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TEQs: Fighting for a better future

As global emissions continue to rise, the latest round of international climate talks are nearing their end in Durban. The Secretary General of the United Nations has admitted that "The ultimate goal of a comprehensive and binding climate change agreement may be beyond our reach – for now".

And just as in Copenhagen two years ago, even if they do cobble something together in the next day or two, an agreement actually in line with climate science isn't even close to the negotiating table. It is painful to see our collective future being deemed too expensive or politically difficult to preserve. If your economics deems catastrophic climate destabilisation the cheapest option, then surely something is wrong with your economics?

Some are starting to argue that given the ongoing failure to reach an international agreement, countries or groups of countries should just go it alone and get on with reducing emissions. I can see both sides of that particular debate, but the fact remains that whether carbon budgets are agreed nationally or internationally, the focus must soon turn from agreeing them to actually achieving them. As yet, I still see no realistic alternative to TEQs (or something very like it) for doing so, so while the political circus plays out, the quiet work of spreading understanding of the scheme continues, through the efforts of our global team of TEQs ambassadors.

Video conference with Ontario Environment Commissioner and Tyndall Centre

As mentioned in the previous update, our friends at the Niagara Climate Change Network organised a video conference with me, John Broderick of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Research (UK) and Gord Miller, the Ontario Environment Commissioner (Canada) to discuss the latest information on climate change and TEQs. A productive conversation was had, of which a recording can be found here, and the Network are pursuing possibilities regarding funding for a regional trial of TEQs, supported by Sustainable Niagara.

Parliamentary report translations for Spain, Italy and the Amazon(!)

The work of translating January's Parliamentary report on TEQs into Italian is now complete. We are now just awaiting the final graphic design before making it available for all Italian language readers.

A team in Peru, led by TEQs Ambassador Mark Turner, has also undertaken translating the report into Spanish.

Finally, after a number of requests, I have made the report (in English) available on However, you'd still be well-advised to head over to for hard copies at a cheaper price, and free downloads in pdf format.

For those of you who have already read the report, positive reviews on the Amazon page do make a big difference to publicity, as they are reproduced all over the web. Leaving one is a quick, easy and free way of supporting the TEQs campaign.

TEQs featured in three new books

Following on from earlier highlights like David Strahan's The Last Oil Shock and the Centre for Alternative Technology's Zero Carbon Britain, three new books featuring TEQs are being published in late 2011/early 2012:

Already published is Grow Small, Think Beautiful: Ideas for a Sustainable World from Schumacher College, which contains a chapter from me putting TEQs within the wider context of the cultural changes required for true sustainability. This felt a very appropriate project, as I first met David Fleming, the inventor of TEQs, when he taught me on Schumacher College's Life After Oil course in 2006.

The first forthcoming book, Colin Campbell's Peak Oil Personalities, is a collection of biographical essays by some of the key figures who have played a crucial role in raising awareness globally about the impact of Peak Oil. David Fleming was invited to feature, but sadly passed away before completing his contribution to the book, so my obituary for him, as carried in The Ecologist and The Times, is included instead.

Also due out in Spring 2012 is Pluto Press' What are we struggling for?: Utopian and practical visions for the future, which "collects proposals and intuitions from a global selection of radical thinkers to offer the first radical, yet pluralist, collective manifesto for the new decade".

Look out for all three!

Actuarial Climate Literature Review

We have also granted permission for the Institute of Actuaries to include a summary of the Parliamentary report in their second Actuarial Climate Literature Review, which will be freely available, both online and in hard copy, once released.

Finally, for those wondering about the bid for 380,000 Euros in EU funding for a pilot project in Poland (mentioned in the previous update), the final announcement has been postponed, so we're still awaiting news on that one.

Thanks, as ever, for all your support and encouragement,
Shaun Chamberlin
TEQs Development Director
The Lean Economy Connection

TEQs Forum
TEQs Facebook group
TEQs LinkedIn group

"Tradable personal carbon allowances could make a big contribution to reducing energy consumption and therefore carbon emissions in Britain"
- Tim Yeo MP, Chair, House of Commons Energy and Climate Change Select Committee