Carbon rationing on the agenda says environment chief

| 9th November 2009
Carbon ID Card
Carbon rationing cards may become a part of our everyday lives
Personal allowances would allow equitable use of carbon says the head of the Environment Agency

Carbon allowances should be considered by the Government as a means of rationing carbon in the future, the head of the Environment Agency has said.

Speaking at the Agency's annual conference, Lord Chris Smith said if the UK was serious about producing 80 per cent less carbon emissions by 2050, as stipulated under the Climate Change Act of 2008, then carbon rationing had to be considered as a 'possibility'.

He said carbon allowances would allow 'equitable' decisions on how people use carbon.

'[Having less carbon available to us] will force us to think about how we use that carbon, for example, what goes on aviation.

'Should we use a price mechanism where only the rich can fly or could we use some kind of allowance system?

'A price mechanism is not equitable but one possible answer to that might be carbon allowances,' he said.

His support for the scheme runs counter to the Government position, following environment minister Ed Miliband's dismissal of the idea last year by declaring it was 'an idea for the longer term', and a Defra report wrote off the project as too expensive.

Personal carbon trading: the next step in tackling carbon emissions?
A report published by the IPPR next week will say personal carbon trading may be the next step in tackling climate change
Carbon rationing may be needed by 2012, says IPPR
Although unpopular and expensive, personal carbon trading may be the next step in tackling climate change
Public oppose carbon pricing policies
While we accept the threat of climate change the majority of us are still opposed to compulsory changes such as carbon pricing, new survey shows
New report demands Carbon Quotas be introduced
Personal Carbon Quotas need to be introduced at a ‘community scale’ new report from the RSA concludes
Carbon trading is a dangerous obsession, says report
Carbon trading schemes are allowing speculators to grow rich but are not delivering the emissions cuts promised, says Friends of the Earth


The Ecologist has a formidable reputation built on fifty years of investigative journalism and compelling commentary from writers across the world. Now, as we face the compound crises of climate breakdown, biodiversity collapse and social injustice, the need for rigorous, trusted and ethical journalism has never been greater. This is the moment to consolidate, connect and rise to meet the challenges of our changing world. The Ecologist is owned and published by the Resurgence Trust. Support The Resurgence Trust from as little as £1. Thank you. Donate here