Writing in the Guardian, Meacher argues that Sir Nicholas Stern's recommendation in his now world famous report that atmospheric concentrations of CO2 should be stabilised at 500-550 parts per million (ppm) risks 'pushing the climate irreversibly over the edge'.
Meacher suggests that a worldwide emissions limit of 450 ppm must be imposed, and that it might be achieved if Britain showed real global leadership by decentralising energy generation technologies, investing in large-scale offshore windfarms and forcing reductions in air travel.
He also recommends increasing vehicle excise duty 'hugely' for gas-guzzling cars and channelling the revenue into public transport, as well as incentivising local food production and allocating each family a 'carbon budget'.
'This is a win-win-win-win scenario,' Meacher writes. 'It will protect our society against sudden destabilising shocks and it will demonstrate the way to safeguard the environment from the apocalyptic nightmare of a climate catastrophe.'
A spirit of 'single-minded resistance', as seen in 1940, would help us see off the threat of global warming, Meacher suggests.
This article first appeared in the Ecologist May 2007