Home > Uncategorized > personal carbon trading is nigh?

personal carbon trading is nigh?

The All Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil and Gas is just an informal grouping with no direct, official input into Government policy-making, but I think it does exert considerable influence as a pressure-group, and I think it has helped to ensure that a true parliamentary committee, the House of Commons Environmental Audit Committee (which does have an official place in the structure of parliament), did look carefully at TEQs. The Committee concluded that:

Personal carbon trading could be essential in helping to reduce our national carbon footprint. Further work is needed before personal carbon trading can be a viable policy option and this must be started urgently, and in earnest. In the meantime there is no barrier to the Government developing and deploying the policies that will not only prepare the ground for personal carbon trading, but which will ensure its effectiveness and acceptance once implemented.

…Although we commend the Government for its intention to maintain engagement in academic work on the topic, we urge it to undertake a stronger role, leading and shaping debate and coordinating research. We acknowledge the many difficulties that will have to be overcome in the development and implementation of a personal carbon trading scheme, not least work to bring about acceptance of such a concept and considerable further research on many aspects of personal carbon trading. However, we believe that, through designing and implementing a sensitive and moderate scheme, these obstacles could be overcome.”

Such a strong backing from an official parliamentary committee does put pressure on the government to keep TEQs alive as a valid policy option, and indeed it would relatively easy for the government to switch quickly to TEQs as the Climate Change Act of 2008 does grant powers allowing the UK government to introduce TEQs at a later date without further primary legislation. From my limited knowledge of the British parliamentary system, the civil servants at the Department of Energy and Climate Change are probably already hard at work creating all the groundwork necessary for the implementation of TEQs, but government ministers will stay quiet until it becomes absolutely necessary to act and then they will pull TEQs, or some form of energy rationing, like a rabbit out of the hat, just in time! I note with interest that over the last year the government has quietly been holding meetings with business leaders and energy experts about the imminence of peak oil and the over-dependence of Britain upon imported oil and gas, and its imminent phasing out of ageing nuclear power stations; the British government may not be saying so publicly, but it is, I’m pretty sure, increasingly concerned behind the scenes about peak oil.

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