British Treasury’s irresponsible position on carbon credits

Comment, published in The House Magazine, in May 2008.

We are nearly out of time to avoid dangerous climate change and protect the prosperity and security of every single person in Britain. Doing so means making the global energy system carbon neutral within forty years. This requires transformational change in the way we achieve energy security

Climate security and energy security must be achieved together. The technologies to do this are already available or within sight. But deploying them in time requires much faster action than can be delivered by policies designed to bring about changes at the margin.

A carbon price is only part of the solution to climate change. To deploy the technologies needed to avoid dangerous climate change in time governments must rely more on investment incentives and technical standards than on a relatively low and very volatile carbon price.

The most important contribution this conference could make to meeting the climate challenge would be to persuade the British Treasury of the profound irresponsibility of its theological position on the auctioning of carbon credits.

About tomburke

Tom Burke is the Chairman of E3G, Third Generation Environmentalism, and an Environmental Policy Adviser (part time) to Rio Tinto plc. He is a Visiting Professor at both Imperial and University Colleges, London. He is a member of the External Review Committee of Shell and the Sustainable Sourcing Advisory Board of Unilever and a Trustee of the Black-E Community Arts Project, Liverpool.
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