## 2020 targets for carbon emissions and limited overs cricket

2020 targets for carbon reduction are pie in the sky. What is the 2010 target?

The Green Party is pushing for split carbon emission reduction for 2020 - broadly 40% for industry and 20% for livestock emissions. OK - so you have to set these long-term goals but without short-term ones they are meaningless. At the risk of being completely cynical about this I can see a situation in about 2015 where the politicians will say that they can’t reach that target. Why? Limited-overs cricket provides the answer.

Students of limited over cricket games know that the team chasing a total has to complete a target run rate. For example in a 20 over game if you’re chasing 120 then you have to score 6 runs an over to win. The problem is that for every over in which you score below the rate, the rate goes up - and then if you don’t reach that new rate from then on it goes up again and keeps climbing each time you don’t meet or exceed the required run rate.

Starting from next year - ten years to get a 40% reduction is a “required run rate” of 4% per year. Don’t really get started for another couple of years and it’s gone to 5% per year - a 25% increase in the rate. The problem is that when you’re behind the rate it’s tough to accelerate just to make the required rate for the next year.

In cricket you can score a maximum of 36 runs an over (excluding wides, no balls etc) - once your required run rate exceeds 36, you lose - you just can’t get there. What is the maximum greenhouse emission reduction rate we can achieve in a year? Does anyone know this? Has it been worked out? Why do we need to know? Because that’s the rate we have stay below - otherwise we can’t make it.

The tough question is - in what year will there be at least a 1% reduction in greenhouse emissions? If it’s any later than 2012 we have almost no chance of getting to a 40% reduction by 2020.

July 17th, 2009 at 11:45 am

[...] our one-day cricket analogy we now know the required run rate - 80% in 40 years or 2% per year. Remember, for every year the [...]