Monday, June 22, 2009

The Commons debates personal carbon trading

This took place on 18.6.09: debating the Goernment's response to the Environmental Audit Commission's report. David Fleming was present at this debate.

Many of the objections to PCT put here, simply don't apply to Cap & Share, which is not mentioned in the whole debate... or the AEA report. It seems most parliamentarians are still unaware of Cap and Share despite the Irish Government's interest.

Joan Ruddock says on PCT "a significant number of low-income households would lose out, and we cannot ignore that. More than 2 million low- income households could be doubly disadvantaged. Not only would they pay the cost of the scheme, which could be around £40 to £80 per household per year, but if they lived in a rural area and had to use their car regularly, for example, they would exceed their free allocation and incur the cost of buying additional allowances. We cannot find a way of overcoming that."

The EAC wants to see a pilot. Ruddock wants it funded by the private sector. She puts faith in the 'upstream' ETS (C&S is also upstream - capping emissions where they enter the economy): "With regard to the upstream schemes, we estimate that it would cost about £50 million to cover a few dozen fuel companies, compared with the £1 billion to £2 billion to introduce a trading scheme that would have to involve 50 million participants. So what additional benefit could be gained by the downstream approach?". But as Yeo observes, the ETS doesn't deliver, and is not value for money.

Simon Hughes (North Southwark & Bermondsey, Liberal Democrat) does say: "One of our proposals is to switch from the climate change levy to a carbon tax, which would apply to "primary fuels as they enter the economy, once our energy efficiency measures have become effective in tackling fuel poverty, using revenues to cut other taxes."" Then he says: "I have decided that my party has an obligation to respond formally to the proposition in the report, and that we need to do so quickly, so I have decided that we will have a short period of formal but open consultation, picking up on what has come from the Committee's report and from the Government response, which makes arguments against it. We will complete that process by September, by the time of our conference."

Gregory Barker (Shadow Minister, Energy and Climate Change; Bexhill & Battle, Conservative) is against PCT on the grounds it is too Big Brother.


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