Thursday, November 2, 2006

The Royal Society of Arts (RSA) gave what it called a “cautious welcome” to the Stern Review on the economics of climate change.

The leader of the RSA’s CarbonLimited Project, Matt Prescott, agreed that this needed global co-operation, but urged the British government to expand the notion of carbon trading downwards to the level of the individual when drafting the Climate Change Bill.

The RSA has produced the first mock-up of personal carbon trading online. There, members of the public can obtain an estimate of their own carbon ‘footprint’ by entering their gas and electricity consumptions, car and air mileages, on the RSA’s Carbon DAQ web site.

The RSA suggest that a personal target of 5 tonnes of carbon emission per annum should be achievable.

The RSA has a three-year project to investigate the feasibility of personal carbon trading. It has initiated research, conducted open public debates and is co-ordinating various trials.

Personal carbon trading entails allocating to each individual an equal share of the overall sustainable level of carbon emissions. There would be an open market that would enable those who had not used up their share to sell their surplus to those who need, or can afford, an entitlement to emit more than their ration.