Pollute less and you could cash in, Britons told Wednesday
- Pollute less and you could cash in, Britons told Wednesday
July 19, 05:26 PM
LONDON (Reuters) - Britons could soon be making money out of a
greener lifestyle under a government proposal for personal carbon
A government study will focus on personal carbon caps which, if
adopted, could allow the public to cash in if they cut down on their
emissions of carbon dioxide, which contributes to global warming.
Those who produce less carbon under their personal cap could earn
credits, which might be used like points on a loyalty card or sold on
to those who pollute more.
The plan will be unveiled by Environment Secretary David Miliband
later on Wednesday.
"Imagine a country where carbon becomes a new currency," Milliband
will tell the Audit Commission's annual lecture. "We carry bank cards
that store both pounds and carbon points. When we buy electricity,
gas and fuel, we use our carbon points, as well as pounds."
Under the proposed scheme, carbon allowances would cover energy use
through electricity, gas, petrol and air travel. Such emissions make
up 44 percent of total UK emissions.
"People on low incomes are likely to benefit as they will be able to
sell their excess allowances," Milliband will say. "People on higher
incomes tend to have higher carbon emissions due to higher car
ownership and usage, air travel and tourism, and larger homes."
Personal carbon allowances are one of several options Britain is
looking at to help the public get involved in tackling climate change.
Other ideas include carbon loyalty cards, league tables, the use of
carbon offsets at point of purchase for certain sectors, product
carbon labelling and carbon calculators.
Plan to ration consumer carbon use
The Hindu: International
Online edition of India's National Newspaper
Thursday, Jul 20, 2006
London: A radical plan to curb greenhouse gas emissions by rationing
the carbon use of individuals is being drawn up by British government
officials. The scheme could force consumers to carry a swipe card
that records their personal carbon allocation, with points knocked
off each time they buy petrol or tickets for a flight.
Under the scheme, all U.K. citizens from the Queen down would be
allocated an identical annual carbon allowance, stored as points on
an electronic card similar to air miles schemes or supermarket
loyalty cards. Points would be deducted at point of sale for every
purchase of non-renewable energy.
People who did not use their full allocation, such as families who do
not own a car, would be able to sell their surplus carbon points into
a central bank.
High energy users could then buy them motorists who had used their
allocation would still be able to buy petrol, with the carbon points
drawn from the bank and the cost added to their fuel bills. To reduce
total U.K. emissions, the overall number of points would shrink each
David Miliband, Environment Secretary, is keen to set up a pilot
scheme to test the idea, and has asked officials from four government
departments to report on how it could be done.
The move marks the first serious step towards state-enforced limits
on the carbon use of individuals, which scientists say may be
necessary in the fight against climate change.
It extends the principle of carbon trading already in place between
heavy polluters such as power companies and steel makers to
consumers, with heavy carbon users forced to buy unused allowances
from people with greener lifestyles.
Colin Challen, Labour chairman of the all-party parliamentary group
on climate change, which has called for carbon rationing, said: ``It
will inevitably have to be introduced so that consumers, along with
other sectors, take responsibility for what they do.''
But setting up a local pilot scheme could have problems not least
how to stop people driving elsewhere to fill up.