels. The money raised by auctioning the permits is then shared out equally to the people of the world. This automatically rewards low-carbon users the world over.

Here's a 2-minute video explaining how Cap & Share works (it's also on YouTube here).


This approach is a simple, fair, and non-intrusive way of achieving the cuts we need in carbon emissions; with minimal interference in existing economic and governmental systems. It replaces any need to monitor the actual emissions - or apportion them between nations. It also concentrates minds on the root problem, namely the extraction of fossil fuels.

It is run by a single body or Trust, which acts on behalf of the people of the world, not on behalf of nations - bypassing international negotiations at a stroke. It is an inspiring symbol of the unity of humankind.

The starting point

Cap & Share will require a globally recognised and respected body (possibly UN-based, possibly not) to implement it. This body would lay out its proposals and appeal directly to the people of the world for massive displays of public support, to persuade nations and corporations to sign up. This is something to fight for, not something to protest against.

Many prominent people and campaigns are already calling for 'strong action'. Cap & Share, like a condensation nucleus in a cloud, could provide a rallying point for these disparate voices. These voices could unite to form a powerful chorus, calling for a specific path towards safeguarding the planetary life-support system on which we all depend.

Download this page as a pdf (1 page)