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Tuesday, October 25, 2005

Carbon Rations and Domestic Tradeable Quotas
Green MEP, Caroline Lucas, has called for the introduction of domestic carbon emission rations.

Sometimes called Domestic Tradeable Quotas, personal carbon rations have the potential to assist the process of contraction and convergence in global greenhouse gas emissions.

They would do this by allowing every citizen to emit their fair share of carbon dioxide into the atmosphere, and forcing those who wish to emit more to pay for the privilege.

Within a limited market, carbon rations would initially be shared out equally. Unused rations would then be sold to others via an open market. Such a system of rationing should help to guarantee minimum living standards and be fairer than leaving access to carbon emissions to those who can afford escalating fossil fuel prices. It should also help to redistribute wealth, especially to those in the developed and developing world who have not contributed to the emission of the greenhouse gases and/or who have cut their historic emissions.

Most of the technology needed to establish and administer a carbon ration scheme is already be available. An electronic carbon credit card could keep track of purchases for fuel, air travel and consumer electronics. Whilst a personal identity card, linked to contact/billing details, could assist with the sending of targetted advice related to the reduction of personal emissions.

Earth Info is due to attend a UKERC-sponsored workshop on DTQs in November and will keep you posted with developments related to this issue.