RSA and a Senate panel ‘trade’ personal carbon reduction ideasNovember 1, 2007 at 5:18 pm | Posted in Businesses, Cap and trade, Carbon Limited, Carbon trading, Climate change bill, Climate change billCarbon emissions, Companies, Corporations, Individuals, Personal, Personal Carbon Trading, RSA, Senate panel, UK, US | 1 Comment
Senate panel passes climate change billBy: Ryan Grim
Nov 1, 2007 01:21 PM ESTA Senate subcommittee met Thursday to take up a mammoth bill to cap carbon emissions in an effort to reverse global warming. The bill’s fate sat in the hands of Sen. Frank Lautenberg of New Jersey, the Democratic swing vote, but he spoiled the suspense by announcing on Wednesday that he’d support an amended version of it, giving it the four votes needed.The Lieberman-Warner bill would issue credits to carbon-emitting industrial sources — partly through auction and partly through direct allocation — and create a market in which those credits could be traded. A company that is able to reduce its emissions can then sell its excess credits; a polluting company would need to buy credits in the market.
That’s one idea.
The RSA — which, of course, is the United Kingdom’s Royal Society for the Encouragement of the Arts, Manufactures, and Commerce — doesn’t want industry to have all the fun. It has another idea, one it unveiled at the National Press Club minutes before the Senate took up Lieberman-Warner.*
In essence, Lieberman-Warner is an “up stream,” supply-side approach. It targets producers of energy but leaves no role for consumers — for the guy who actually flicks on the light switch. The RSA has that person in mind with its demand-side approach, Carbon Limited, a form of “personal carbon trading.”
The total carbon output of the U.S. would be divided up and assigned equally to every American citizen. The RSA’s Lucy Stone said that no per capita estimate yet exists in the U.S., but that in the U.K. each subject would be allowed to spit out roughly six tons of carbon per year.