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Kyoto 2

Page history last edited by PBworks 12 years, 10 months ago

Kyoto 2 and the alternatives

 

Kyoto 2: How to manage the Global Greenhouse - by Oliver Tickell has recently been published by Zed Books and has won great acclaim. George Monbiot and Mark Lynas, both respected authors on the subject have found his arguments compelling and have changed their opinions as a result of this book.

 

He points out the failure of Kyoto to achieve any slow down in the rate of increase of carbon emissions year by year and judges it to be worthless. He suggests a new regime which he names Kyoto 2 in which the right to pollute is auctioned to individual polluters and the funds are collected globally for wise distribution.

 

The treaty main aim would be to reach a safe greenhouse gas level of 350ppm CO2 eq.

 

Its main mechanism is a market mechanism - since markets are generally the best means of allocating finite resources without unnecessary waste, while keeping as many people happy as possible (he says). Kyoto 2 has this in common with the Kyoto Protocol and the European Emissions Trading Scheme which he derides.

 

He would establish a series of global caps sharing permitted pollution over all the industries concerned. He would then auction the permits to pollute for each industry by sealed bids with the proceeds accruing to a global Climate Change Fund.


 

The objections and weaknesses of this plan seem so obvious that I must read to the end of the book to see if he overcomes them.

 

What do others think?

 

 

Rationing

 

At the moment I prefer a rationing approach as the best way to allocate scarce resources and keep the most people happy. It was well tried in WW2 and proved effective in maintaining morale through privation.

 

Here is a description of WW2 rationing in UK for your consideration

 

This shows how 8 different categories of item were rationed using a manual system of coupons in books registered with local suppliers. A parallel today might be to ration carbon emission content as well as other gases dangerous to the environment.

 

The ration would be allocated in a swipe card or incorporated in your credit card if you have one.

 

Industry would account for carbon allowances much as they do today for VAT. All their purchases would have a carbon content whether supplies, imports or energy supplies. Each manufacturer would be able to set the carbon content of his products at such a level that his carbon account would roughly break even at the end of each quarter. The carbon account would be returned like a VAT account quarterly. Carbon 'losses' would be remedied by increased carbon percentages applied to products in the following quarter.

 

The key advantages of a system like this would be that:

 

It would leave the average worker relatively better placed than the rich so a voting majority could be obtained for it.

 

A country could confidently meet its targets without relying on uncertain price to volume judgements.

 

Industry would be competing to serve the public with low carbon alternative products.

 

Countries who did not opt in would have their goods carbon taxed at high estimated rates by importing countries so setting their goods at a disadvantage in the local market. Hence their production would be cut back and emissions reduced even without their participation.

 

Individual countries would administer their own schemes, gather revenue from fines, and use it for the purposes they judge more important at home or overseas. International agencies are even worse than governments at getting value for money.

 

Any comments?

 

Malcolm

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