Tuesday, July 25, 2006

Miliband's "Carbon Credits" card

Miliband's "Carbon Credit's" card

I've left this alone for a few days whilst I churn it over in my head, and whilst at first I thought it was a reasonable idea, I've now had second thoughts about it. South Shields MP, and Environment Secretary, David Miliband has floated the idea of issuing us all with an allocation of "carbon credits" which we would "spend" as we added to the country's carbon emissions through our own use of energy resource. Sounding a bit complicated?

Well everytime that you pay for your gas or electricity, you will spend some of your carbon credits, you would spend some more every time you made a journey by plane, be it for business or for pleasure, you would also spend more of your credits each time you filled your car with petrol or diesel (heaven help you if you owned a taxi, or a minibus, or a small transport/haulage company.) If you had unused credits left at the end of the year, you could transfer them back to a central reserve where those (motorists probably) who had used up all of their credits could buy some extra to top with.

I don't know how you feel, but I think that this is just another of New Labour's attacks on working class car owners! I would feel particularly for those who live in the countryside and make more use of a vehicle than I do for taking the kids to school or making a 10 mile journey to the nearest shops for food. I would far rather see the government building a few nuclear reactors (so long as they can find a viable means to store the waste), or adding to the wind farm population, or building a couple of tidal barrages, to help reduce the nation's carbon emission build up.

Additionally, of course, if the idea ever got off the ground, with this government you can be sure that the enormous technology costs of transferring carbon credits would fall on us, the consumers - rather like the proposed costs of the I.D. cards proposed.

Here's a short video of a BBC debate about the idea (which it seems is not new), give it time to load, then make your own minds up. (Use the horizontal slider bar to "centre" the video in this panel.)

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