Fuel Rationing in U.K. Needed to Cut CO2, Panel Says (Update2)
2011-01-18 18:26:56.530 GMT
(Adds Green Party leader quote in last paragraph.)
By Alex Morales
Jan. 18 (Bloomberg) -- Fuel rationing may be needed by 2020
in the U.K. to meet the government's carbon emission targets, a
panel of lawmakers said, suggesting an electronic trading system
for energy quotas.
Under the system, called Tradable Energy Quotas, or TEQs,
energy credits would be distributed free to every adult, who
could then buy and sell surplus units, the London-based research
group The Lean Economy Connection said today in a report
commissioned by the All Party Parliamentary Group on Peak Oil.
The multi-party panel of lawmakers looks at the impacts of
declining fossil-fuel production.
The system would help guarantee the U.K. meets its target
to reduce carbon emissions by 80 percent by 2050 from 1990
levels, according to the study. At the same time, it would
ensure everyone has access to energy at a time when fossil fuels
may become more scarce, it said.
"The only way of keeping energy prices as low as possible
in a time of constrained supply is to reduce demand, and that's
what TEQs do," Shaun Chamberlin, a co-author of the report,
told journalists today in London.
Under the system, energy consumers would have to pay their
normal energy bills, as well as having to surrender a certain
amount of TEQs, depending on the carbon content of the fuel they
are buying. Fewer TEQs would be needed for electricity from wind
and solar power than from coal- and gas-fired power stations.
Credit Card Payments
John Hemming, chair of the parliamentary panel, said a
payment system could involve a credit card with two numbers --
one linked to the customer's bank account and another to their
energy TEQs account. The system would help level out price
changes, because the value of TEQs would decline as energy
prices rise, said Chamberlin.
"If there's a spike in oil prices, demand for energy
drops, and as demand drops, the price of TEQs go down,"
Chamberlin said. That would counterbalance some of the increase
in energy price, he said.
Caroline Lucas, leader of the U.K. Green Party and vice
chair of the panel, said in an interview that using the tradable
quotas would place a cap on emissions that gives more certainty
to achieving greenhouse gas goals than existing measures.
"It's the most equitable way and the most certain way that
we have to make sure we can meet our emission reduction
targets," Lucas said. "We need to put in place mechanisms that
will guarantee we can meet and in fact exceed them," she said,
referring to a goal enshrined in U.K. law to slash emissions by
34 percent by 2020. She says it should be higher.
For Related News and Information:
Climate-change news: NI CLIMATE <GO>
Top environment stories: GREEN <GO>
Most-read environmental news: MNI ENV <GO>
Renewable Energy Stories: NI ALTNRG <GO>
--Editors: Mike Anderson, Randall Hackley.
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