Monday, May 26, 2008

UK considers personal carbon credits

The a committee of UK Members of Parliament have said that the government should go ahead with a system of personal "carbon credits" to meet emissions targets.

Under such a scheme people would be given an annual carbon limit for fuel and energy use - which they could exceed by buying credits from those who use less.

The Committee said the scheme would be more effective than taxes for cutting carbon emissions. The Committee chairman Tim Yeo said that "green" taxes, such as a petrol tax, cost poor people more because everyone - "billionaires and paupers" - paid the same amount.
Yeo said: "Under the personal carbon trading, someone who perhaps doesn't have an enormous house or swimming pool, someone who doesn't take several holidays in the Caribbean every year, will actually get a cash benefit if they keep a low carbon footprint."

Unfortunately the UK government are not funding any more research into personal carbon credits as Ministers said there were practical drawbacks to the proposal. For these drawbacks see the BBC article here.


Greenette said...

Wow! This is brilliant in it's economics. My husband and I live in a small apartment with our 2-year-old and though we feel cramped, it's great for the environment (and our mortgage payments). We might actually consider postponing our move to a bigger place (or moving into a not-so-much bigger place with incentives like this.

Anonymous said...

Love it. I know I am always offended when thinking of people who drive their two SUVs 40 miles each way every day from their 6,000 SF house to their job, while my choices are much more sustainable - and our children are all going to inherit the same earth - very unfair. A program like this could really help people think about the actual costs of their behaviors.

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