Today the UK Parliament’s Environmental Audit Committee (EAC), tasked with evaluating the Government’s environmental progress, published their report into Personal Carbon Trading, finding that “personal carbon trading could be essential in helping to reduce our national carbon footprint”.
They also state, in keeping with the conclusions of our own response to DEFRA’s pre-feasibility study: “We regret that…the Government is indicating that it will wind down its work on personal carbon trading…Although we commend the Government for its intention to maintain engagement in the academic debate, we urge it to do more…We would like to see the Government leading and shaping debate and co-ordinating activity and research.”
This report has led to a flurry of media interest.
Tim Yeo, the EAC chairman, was interviewed by the BBC news website, saying that personal carbon trading had “real potential to engage the population in the fight against climate change and to achieve significant emissions reductions in a progressive way”, while “green” taxes, such as a petrol tax, cost poor people more because everyone – “billionaires and paupers” – paid the same amount.
He continued, “Under 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.”
The EAC report was also followed up by the Today programme (audio), who interviewed George Monbiot – a firm supporter of TEQs – and the Environment Minister, Hilary Benn, who, as might have been expected, only parroted the findings of DEFRA’s pre-feasibility study.