CONVERGE Official Project Abstract

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The CONVERGE project will build from the concept of 'contraction and convergence' that informed the Kyoto process. C&C linked the key social concept of equal rights to emissions with the key ecological need for reduced emissions to issue a challenge to economic systems to develop fair processes for emissions reduction. CONVERGE aims to re-think globalisation by developing our understanding of convergence beyond emissions-trading across wider social, economic and ecological dimensions of sustainability. CONVERGE will research, develop and test the processes of contraction, convergence and divergence in current forms of globalisation. The research will be based on systems science to integrate social, scientific and economic disciplines in order to create coherent solutions to complex problems. Key to the success of this study is the interdisciplinary approach and working with stakeholders from civil society, government and business. CONVERGE seeks to explore convergent sustainability relationships across different scales from local, national, global-regional to global. CONVERGE will research current examples of convergence in communities, policies and indicators moving towards sustainability. The project will develop a convergence frame for understanding and development in civil society and policy communities; accessible publications providing guidance and tools for the use of this framework; a set of Convergence indicators, quantitative and qualitative, that will be used to test and model the processes of convergence including development of a Computer Programme; and recommendations to assist policy makers to integrate C&C into the decision making process. CONVERGE will play a significant role in achieving the strategic objective of EUs global partnership: "to promote sustainable development actively worldwide and ensure that the European Union's internal and external policies are consistent with global sustainable development and its international commitments."