#16: Carbon Rationing contd.

February 13, 2007
by phil
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CARBON RATIONING – Your questions answered

“The urgency with which we must make the transition to a low-carbon pathway leaves no option but to instigate a radical and immediate programme of demand management.” – Living Within A Carbon Budget (Tyndall Centre, 2006)

In five years time, we could all have an equal carbon allowance to buy our electricity and fuel with. This would help us play our part as an industrial nation in bringing global carbon dioxide emissions down rapidly to a relatively safe level. In a follow-up to last weeks interview with Mayer Hillman, Phil England puts some of your concerns and questions about carbon rationing (or tradeable energy quotas) to Richard Starkey of the Tyndall Centre for Climate Change Research.

  • How does Mayer Hillman’s scheme differ from David Fleming’?
  • How does personal carbon trading compare to a carbon tax?
  • Would the scheme make people more carbon conscious?
  • Would the scheme allow the rich to continue their energy profligate lifestyles?
  • Is there a danger that the scheme could be weakened by allowing carbon offsetting?
  • How costly would the scheme be to set up and run?
  • Would the scheme encourage a black market?
  • How could energy used in the manufacture of products (embedded energy) be accounted for?
  • Under the part of the scheme that relates to corporations would buy-out clauses such as the problematic Clean Development Mechanism be included which would render the scheme ineffective?

Thanks to everyone who submitted questions or comments: Alex Smith (Radio Ecoshock, Canada), Naomi Fowler (freelance radio producer), Tam Dougan (Network for Alternative Technology and Technoloy Assessment), Mark Aitken (producer of ResonanceFM’s I Can Hear The Grass Grow), Brian Ross (Stop Stansted Expansion), Roger Levett (Levett-Therivel Sustainability Consultants), Jonathan Essex (Sustainable Redhill).

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