Making the Trade
Britain looks into carbon trading system for individuals
British Environment Secretary David Miliband has endorsed the idea of a carbon trading system for individuals, requiring people to limit personal emissions and allowing energy-savers to sell back unused carbon allowances for a profit. “Imagine a country where carbon becomes a new currency,” Miliband said. Each citizen would carry a bank card with “carbon points,” which would be deducted for purchases of electricity, gasoline, and air travel. The overall points distributed would decrease each year as the U.K. aims to reduce greenhouse-gas emissions. The system is unlikely to happen in the short term, and Miliband admits that it’s “easy to dismiss the idea as too complex administratively, too utopian, or too much of a burden for citizens.” But individuals account for 44 percent of Britain’s emissions, and Miliband believes a CO2 trading system could be fair and effective.