The logical conclusion of a focus on 'one planet living' is that we all need to curb our own carbon emissions - after all households constitute 44% of the total emissions (energy from houses is 27%). Today I am using the Audit Commission Annual Lecture to sketch out a thought experiment of what it would be like to 'spend' carbon, save it and trade it in the same way we do with money.
The Tyndall Centre Report Domestic Tradable Quotas: A policy instrument for reducing greenhouse gas emissions from energy use set out some of the technical issues in December 2005. The principle is simple: there would be a decision about the nation's annual level of carbon emissions, permits/quotas for that level would be issued on a per capital basis (probably for personal food, household energy and travel emissions), and those who spent under the wuota would be able to sell to those who spend above.
There are a huge range of imponderables and huge range of technical questions about feasibility. But we need to test other policy answers against the most radical options if we are to make the most progress. I would be interested in views.
PS. Of course the high energy emitting business sectors, and following the Energy Review the medium public and private organisations, will be covered by their own versions of emissions trading.
posted on 19 July 2006 19:41
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