Tuesday, December 08, 2009

Cap and Share meets Environment Minister Ruddock

Three members of the Cap and Share group met Environment Minister Joan Ruddock yesterday in the House of Commons.

Cap and Share is the most efficient way of cutting Greenhouse gas emissions at source while spreading the financial benefits of carbon trading throughout the population.

Her message was that she will think about Cap and Share but she believes that the government has all the policies that it needs to deliver on its climate mitigation commitments and she couldn't see that they needed any more - they have a whole department full of officials working on policies (DECC) so why did they need any more ideas?

Indeed, as she was the minister, if she felt they were not doing enough already then she would have felt obliged to resign...

No comment.

We said that so far they had merely gone for the "low hanging fruit" and it would soon get much tougher - especially when they had reduce emissions at a faster rate (5% or more per annum) so that, merely offering inducements to people to change behaviour would not be enough.

We also said that if the EU ETS and other policies went pear shaped and failed to deliver then, with a cap and share policy in place they could extend it to the rest of the economy at that point and would have a plan B in place already.

Predictably she didn't think there were any problems with the EU ETS which couldn't be fixed - we didn't pursue that argument as it would clearly have been futile.

She appeared to enjoy the discussion and said that our viewpoint was very clear - three officials were present, listened and took notes but said nothing - just smiled enigmatically now and then.

Cap and Share has many benefits to offer it as a policy, not least of which is its efficiency, it is cheaper to introduce and fairer than a carbon tax or other carbon credits systems, and helps to engender behaviour change and wider awareness.

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