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Pollute less and you could cash in, Britons told Wednesday

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  • Mike Neuman
    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
    Message 1 of 1 , Aug 1, 2006
      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
      emissions allowances.

      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
      David Adam
      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.
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