Dear Gordon; keep carbon offsets local.

Gordon, the next generation aren't impressed!
Gordon, the next generation aren’t impressed!

Mr Brown delivered his 11th and final budget to the ‘House’ today. On the environment front there was nothing particularly radical. One got the feeling he was only trying to tick the right boxes. Here are some of the announcements;

1. £50million towards a ‘save central African rainforests‘ fund.
2. A more scaled road tax regime. Highest carbon emission vehicles will pay £400pa from 2008. Lowest emitters (electric cars) will only pay £35pa.
3. More help for pensioners with insulation costs of their homes; up to £4000 per household.
4. Discouraging commercial property owners from leaving properties empty for longer than 6 months
5. A little more money for micro-generation grant schemes
6. A little more R&D money for renewables
7. Help with the UK’s first Carbon Capture Project
8. More of the same for carbon trading. He wants to see it go global.

That’s about it.

More needs to be done to drag the countries old housing stock up into the 21st century. The Coffee House proposes that carbon off-sets are channeled into schemes aiming to reduce the carbon footprint of UK homes (eg. insulation, efficient boilers, under ground heating source systems).
We need grand ideas backed up by real money for local initiatives.

Until this happens Labour stays red and the Tories blue and there’s no point in any of us voting for you!

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8 Responses to Dear Gordon; keep carbon offsets local.

  1. Dave On Fire says:

    I agree that the budget was woefully inadequate, environmentally. For a start, I’d add serious investment in public transport, an increase in fuel duty and air tax, charging the latter by flight rather than by passenger.

    More generally, the UK has some excellent voluntary schemes to reduce the footprint of businesses that currently acheive next to nothing by dint of being voluntary. Making some of them compulsory, and extending them to international air travel, would make a big difference.

    But I strongly disagree with your assertion that we have to stay local. Pollution is a global issue, and UK businesses and consumers create pollution all over the world. Certainly, we need to address the pollution generated on our island, but equally certainly we mustn’t stop there.

  2. suburbanlife says:

    Oh… Canada’s budget came out recently… woefully inadequate in any sort of policy related to environmental issues. Take transportation…not addressed in any sort of serious sense other than giving an $ incentive to buy and use hybrid cars, and cars which use less gasoline. No funding to increase development of mass transit (in our mostly urbanized culture)… could go on and on… the actions proposed are mere sops to the voting public, who all of the sudden have realized the complexity of a systemic sort of change that needs to take place. OOPS, we must look at our expectations, overall, and make the necessary changes…a massive undertaking.

  3. Matt says:

    Dave, I understand the point(s) regarding global carbon trading/offsets. My point is that we need to get our own house in order first. Then we can go off & convert others with a clear conscience.

    suburbanlife, From what I read of Canadian politics the gulf between Canadian citizen’s aspirations to tackle environmental problems and your politicians’ ability to meet them is huge. Not really what I expected from Canada!

  4. Greg Clark says:

    I’ve created Sustainable Goals Network a wiki site for people to commit and converse on specific actionable goals that help the environment. I’m looking for other like minded individuals that want to join in. I’ve just got a shell now, but I’m hoping for lots of help to get it going. If you’re interested that would be great. If you could just tell a couple others about the site, that would be great also.


    Greg Clark

  5. earthpal says:

    I agree with Dave on fire in that Brown should have promised a much bigger investment into public transport.

    I also think that he should have done something to make homes more energy efficient…retrofit schemes with grants for the low income earners etc..

    Two missed opportunities there. And lots of the usual green rhetoric.

    Matt, that’s a great picture up there. So sweet. I want one!

  6. matt says:

    Interesting idea. Happy to put it about. Thanks.

    Hey earthpal, Dave is certainly right that Flash Gordon didn’t even mention public transport. Strange really. There was an announcement last week for 1000 extra train carriages.

    Yes, I love the above picture for its impact. Amazing what can be done with software!

  7. Pete Smith says:

    Bear in mind that the Budget is an incremental step, not the sum total of all government spending plans. For example, Brown has just announced tax changes to take effect in April 2008. These will not be mentioned again in any subsequent Budget or pre-Budget statement, they’re already ‘on the books’. Similarly, as far as transport is concerned, the recommendations of the Eddington review in December 2006 have been accepted by the government and are being incorporated into the 2007 Comprehensive Spending Review. It would not have been appropriate for the Chancellor to re-announce what is already being made into policy.

  8. matt says:

    Yes, there are 17 ‘Key Findings & Recommendations’ starting on pg7 within the Summary Report below;

    Another announcement Brown made yestreday was help with the countries first Carbon Capture Project. Here’s the consultation pdf from The Treasury (point 1.8 on pg.6 gives the aims of the consultation);

    The Responses to the above consultation can be found below starting on pg.8;

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