Monday, 26 May 2008

Helping the planet and the poor?

Posted on Bevan Foundation Blog on 26 May 2008:

Why shouldn't an OAP living on an estate in Ammanford will be able to sell off their share of unused carbon to a businessman from Pontcanna who wants to fly from Cardiff to Ynys Mon?

That would be one of the outcomes of a personal carbon trading scheme backed by MPs on the Commons Environmnetal Audit Select Committee today

A system of carbon rationing could have economic benefits for the poorest. After all it is not those on the lowest incomes who cause the greatest envionmental harm.

The cross-party report acknowledges that unless we act now to cap our emissions there will be an economic slump equivalent to both World Wars and the Great Depression all rolled into one.

As the Stern report pointed out it would cost much less to prevent runaway climate change than to seek to live with it.

But such long-term concerns threaten to be put aside as panic spreads about short-term economic worries. As the editorial in today's Guardian points out:

"Cutting emissions will not win back Labour's lost voters in Crewe. But it must be done. This is the moment for courage"

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