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Does carbon rationing make sense?

Mark Lynas writes a fascinating, albeit rather frightening piece, on carbon rationing, in New Statesman Magazine.

Well actually it was written last year, but Greenbang just picked up the article in the doctor’s surgery – he’s got a bad ear.

Mr Lynas argues that carbon rationing is the only way the world will conquer catastrophes related to climate change.

Essentially, that means each person would have a set number of carbon credits they could use. Once they’re used up, either prices go up or you are denied access to the thing you’re looking to do/buy.

It would almost act as a dual currency – and of course if you were to trade with that, carbon would immediately start to have a price. That would put carbon trading companies in a very good position for earning money – if they’re still around in 30 years with all the climate trouble that is predicted to hit.

The trouble is, few governments are happy to accept a massive change to the current economic model.

Saying that, Mr Lynas highlights that even David Milliband (the UK’s Foreign Secretary and once Secretary of State at the Department for Environment, Food and Rural Affairs) has promoted the idea.

Mr Lynas says:

“You can’t bargain with the planet because it doesn’t care whether or not targets are “politically acceptable”. So unless we secure a deal determining how much carbon each nation and each person can emit, we simply will not survive.”

If you’re interested in carbon rationing, Greenbang urges you to take a look at the following links:

Milliband backs carbon rationing (Telegraph)

Swipe card plan to ration carbon use (Guardian)

Treehugger on Carbon Rationing

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